“Portland is a leader in the country in the emancipation of ADUs (accessory dwelling units),” small house advocate Alan Durning told a sold-out crowd of 500 conference goers at Portland State University’s Smith Memorial Student Union.
The number of permits to convert garages, attics and basements into self-contained apartments as well as build detached cottages has spiked since the city waived system development costs in 2010, shaving $8,000 or more off building costs.
Conference goers applauded speakers explaining the city’s position that make ADUs legal in most single-family zones and does not require separate off-street parking or for the owner to live on the property.
And yet, attendees were reminded by speakers like Durning, founder of the Sightline Institute, a sustainability research center in Seattle, that Portland limits accessory dwelling’s size, style, placement on the lot and the number of occupants. Tiny houses on wheels are not allowed.