Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
It's not too late to give. Donate now to help us close an $11,000 budget gap!

Cache Council to consider allowing more ADUs around the county

A red and black sign says "for rent" with a phone number below, with homes visible in the background.
Scott Olson
Getty Images
The Cache County Council says accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, could be used to address housing shortages.

Accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, are not a new thing. ADUs are secondary residential units on single-family residential lots, and they’re viewed as just one of many ways to address housing shortages.

Last week, members of the Cache County Council discussed updating county code to allow for more ADUs in unincorporated areas of the county. One Cache County resident told the council he hopes to have his family members live in an ADU on his property in the future, and he encouraged the council to consider the change.

“My reason for adding an ADU, my parents and my in-laws all live out of state, they are in their mid- to upper-70s, and they are not going to be able to live by themselves forever," he said.

There are two types of ADUs — attached units, which are either inside the single-family home or directly connected to the home, or detached units, which are separate structures. As of 2021, ADUs within a home were legalized statewide, but connected units with separate entrances or entirely separate structures were not legalized, as counties and municipalities make that call.

Many of the council members seemed on board with approving the adjacent ADUs on top of the internal ADUs outlined in state code, but they were less sure about detached units. The council did agree that ADUs shouldn’t be used for short-term rentals, like for Airbnbs.

Rodney Hammer, chief of the Cache County Fire District, raised his concerns about detached ADUs, saying if it’s not done properly, ADUs could pose issues for firefighters.

“With regards to the detached ADUs, that’s the one we’re struggling with a little bit," Hammer told the council.

He said detached units need to be farther away from main homes in the event either catch fire. For ADUs in a city, fire hydrants are more commonly found and can help mitigate a fire from spreading, but that’s not the case throughout the more rural areas of the county.

In order to get more time to sort things out, the council decided last week to table the ADU ordinance until its next regularly-scheduled meeting. That’s expected to take place on August 8, where the council could hold a vote on whether or not to pass the ordinance.

Reporter Jacob Scholl covers northern Utah as part of a newly-created partnership between The Salt Lake Tribune and Utah Public Radio. Scholl writes for The Tribune and appears on-air for UPR.