Phoenix will vote on legalizing casitas

(Photo via Minimal Living Concepts)

By Taylor Seely | Arizona Republic

Phoenix City Council is scheduled to vote on legalizing casitas, duplexes and triplexes citywide Sept. 6 as part of its ongoing effort to combat Arizona’s affordable housing crisis.

Draft language was presented to a subset of council members at the end of June, and Phoenix’s 15 village planning committees and the city’s Planning Commission weighed in over the summer. Their recommendations are then sent to Mayor Kate Gallego and councilmembers to consider before casting their final votes.

Based on existing votes from the villages and Planning Commission, plus input from councilmembers ahead of the Sept. 6 vote, all signs indicate the measure will pass.

The ordinance change would allow full-fledged living units in residential areas citywide, so long as they are accompanying a singe-family home. There are certain restrictions pertaining to size and location within the backyard. The law also adds definitions for duplexes and triplexes to distinguish them from casitas, otherwise known as accessory dwelling units or ADUs.

City law currently allows structures such as storage sheds in residential backyards, but those that include plumbing for livability are only allowed in certain areas.

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