What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit and What are the Building Requirements? As defined by the Charlotte Zoning Ordinance, Accessory Dwelling units or “ADU’s” are a “second dwelling unit….located within the principal detached dwelling or within a separate accessory structure.” The original idea behind ADU’s was, in part, to help with multi-generational households while also increasing the diversity and supply of Charlotte’s affordable homes. Some requirements to keep in mind: It cannot be taller than the principal dwelling. For instance, if your main home is a one story residence, you would not be able to do an accessory dwelling built above a detached garage. However, you could possibly do a one level with a garage/carport attached to it. The exterior and roof must be similar to the principal dwelling. It cannot exceed 800 square feet. In addition, the ADU shall have no floor area greater than 50% of the principle structure and it cannot cover more than 30% of the established rear yard. It must meet the required setbacks (not be any closer than 15 feet to a rear property line or along any side property line).
You can find all this information in much greater detail here: http://ww.charmeck.org/Planning/InclusionaryHousing/AccessoryDwellingUnits.pdf
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