As reported by Patch in May 2012, the Montgomery County Planning Department for the Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission proposed a zoning text amendment to ease the operation of accessory apartments by Montgomery County residents.
Now, The Washington Post reports that on Tuesday, the Montgomery County Council passed regulations that will streamline the application and review process from a five- to six-month process to one that takes "about 90 to 110 days."
Montgomery County's website defines accessory apartments as a "completely independent living facility with separate cooking, eating, sanitation and sleeping facilities that is either in or added to an existing single-family dwelling or in a separate accessory structure on the same lot as an existing dwelling." The website also details some of the zoning and code enforcement requirements and provides a contact number.
Following the announcement by the planning board last May, Patch reported on two public meeting where county residents expressed their concerns regarding the potential change. One woman felt the law would have a significant impact on her neighborhood:
“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.”
The Post article does cite wording in the measure that limits the number of apartments to one in every five houses on a block and reiterates that citizens may still contest any proposed accessory apartment.
What do you think about accessory apartments in your neighborhood? Tell us in the comments.