H409: Regulation of Accessory Dwelling Units. Latest Version

Passed 1st Reading

AN ACT to increase affordable housing by allowing for the construction or siting of accessory dwelling units.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.(a)  Part 1 of Article 9 of Chapter 160D of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

§ 160D‑917.  Accessory dwelling units.

(a)        A local government shall allow the development of at least one accessory dwelling unit which conforms to the North Carolina Residential Code for One‑ and Two‑Family Dwellings, including applicable provisions from State fire prevention code, for each detached single‑family dwelling in areas zoned for residential use that allow for development of detached single‑family dwellings. An accessory dwelling unit may be built or sited at any time before, concurrently, or after the primary dwelling has been constructed or sited. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a local government from permitting accessory dwelling units in any area not otherwise required under this section. For the purposes of this section, the term accessory dwelling unit means an attached or detached residential structure that is used in connection with or that is accessory to a primary single‑family dwelling and that has less total square footage than the primary single‑family dwelling.

(b)        Development and permitting of an accessory dwelling unit shall not be subject to any of the following requirements:

(1)        Owner‑occupancy of any dwelling unit, including an accessory unit.

(2)        Minimum parking requirements or other parking restrictions, including the imposition of additional parking requirements where an existing structure is converted for use as an accessory dwelling unit.

(3)        Conditional use zoning.

(c)        In permitting accessory dwelling units under this section, a local government shall not do any of the following:

(1)        Prohibit the connection of the accessory dwelling unit to existing utilities serving the primary dwelling unit.

(2)        Charge any fee other than a building permit that does not exceed the amount charged for any single‑family dwelling unit similar in nature.

(d)       Except as otherwise provided in this section, a local government may regulate accessory dwelling units pursuant to this Chapter, provided that the regulations do not act to discourage development or siting of accessory dwelling units through unreasonable costs or delay. Nothing in this section shall affect the validity or enforceability of private covenants or other contractual agreements among property owners relating to dwelling type restrictions.

(e)        A local government may impose a setback minimum for accessory dwelling units of 5 feet or the setback minimum imposed generally upon lots in the same zoning classification, whichever is less.

SECTION 1.(b)  This section becomes effective October 1, 2023.

SECTION 2.  Local governments shall adopt land use ordinances and regulations or amend their comprehensive plans to implement the provisions in this act no later than October 1, 2023.

SECTION 3.  Except as otherwise provided, this act is effective when it becomes law.