Saratoga Springs amends city code for internal accessory dwelling units
The Saratoga Springs City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to change the city code regarding internal accessory dwelling units. The city code needed to be amended to comply with recent changes to state code, which went into effect May 3.
S.B. 174, Local Land Use and Development Revisions, “amends a political subdivision’s authority with respect to restrictions and requirements for internal accessory dwelling units,” among other housing changes.
The Saratoga Springs City code could be amended to automatically align with the state code, but council members chose not to because certain regulations in the city code are optional, such as the parking requirements.
The council agreed they want to keep the parking requirement of four parking spaces required for a separated single-family dwelling. This means voting to amend city code each time there is a relevant change to state codes. Section 3 of the city code was amended to further define a primary dwelling as a residence that “includes the garage if the garage is habitable space connected to the dwelling by a common wall.”
Therefore, if the garage is used as an IADU, additional parking would be needed to meet the requirement of four parking spaces. The council also struck through Saratoga Springs City’s definition on short term rentals.
The definition previously said, “Short term rental shall mean a residential unit that the Owner Occupant or the lessee of the residential unit offers for occupancy for less than (30) consecutive calendar days.” The council also struck through regulations regarding the types of home occupations that can be in an IAUD.
The previous requirements for registering an IADU with the Community Development department were amended to require an occupancy permit for an IADU, which must be obtained prior to occupancy. Failure to do so will now result in a fine immediately, a change from the previous requirements to register the IADU within 12 months of occupancy.
Ken Young, community development director for Saratoga Springs, told the council the occupancy permit was added because, after talking with the city council and planning commission, “we needed to toughen up or tighten up a few areas in regards to this.”
The city can prohibit IADUs in up-to 25% of the residential area, excluding newly-constructed IADUs that have a final plat approved on or before Oct. 1, 2021, so long as they comply with requirements of the city code.
All newly constructed IADUs on plats approved after Oct. 1, 2021, are to be permitted as long as the requirements are met. Young added that these should not be included in the calculation of the 25%.
In an area without a homeowners association, approval for a request for an IAUD must have the support of 66% of homeowners in the neighborhood. This was amended for subdivisions with fewer than 10 residential lots on the same street.
The requirement is now to have a signed and submitted petition, or official certification in support of the request, “representing at least 66% of the homeowners with properties within 500 feet in each direction of the subdivision neighborhood.”
Saratoga Springs is currently prohibiting IAUDs in 19% of residential areas.