Payson Council Approves Granny Flat Law

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It’s official — if granny doesn’t want to stay in the flat, you can rent it out.

The Payson Town Council last week adopted an “Accessory Dwelling Unit” ordinance — better known as the “granny flat law,” hoping to provide at least a smidgen of new affordable, rental property in town.

The planning commission has spent more than a year working on the ordinance and wound up essentially adapting a similar law adopted by Sedona.

Currently, homeowners scattered throughout town rent out guest quarters, rooms and even mobile homes on the property — most of them illegal under the current terms of the uniform building code.

However, the guest rooms and in-law flats add options to a tight rental market, where the smallest apartments rent for $400 or $500 a month and most apartment complexes have waiting lists.

The new law would enable many of those homeowner landlords to operate legally, if they met a substantial list of conditions.

The rental units couldn’t operate if the house was located in a homeowners association that barred such units.

The five homeowners associations that replied to a town survey all said they would not allow homeowners to rent rooms or detached guest quarters. The CC & Rs of the remaining associations didn’t discuss such rental units.

The rented rooms and units could only be operated in a home occupied by the owner, on a lot of at lest 6,000 square feet. No mobile homes allowed.

The accessory dwelling units (ADU) must:

• Match the house architecturally.

• Limited to one per property.

• Meet all normal design and setback requirements.

• Contain at least 300 to 800 square feet.

• Account for less than 33 percent of the living space.

• Have window placement that protects privacy of neighbors.

• Have any entrance on the side or rear yard, not the front.

• Have at least one added parking space.

• House no more than 2-4 people, depending on the size of the unit.

• Be rented for at least 30 days.

• May include kitchen facilities.

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