Commissioners approve overhaul of 'granny flats' policies

Commissioners approve overhaul of 'granny flats' policies

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- Traverse City commissioners have approved an overhaul of the city's policies for accessory dwelling units.

ADUs, or "granny flats," are separate housing units on existing home properties, such as apartments over detached garages.

City leaders have been looking into the issue for nearly two years with the help of committees and community input.

Commissioners voted to raise the annual permit number from 10 to 15 during Monday's meeting.

Mayor Carruthers was the only ‘no’ vote about changing the policies.

The overhaul also means more lenient size restrictions for ADUs, which include the following:

  • Keep the maximum height of the accessory building at 25 feet rather than 20 feet, or the height of the principal building, whichever is less.
  • Increase the maximum size of an accessory building from 65% to 75% of the gross floor area of the principal building.
  • Eliminate privacy requirements and rather, for Single-Family (R-1 ), indicate it is the intent of ADUs to be placed in a manner that provides thoughtful consideration of landscaping, screening and window placement to protect the privacy of neighbors.

The changes will go into effect on February 15.

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