Update: Public weighs in on accessory dwelling units proposal

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UPDATE – The city of Lexington held a public hearing on a proposal that would allow ‘in-law suites’ or ‘granny flats’ to be built on to a single family home or added to a lot.

Right now, that’s not allowed in most neighborhoods.

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Chris Huestis lives in Lexington and he favors the proposal.

He says he would consider adding another unit to his home to rent out and get extra income.

Other people had concerns about the new proposal.

Wanda Delaplane is worried about every home adding a unit and it changing the neighborhood dynamic. She’s concerned about there being enough parking on the street and she wants to know how the city will afford to enforce all the rules.

The public can give their input until Thursday, August 23 on this website.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — People are weighing in on a proposal that would make it easier for homeowners to build onto their homes or build another smaller home on their property.

Most residential neighborhoods in Lexington don’t allow accessory dwelling units, known as ‘in-law suites’ or ‘granny flats’.

Marie Allison and her disabled son, Chris, are in favor of ADU’s. Her son lives in his own separate apartment she had built onto their house.

“We wanted to have a separate place for him. We wanted to have a place where he could learn his daily living skills and do them not with his mom all the time,” says Marie Allison.

She says Chris is autistic, intellectually challenged, has a seizure disorder, among other issues.

Marie says it’s very important for him to have his independence.

“So he has a washer dryer up here, he has a separate entrance from the back way. There’s an entrance in the house so I can run up if anything happens,” says Marie.

But she needed the city’s permission to do this and says the process was anything but easy.

“We went around to the neighbors within 500 feet radius of the house and asked ‘Is it okay if Chris, who’s lived here most of his life, gets a second kitchen so he can learn his independence skills in the house? Do you mind?’ and asking permission to live is not very comfortable,” says Marie.

ADU opponents say these additional buildings will create parking issues, bring down property value, create overcrowding, and change the appearance of neighborhoods.

But Chris Woodall, manager of long range planning for the city, says there should be options for people like Marie or others who may need to care for an elderly parent or loved one.

He helped draft an ordinance proposal to allow accessory dwelling units in the city.

“Everything that is done when somebody’s gonna be constructing an ADU throughout this process will be handled with a building permit to ensure that things are built in a way that provides for the health and safety and welfare of the occupants which is really important,” says Woodall.

If the public wants to give feedback on the proposal, they can do so online by clicking here.

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