The Lexington Senior Center will host three events asking for public input on allowing Accessible Dwelling Units (ADUs) in Lexington. These events will be held April 10 (9:00 to 10:45 a.m.), April 23 (6:30 to 8:30 p.m.), and May 7 (2:00 to 4:00 p.m.) at the Lexington Senior Center, 195 Life Lane. These meetings offer an excellent opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns you might have regarding this new type of housing in your neighborhood.
The Fayette County Neighborhood Council (FCNC) has several concerns regarding ADUs. An ADU is a second residential unit on a lot in a single-family neighborhood and can be attached or detached. While what follows is not comprehensive, the FCNC has developed several talking points for the events, including:
1. Will allowing ADUs promote poorly maintained and designed rental properties, particularly in university neighborhoods?
2. FCNC supports affordable additional housing for seniors and people with disabilities so they may live with caregivers or family. Have ADUs accomplished that goal in other cities? Are demographic data available on who lives in ADUs in other cities?
3. If a neighborhood is zoned single-family residential—one residence per lot–will it be possible for a second residence to be on the same lot without requiring a zone change?
5. Should the owner of a property with an ADU be required to live on-site?
6. The Urban County Government currently has very limited resources to enforce zoning and building requirements. If requirements and restrictions are put in place for ADUs, will government enforcement entities receive additional resources and authority?
7. Will ADUs be permitted in neighborhoods with H-1 and ND-1 overlays?
8. Lexington has significant ecoli problems in all of its watersheds. In addition, in most established neighborhoods lateral sewer lines (from house to street) are aging. Should any increase in density accomplished through ADUs come only if lateral sanitary sewer lines and storm drains are first tested and shown to be functioning properly? Also, if a neighborhood is experiencing flooding and sanitary sewer overflows, should it not be allowed to have ADUs?
9. Deed restrictions are private agreements between developer and home purchaser. LFUCG does not enforce them. Should ADUs be permitted in a neighborhood when deed restrictions prohibit them? Would this lead to litigation?
10. Would certain design elements be enforced to assure that new ADU construction fits with the existing dwelling and with neighborhood character? Should there be a restriction on the height of an ADU? What restrictions should be applied to all dimensions and setbacks?
11. Would ADUs accelerate gentrification and turnover in minority neighborhoods or help them? Are data available on the impact of ADUs on minority and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods?
Do you have other questions regarding ADUs? Please try to attend at least one of these meetings at the Senior Center to ask questions, learn, and express concerns.
Walt Gaffield, President
Fayette County Neighborhood Council, Inc.