Rapid City council ponders 'granny flats' ordinance

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The City of Rapid City is proposing an ordinance amendment for accessory dwelling units, commonly called "granny flats," within city limits.

An ADU is a second, smaller-dwelling unit that has it's own separate eating, sleeping and sanitation facilities.

This amendment will create a registration system for these units for use within city residential areas. Currently ADUs are not expressly allowed by the city code. This ordinance will allow renters to rent their ADU for a month or more. The ordinance will not apply to short-term rentals like AirBnBs.

"I think that this is an important ordinance for Rapid City to consider because it's a way to increase the housing without growing around the edges," said Sarah Hanzel, a long range planner with the city. "It's a way to look at infill development at a really small scale. We're not expecting thousands of units to occur but right now we will see a sprinkling of some throughout the community and with such a strong emphasis on housing any type of strategy that we can introduce can have a positive impact."

An owner of an ADU must must reside on the lot. ADUs can be attached, detached or internal to the primary structure. They must be smaller in size and scale to the main residence.

An open house for the proposal will be held Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, 3-6 p.m. in the Hoyt Room of the Rapid City Public Library.