Accessory dwelling units offer more affordable housing options

 Permitted ADU areas in Rapid City.
Permitted ADU areas in Rapid City. (KOTA)
Published: Dec. 12, 2019 at 8:43 PM CST
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There are many ADU's already in Rapid City, and various neighborhoods allow new units.

Each new ADU needs to include a parking space with a few exceptions.

ADU's can be inside, attached to or separated from your home but they can not be located at the front of a lot.

Units larger than 500 square feet must match the neighborhood's aesthetic, while complying with Rapid City codes.

"The City has recently adopted the accessory dwelling units ordinance and that allows for us to have several different types of units that can be considered accessory dwelling units, that could be a basement apartment, it could be attached to the house at some point, or it can be a tiny home in the backyard as long as that's placed on a permanent foundation. There's a lot of different types, and if anyone wants to have an accessory dwelling unit, then it would need to be registered with the City," said Ken Young, community development director for Rapid City.

The registration fee for ADU's has not been decided by the City but a $50 recommendation has been made.

There are no set rent cost for these units, and because they're smaller, they tend to be cheaper.

Sarah Hanzel worked on the ordinance to allow accessory dwelling units in the community.

"I think it's going to provide more options for people who don't want to live in large apartment complexes, if you're someone who wants to live in a smaller neighborhood, if you're someone who wants to live closer to someone else in your family like a grandma or an elderly aunt, those are good opportunities. These are going to be units that may be very appealing to seasonal workers or traveling nurses, there's really a broad appeal for these types of units," said Sarah Hanzel, Long Range Planner for Rapid City.

Hanzel said ADU's are one step Rapid City can take toward affordable housing by providing more options.

Rapid City is also working on a "Small Home Zoning District," to allow tiny homes or garden homes on smaller lots.

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