Accessory Dwelling Units
Draft Ordinance

More commonly known as mother-in-law apartments, or basement apartments, accessory dwelling units are common in many neighborhoods across Cottonwood Heights. By definition, an accessory dwelling unit is a residential dwelling unit meant for one additional single family located on the same lot as a single-family home, either within the same building as the single-family home or in a detached building.

It's likely you know homeowners in your neighborhood who rent out their basement. Maybe you operate one yourself. Many of the accessory dwelling units in Cottonwood Heights have existed since the city incorporated. So why is a draft ordinance being considered?

Technically, every accessory dwelling unit in the city is illegal. There is no city code that allows for the creation and/or operation of such rental units, and yet they exist. Why is this? One contributing factor is many people aren't aware that accessory dwelling units aren't allowed. Another factor is they are difficult to find and enforce.

The city council feels that if accessory dwelling units exist in the city, then perhaps some regulations should be put in place to make them as safe as possible. Ensuring that families renting accessory dwelling units are safe and that the neighborhood is not negatively impacted are top priorities. An ideal ordinance ensures that parking issues are adequately addressed, and that the legal owner of a property lives full-time at any home containing the accessory dwelling unit.

This is where the city council is requesting the help of the citizens. A preliminary draft ordinance has been written, and the city is now seeking input.

Please review the links below to stay up to date on all things ADU. This page will be updated throughout the ordinance review process.


Additional Information:

 - Compiled research of other cities with ADU ordinances
 - Draft ADU Permit Application Form
 - Accessory Dwelling Unit Town Hall Presentation
 - Utah League of Cities and Towns ADU Presentation


City Contact Information

Planning Department:
Mike Johnson, Community & Economic Development Director

City Council:
District 1 - Mike Shelton

District 2 - Scott Bracken

District 3 - Tali Bruce

District 4 - Christine Mikell

Mayor - Mike Peterson