City Government

Apr 22, 2013 5:27 PM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News

Missoula city council again tackling ADU issue

MISSOULA - Missoula leaders have another wrestling match with the heated debate over "granny apartments", or accessory dwelling units on Monday evening.

But even with another public hearing on the agenda, the future of controversial proposal will really come down to how the individual council members split over the issue.

Missoula leaders have struggled with the idea allowing additional properties in the city to be shared by more than one dwelling for over a year now.

In some zones, primarily in Missoula's core, property owners can already convert space into apartments, either attached to the main house, or elsewhere on the property.

But extending that concept into more neighborhoods with single family homes has the council split into two camps.

Although the Planning Board recommended against the idea in February, council members like Bob Jaffe and Alex Taft have continued to advocate for the change. That's led to some additional amendments, such as clarifying ownership requirements for ADUs.

Councilman Jon Wilkens has been the leading critic of the ADU expansion, saying it will harm property values and change the nature of existing neighborhoods if it's allowed.

The council takes another round of public comments Monday on the latest version of the proposal. But at this point it's unknown whether the council has enough votes to push for adoption, or rejection of the idea, or sending it back to committee for more work.

The hearing will be part of the regular council meeting that starts at 7 p.m.

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