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New rules for accessory dwelling units (ADU) were back before the Astoria City Council Monday night.   In an attempt to address the town’s housing shortage, Community Development has suggested several different approaches and changing the rules to allow people to build more living space on a standard residential lot is one of those ideas.  In response to comments from the public and the city council at the previous public hearing this new ADU plan has some changes.

-Removes tiny homes as a permitted ADU after council consensus that more work is required before tiny homes should be considered for Astoria.

-Clarifies allowance for one ADU per single family lot and per main dwelling

-After effective date of adoption new ADU’s may not be used for home stay dwellings. Those accessory dwelling units already legally in operation as homestays are grandfathered as a legal non-conforming use.

-Corner lots may only add an ADU to the side or rear of the lot.

-Parking is required on both sides of the street to be eligible for a parking credit.

The council added the provision that the new ADU ordinance will be subject to council review in one year.  Following an opportunity for additional public comment the city council held further discussion regarding some of the finer points of the review process which could lead to other changes in the development code regarding review.  The Council majority voted to hear the first reading of the ADU ordinance with the additional provision for a one year review. Price voted nay saying she would have preferred the ordinance include a higher level of public review in R2 and R3 zones

In other council action Monday night:

A city council goal for this year is to streamline the development review process to make it a little easier to get through the permitting process for accessory dwelling units and more transparent for those applying so the entire process is better understood from start to finish. The council majority approved the updated ordinance Monday night. Councilor Price voted nay.

The council approved the first reading a new ordinance that creates significant penalties for those who violate land use, zoning, and building codes. The council had previously approved a doubling of fees for work completed prior to zoning approval.  The new rules provide some new enforcement tools for Community Development. The second reading and adoption is expected at the next council meeting April 17th.

The council approved a proposal from City manager Brett Estes to transfer money left over from the fund set up for the 16th street Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) project and apply it to paying off the debt service on the project. It amounts to $18,108.36.  The total project cost was over $7 million.

The council approved a plan from the city library to make an agreement with Better World Books (BWB) that will streamline the process of recycling old materials. The library will still identify old books that could be offered for sale by the Friends of the Library but those items that normally go to recycling will instead be shipped to BWB for processing. The company recycles reading materials and pays the shipping charges while at the same time returning a percentage of any sales they realize to the library.

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