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Springfield Waives Some Costs on Granny Flats to Create Affordable Housing

In a press release (see below) the city of Springfield has announced that it is “taking steps to address a shortage of affordable housing by making it easier to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs).” ADUs are also known as secondary dwelling unites, granny flats and mother-in-laws.

To that affect, the the Springfield City Council passed a resolution to reduce the costs involved by “temporarily waiving the transportation, stormwater and local wastewater system development charges on newly permitted accessory dwelling units.”

Springfield defines ADUs as “secondary dwellings included on a property with an existing, larger home. An ADU can be either attached to the existing dwelling, for example a basement or attic space converted into an apartment, or a detached structure such as a backyard cottage.”

 The temporary waiver started on July 1, and continues for two years until June 30, 2019. “This waiver will reduce construction costs for a typical ADU in Springfield by an estimated $5,000 to $6,000.”

The full press release is below.

 

Springfield Temporarily Waives System Development Charges for Accessory Dwelling Units

The City of Springfield is taking steps to address a shortage of affordable housing by making it easier to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs). The Springfield City Council passed a resolution to reduce the costs involved by temporarily waiving the transportation, stormwater, and local wastewater system development charges (SDCs) on newly permitted accessory dwelling units. The temporary waiver started on July 1, 2017 and continues for a two-year period through June 30, 2019. This waiver will reduce construction costs for a typical ADU in Springfield by an estimated $5,000 to $6,000.

ADUs are secondary dwellings included on a property with an existing, larger home. An ADU can be either attached to the existing dwelling, for example a basement or attic space converted into an apartment, or a detached structure such as a backyard cottage. Note that SDCs imposed by the Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission and Willamalane Park and Recreation District are still in effect.

The City sees several benefits of having more ADUs in Springfield, primarily to increase the supply of small rental units for which the vacancy rate is lowest. Additional ADUs will also increase the number and type of affordable housing units without consuming the limited supply of undeveloped land. Residents that build ADUs on their properties can benefit by having an extra source of income in the form of rent, allowing for multiple generations to live in close proximity, and providing housing for on-site assistance or caregivers to help people live independently on their property. Economic development will also be bolstered by generating work for local builders and contractors.

The supply of housing in Springfield is limited at all levels, with rental vacancy rates at less than 1 percent. Housing costs in Springfield are increasing faster than household incomes. Last year, the Springfield City Council directed staff to evaluate housing needs and to build on strategies to both increase the supply of housing and the accessibility of affordable housing throughout the housing continuum.

There are several design standards and required permits to construct an ADU. Those interested in learning more can visit www.springfield-or.gov, or contact the Development and Public Works Department, 541.726.3753.

The City is also considering amendments to the development code that would make it easier and potentially less expensive for homeowners to add an ADU to their property. The Planning Commission will hold a work session on July 18 to discuss this, which community members are welcome to attend. The work session begins at 6 p.m. in the Jesse Maine Room at Springfield City Hall, 225 Fifth Street.