Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
Fridley homeowners have a new option when it comes to making improvements to their properties. On April 11, 2022, the City Council approved an ordinance allowing Accessory Dwelling Units or ADUs for detached single-family residential properties. Also known as “in-law suites”, “carriage houses”, “guest cottages”, or “granny flats”, among others, ADUs are permanent dwelling units located on the same lot as a principal single-family dwelling. An ADU has its own kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area separate from the main home. Unlike a duplex, where two equivalent housing units share a site but are owned separately, an ADU is smaller than the principal home and cannot be owned separately.
If you have a question about ADUs that is not answered below, please contact the Fridley Planning Department at 763-572-3592 or by email.
Accessory Dwelling Units can provide additional housing in Fridley and flexibility for homeowners in how to use their property. An ADU could be an attic or basement apartment, a space above a garage, an add-on space attached to a home, or a separate small structure in the back yard.
ADUs can support lifecycle housing needs. Over time, rental income provided by an ADU can help homeowners pay their mortgages or save. Homeowners often use their ADU to house a family member who needs care, or they may move into the ADU themselves to downsize.
- Home+home: Twin Cities ADU Guidebook
- ADU Idea Book for Mid-Century Homes
- List of ADU Designers & Contractors
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Livable Communities Housing division provides additional resources on ADUs throughout the country, including photos of many existing ADUs:
- The ABCs of ADUs: A Guide to Accessory Dwelling Units and How They Expand Housing Options for People of All Ages
- Home Today, Home Tomorrow Design Challenge Toolkit (featuring Universal Design)
ADUs can be located throughout the City of Fridley on residential lots with a detached single family home. The specific zoning districts where ADUs are allowed are
- R-1, One Family Dwelling District
- R-2, Two-Family Dwelling District
- R-3, General Multiple Dwelling District
- S-1, Hyde Park Zoning District
An ADU may not be located in front of the main home/principal structure, and it must meet the setback and lot coverage requirements for the zoning district where it is located, with one exception: a detached ADU may be as close as 10 feet to the rear property line. (Regardless of location, detached ADUs require a Special Use Permit).
ADUs may only be added to a lot with a detached single family home. There may not be more than one ADU per lot.
Balconies and decks should not overlook adjacent residential properties. Exterior stairways should be located to minimize visibility from the street and, to the extent possible, from neighboring property.
Some ADUs might have been constructed before Fridley's land use regulations were adopted, or they may have been built without official approval. Regardless of the property’s history, homeowners with an existing ADU can now apply for a permit to acknowledge the unit as a legal component of the property.
To receive a permit and become a legal unit, the ADU will need to meet current code requirements.
Either the Accessory Dwelling Unit or the Principal Structure must have a rental license. Visit the Rental Properties webpage or call 763-752-3616 to learn more about the licensing and inspections process and fees.
The owner of a property with an Accessory Dwelling Unit is required to make the property their primary residence. Only one of the units may be rented. A copy of the recorded owner-occupancy document will be required prior to issuing the Certificate of Occupancy for the ADU.