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Heber City Loosens Requirements For Accessory Apartment Rentals


Heber City Council has made it easier for residents to use accessory units for short-term and long-term rentals when they voted in last night’s (Tuesday)City Council.

The vote was 3 to 1. Heber City Councilmember Rachel Kahler was the dissenting vote.

Kahler supports the 2008 code allowing people to earn money on their home by renting out a portion. She said it has the potential to help address the severe housing shortage in the Heber Valley.

"What's changed is this last legislative session, the state legislature passed a statewide accessory dwelling unit ordinance that we had to then conform our 2008 ordinance to meet their requirements for a couple of things that were slightly different, not a lot but enough that we opened it back up to relook at our existing ordinance, and then make it compliant with the state code."

The state regulation (HB 0082) allows Accessory Dwelling Units or ADU's to provide one parking space. Heber's 2008 code required two parking areas on the property. Kahler is concerned about winter conditions and street parking, along with a few other issues.

"The state allows accessory dwelling units to be long or short-term rentals. And so, one of my concerns and the reason why I did vote no to the ordinance that did eventually pass was, I don't want to create a scenario where we have all of these overnight rentals and don't allow for one-year contracts.
Kahler said the legislature does not allow the City to regulate who lives in the accessory unit. The 2008 ordinance limited occupancy to 2 adults. The City is permitted to prohibit ADU's on lots less than 6,000 square feet, and they can ban ADU's within mobile homes. She is worried about other changes approved by the council.

"I just see down the road, we're going to be looking back at this ADU ordinance and trying to maybe look at how do we allow for affordable rentals and still have this ADU ordinance in place. And the second area of my concern was, I would like to see ADU's with their own entrances. I think it's important that landlords and tenants have a separation of space, and my fellow council members didn't think that was as important and passed it without needing a second entrance or their own entrance."

The ordinance requires residents to purchase a business permit to rent an accessory unit on their property.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.
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