Town of Fairfield News
11/1/2022 - TOWN TO HOLD “HOW TO” WORKSHOP ON ACCESSORY APARTMENTS
TOWN TO HOLD “HOW TO” WORKSHOP ON ACCESSORY APARTMENTS
The Town of Fairfield will hold a workshop on accessory dwelling units (ADUs), more commonly known as accessory or “in-law” apartments, beginning at 7:00 PM on Monday, November 14, 2022 at the Fairfield Museum & History Center, located at 320 Beach Road. The workshop is free and open to the public, and is being co-hosted by the Town of Fairfield Affordable Housing Committee and Fairfield Senior Advocates.
During this informative one-hour workshop, participants can learn more about accessory dwelling units and recent changes to the Town’s zoning regulations that make it easier to establish one. The program will include a moderated panel discussion of key design considerations and permitting requirements in the Town of Fairfield to establish an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), as well as information on benefits, potential costs and common pitfalls that homeowners should avoid. Panelists are expected to include Planning Director Jim Wendt and local architect Marc Andre, among others. Light refreshments will be provided.
An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a residential unit that can be added to a single-family home. ADUs can be detached (a separate building) from the main home, an addition to the main home, a conversion of existing space within the home, or a conversion of a garage into an ADU. Accessory dwellings are independent housing units that have their own kitchens, bathrooms, living areas, and entrances. The property owner must reside either in the primary or accessory dwelling unit.
“The Town is committed to providing a range of sensible housing options to meet our current and future housing needs. I encourage Fairfield residents interested in learning more about accessory apartments and recent changes to our zoning regulations to attend this important workshop,” commented First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick.
Accessory dwelling units have been on the rise since the pandemic. ADUs are growing at a rate of 9% or 100,000 per year, according to a new analysis by Porch.com, a home improvement site. Porch.com also found that properties with an ADU are highly sought after. A home with an ADU is priced 35% higher, on average, than a home without one, according to Porch.com. There are presently more than 250 legal accessory apartments in Fairfield alone.
While Fairfield has long permitted accessory apartments, the Town’s Affordable Housing Committee, in conjunction with Fairfield Senior Advocates and FairPlan, successfully sought changes to the Town’s zoning regulations to allow ADUs to be incorporated into new construction and as detached structures in certain parts of Town. “Accessory apartments are smart housing, in that they better leverage our existing housing stock and do so in a way that is sensitive to existing neighborhoods,” remarked Stephen Grathwohl, Chairman of the Town’s Affordable Housing Committee.
“It’s important that we provide options to allow elderly residents to stay in their own homes and continue to live independent and productive lives. Accessory apartments are but one way in which we can enable them to do so,” remarked Bob Ellwanger of Fairfield Senior Advocates.
While the event is being held free of charge, participants are asked to pre-register using this link: https://bit.ly/3fdQ6LO.