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Midvale Journal

Internal Accessory Dwellings now required in Utah; Midvale updates code to comply

Oct 04, 2021 01:30PM ● By Erin Dixon

The Utah Legislature now requires cities to allow internal apartments, aka IADU. (image/pixabay)

By Erin Dixon | [email protected]

The Utah Legislature is requiring all cities to allow internal accessory dwelling units (IADU), or more simply put, apartments inside single-family homes. 

To qualify as an IADU it “must exist inside the footprint of the home, or be a detached dwelling,” Midvale Community Development Director Nate Rockwood said. 

The owner of the property has to live in the main house for most of the time.

“They would still have to comply with all the building regulations and fire codes,” Rockwood said.  

Within residential zones, the city can only prevent 25%, and must allow 75% of the homes to build an IAUD, if they wish. 

“A city may not...limit the size of the IADU; the lot size or frontage,” Rockwood said.

Each city is allowed to make some restrictions on the IADUs, but very few. In August, Midvale City discussed the exact terms for these apartments within their borders. 

“What a city can do is require a business license...and that the dwelling still looks like a single- family home. [We] can require an additional parking spot, prohibit separate utility meters for the IADU, not allow them in a mobile home, or in a home with a failing septic tank or on a lot of 6,000 feet or less,” Rockwood said. 

Some council members were not happy with the state requiring IADUs. “It’s an issue of the state thinking they knew better than us,” councilmember Dustin Gettel said.  

Councilmember Bryant Brown was concerned about the city's ability to make sure every IADU is managed correctly. 

“How are we going to enforce that? Are you going to send the chief out and ask, ‘Are you the primary owner?’ I want to limit it because we’re already so close to that threshold. In my area there are so many that are non-conforming.”

There are no changes to external accessory dwelling units (EADU). These were allowed previously and will continue to be.