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Plan panel supports expanded small house options

Evanston's Plan Commission voted Wednesday night to support zoning changes that would permit additional types of accessory dwelling units as part of efforts to increase affordable housing options in the

An illustration from an AARP guide to Accessory Dwelling Units.

Evanston’s Plan Commission voted Wednesday night to support zoning changes that would permit additional types of accessory dwelling units as part of efforts to increase affordable housing options in the city.

The city recently has removed a restriction that limited rental of coach houses to family members or household help and made a variety of zoning changes that make it easier to build detached ADUs, or coach houses, in back yards.

The new proposal would permit accessory dwelling units inside a main building or attached to it.

The plan would allow an additional dwelling unit on any residental lot, as long as it was smaller than the primary structure and no larger than 1,000 square feet or a single level of the main building.

It would ease current height limits to permit a maximum rough height of 20 feet for a attached or detached ADU with a flat roof and 28 feet for one with a sloped roof.

And no extra parking space would be required on the lot to add an ADU.

The proposed zoning change now moves to the City Council for final action.

The Commission referred a second proposal, to create a process for approving micro dwelling units, sometimes called tiny homes, to its Zoning Committee for further review.

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