Letter: If ADUs are permitted in Salt Lake City’s west side neighborhoods, strict regulations are a must

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) One of Modal Living's “small but smart” guest houses or Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) at City Creek Center in Salt Lake City on Monday June 24, 2019.

As the Salt Lake City Council begins to contemplate ADUs on the west side, it is incumbent upon its members to take into consideration how it will impact the quality of life of the residents of these communities.

Rose Park and the west side areas are quaint neighborhoods, where generations have kept the same homes. To bring in ADUs would take away from its charm and neighborly sense of community we hold dear.

We do, however, need the added housing. However, removing any requirement of having the ADU be owner-occupied property only further takes away from the quaintness and friendly community we have. When an owner is not present, they have no “dog in the fight” to keep our community safe, and enjoyable. Some council members claim that this will be an opportunity for folks to stay in their homes, while gaining income from an ADU, however one can foresee companies, both local and otherwise, buying up properties, with the sole purpose of building one, maybe two ADUs on the property. Parking is already a problem on many of the streets of Rose Park, with homes having so many vehicles that streets are already clogged due to lack of parking. To permit ADUs in our neighborhoods will only add to this problem.

These same Salt Lake City Council members claim that nonowner occupied ADUs would keep housing costs low, when in fact it will be just the opposite. Companies and corporations will rapidly purchase homes with a buying power greater than Joe Homebuyer, with intentions of quickly building an additional rental on the same property to double their earning capabilities, thus making it more difficult for some to find a home and raising the costs of home ownership.

If ADUs are permitted in our west side neighborhoods, there must be rules and regulations requiring they be owner occupied and adequate off-street parking be built with them. Shame on council members Victoria Petro, Alejandro Puy, Darin Mano and Ana Valdermoros for even considering giving the advantage to investors and developers instead of the communities and voters they represent. We will remember this at election time.

Angela Morgan, Salt Lake City

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