Accessory Dwelling Unit code amendment adopted by Mayor and Council

*Update: Mayor and Council to reconsider Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance

Mayor and Council held a public hearing on October 19 to take public comments regarding Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). Following this hearing and their deliberations, Mayor and Council adopted an amendment to the Unified Development code to allow ADUs, or casitas.

The code amendment adopted by Mayor & Council allows:

  • One ADU to be built on any residential lot in the city (meaning a lot with one or two homes)
  • The maximum size of the ADU is up to 1,000 square feet for lots over 7,000 square feet and 750 square feet on lots under 7,000 square feet
  • The maximum height for ADUs is 12' or the height of the primary structure, whichever is greater
  • All other dimensional standards regarding lot coverage and setbacks apply
  • One parking space would be required per ADU, which could be waived for sites that are a quarter-mile from transit or a bike boulevard; on-street parking can also be used
  • Each newly constructed ADU would be required to have a cool roof

Mayor and Council set a 5-year sunset date for the ordinance, at which point it could be updated/renewed, or removed from the code, as well as a review of the program in 2 years.

Mayor and Council also directed staff to develop programs to provide resources and technical support to make ADUs accessible and affordable to Tucson homeowners and residents, including a pilot program to fund ADU repairs and improvements, and to establish an amnesty program for unpermitted ADUs.

This code amendment to allow casitas was developed based on extensive input from the public and a stakeholder group over the past year. 

More information and background on the ADU amendment can be found on the project webpage.

Additional guidance for property owners interested in building a casita will be available soon.