The Takoma Park City Council that would allow Montgomery County residents to have accessory apartments without going through the special exception process.
The amendment is supposed to make the process, which Takoma Park Community Development Coordinator Roz Grigsby called lengthy and expensive, easier for residents.
An accessory apartment is aa self-contained, detached second living unit on the property of an existing single family dwelling.
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There are currently 53 accessory apartments in Takoma Park, with 38 percent of those in Ward 3 and 31 percent in Ward 1, according to Grigsby.
The easing of process would be important to Takoma Park because accessory apartments perform the unique service of affordable housing, Grigsby said.
"It will increase reasonably priced housing without any government subsidy," she said.
It will also bring in to the fold people who have bootlegged accessory apartments because process is so expensive and lengthy, Grigsby said.
"To the extent that you can entice property owners to follow rules, you’re going to improve the situation because of inspections," Ward 6 Takoma Park Councilman Fred Schultz said.
The measure last month.
Many residents objected, arguing that the special exception proceedings keep them informed and involved in the process.
“If they take away our voice by allowing accessory apartments by right, we don’t have a say,” said Kim Persaud, president of the Wheaton Regional Park Neighborhood Association. “These laws are going to change the way single-family homes look today.”