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Accessory Dwelling Units in Bend

ADUs are Permitted on Residential Lots With a Single-Family Dwelling or Townhome

· ADUs,bend oregon,land use law,mother-in-law suites,residential zoning

By: Will Van Vactor

A current trend amongst local governments is to allow accessory dwelling units ("ADUs") in residential neighborhoods because they provide a lower cost housing option. For property owners, ADUs can provide a source of rental income, a place to host friends and family, or even a home office. Below is a summary of some of the requirements that apply when developing an ADU in Bend.

In Bend, ADUs are legal on land zoned for residential use with a single-family dwelling or townhome. In addition to the zoning requirement, there are a number of standards and criteria that apply, some of which may vary depending on the specifics of your property. These criteria include, but aren't limited to, the following:

  • private land use controls, such as Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions (commonly referred to as "CC&Rs",
  • special standards in Northwest Crossing, Historic Districts, and the Waterway Overlay Zone,
  • design standards and size limits, including maximum floor area, maximum lot coverage, setbacks, and height limits, and
  • site improvements, including parking, sidewalks, and water and sewer service.
An application for an ADU is subject to the City of Bend's "Minimum Development Standards Review." Amongst other requirements, an applicant for an ADU needs to submit to the City:
  • site plans and maps, 
  • landscaping plans, 
  • building elevations, 
  • floor plans, 
  • the current deed, and 
  • if water is not provided by the City, proof that water is available.
The land use application fee is over $800. An applicant will also need to pay for building permits and system developments charges ("SDCs"). The SDCs will be, at a minimum, $4,141.

Every development is different. It is important to thoroughly understand all of the requirements as they apply to your property and proposed ADU. Before incurring development expenses, you should talk to your:

  • real estate professional to help confirm likely rental income (if applicable),
  • contractor to understand building and developments costs, 
  • architect and/or engineer to help with the plans,
  • tax professional to explain tax implications, and 
  • land use attorney to make sure you understand the legal requirements and risks.

Will Van Vactor is the founder of Van Vactor Law LLC. Will is an Oregon attorney. His practice focuses on land use, real estate, and mediation. You can reach him at [email protected] and 541-233-8517.

Van Vactor Law LLC - Bend, Oregon Land Use Law Firm


The information on this blog is for general informational purposes only. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice law in your state.

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