D.C. new regulation may make tiny house more abundant in the district

Lovers of tiny homes may have cause to celebrate. new city zoning regulations in Washington DC, now provide much looser laws for "accessory dwelling units," or small houses. The changes go into effect this fall, according to The Washington Post. 
Single-family house owners are trying to boost their income by offering more affordable housing to couples, seemingly a win-win, for everyone. Washington D.C. is taking steps to join communities in support of this new trend. 
New D.C. regulation: What is it about?
In the past, people who wanted to rent out tiny homes on their property faced an uphill battle. While many potential homeowners seek small dwellings to cut back on expenses, finding these types of homes in the big city is difficult. This is particularly applicable to Washington DC, where the average home costs $460,000, according to The Washington Post 
One solution is to allow homeowners to build these structures on their property. 
Prior to the new regulations, homeowners that wanted to rent out the units had to present their case before the Board of Zoning Adjustment to receive approval. New regulations will allow these units to be constructed in neighborhoods so long as the owners obtain the proper building permits. These new changes will allow the owner to rent out the units as well. 
Why is this significant?
While the popularity of living in tiny homes has increased over the last several years, state laws and regulations have not kept up with the popularity. Laws regarding these types of dwellings vary widely from state to state. 
Even the terminology varies. Some states refer to the units as "guesthouses," while they are deemed "second units," "companion units," and "accessory dwellings." Some laws prohibit the rental of these types of properties while other communities have much more lenient regulations, according to Accessory Dwellings.  
While these changes will provide some relief, the new regulations are limited in their applicability. Outer neighborhoods in Brookland, Chevy Chase and American Park University are most effected by the changes. These neighborhoods are already home to mainly single-family dwellings, according to The Washington Post. 
While many homeowners will see reduced regulations, there are still a few things to consider:
-Tiny houses cannot be more than 35 percent of the total floor area of the main home
-The main home must be at least 1200 square feet (in most zones), 2,000 square feet in R-1 ones. 
-The ADUs must be adjacent to a 24-foot-wide alley and within 300 feet of a main road. 
Proponents of the small house trend argue that allowing more of these units could help create more affordable housing options. Cities like Santa Cruz, CA; Minneapolis, MN; and Portland Ore., already have lighter regulations, and even encourage the building of these structures. 
"We are really, really pleased ... It'll lead to the diversification of neighborhoods that are largely single-family homes. This provides an opportunity to provide rental housing and smaller-sized homes," Cheryl Cort, the policy director at the Coalition for Smarter Growth told The Washington Post. 

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