Building and maintaining Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) is no mean feat, but it just got a tad less cumbersome in East Wenatchee.

The city announced on Wednesday that it is moving full steam ahead with Ordinance 2024-02. According to a press release, "This ordinance brings out several key changes designed to remove obstacles and simplify the ADU construction process."

The American Planning Association defines an ADU as a "smaller, independent residential dwelling unit located on the same lot as a stand-alone (i.e., detached) single-family home."

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"Internal, attached, and detached ADUs all have the potential to increase housing affordability (both for homeowners and tenants), create a wider range of housing options within the community, enable seniors to stay near family as they age, and facilitate better use of the existing housing fabric in established neighborhoods."

"We are really hoping that by changing the ordinance, it'll help with housing affordability," says East Wenatchee spokeswoman Trina Elmes. "As you know, rental prices are astronomical. ADUs will hopefully help people find places to live."

"It also adds diversity to our housing market," Elmes says. "ADUs are newer; we haven't paid much attention to them until recently. But with the housing crisis, we're trying to diversify our living options."

Let us now segue to the meat and potatoes of Ordinance 2024-02. The ordinance:

  • Abolishes the minimum lot size requirement that previously hamstrung property owners
  • Allows for not one, but two ADUs per residential lot
  • Waives the owner occupancy clause; property owners now have infinite discretion as to how ADUs are utilized
  • Relaxes the subdivision process; this means greater flexibility in ADU construction

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Gallery Credit: Stephanie Gull

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