An accessory apartment, also known as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), is an independent, residential living area that is on the same property as a larger, primary dwelling unit.
The term accessory describes the unit as secondary to the primary unit, in the same way a garage is of secondary importance to a home. These units are typically limited in size to help reduce impacts on neighbors and blend in with the surrounding homes.
Benefits of Accessory Apartments/ADUs
Provides supplemental income to homeowners
Offers an affordable housing option for smaller households
Provides seniors, especially those living alone, with another housing option and allows older owners to age in place
Provides a lower-cost housing for younger residents
Offers a quicker and easier way to boost housing production
Diversifies the range of housing types available in the City of Roanoke
Learn more about the benefits of ADUs from the City of Seattle:
Accessory Apartments/ADUs must meet the following guidelines:
Located in a building that is accessory to, and is located on the same lot as a single-family detached dwelling
Only one accessory apartment shall be permitted on any 1 lot
An accessory building cannot be separately metered for utilities from the principal single-family detached dwelling
The floor area of the accessory apartment cannot exceed 800 square feet 80% of the gross floor area of the principal residential use with which it is associated
Notwithstanding the minimum lot area per dwelling unit specified in Table 36.2-312 of the Code of Ordinances, an accessory apartment cannot be considered as a dwelling unit for purposes of determining the minimum lot area per dwelling unit.
Lots located in special districts may be subject to additional guidelines to obtain a permit.
Visit the City of Roanoke GIS website to find out if your property is in a Special District. Either search for your address or toggle each Special District in Layers. Visit each website to learn more information:
The City of Roanoke and the American Institute of Architects are hosting an ADU design competition sponsored by AARP. The winning designs will be available to the public for free in order to encourage construction of ADUs and grow housing within the City.
To learn more about the competition visit the AIA webpage and check back here to see the results of the competition.