Accessory dwelling units approved by committee: what does this mean for Rapid City?

Accessory Dwelling Units will have two separate addresses. If a family is related by blood, there is no maximum capacity. For people not related, the maximum capacity will be 5 persons.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is an additional residence on a single family property -- that could be an apartment over a garage, a separate basement unit, or a tiny house in the backyard.

Under the proposal approved Wednesday by Rapid City's legal and finance committee, ADU's cannot be used for short term rentals, with a minimum rental term of 28 days.

This would prevent residents from renting out these units through Airbnb, a popular platform for short-term travelers.

ADU's could help with affordable housing in the area -- and offer additional options for people that don't want to buy a house or spend thousands per month on rent.

Vicki Fisher is the Planning Manager for the Community Development Dept.

"Its not only going to provide diversification of housing, affordable housing, but its also going to provide income to those homeowners where they can maybe retire at an early date, help children through college, stay in place because all of a sudden they've aged and they want to move to the smaller unit and have a grown child and his family in the bigger unit. It makes us all function better as a community," said Fisher.

Existing accessory dwelling units would be required to register with the Community Development Department within two years to become a legal property.

The proposed ordinance still needs to be approved by the city council. A meeting will take place on Monday to discuss the issue further.