Accessory Dwelling Units

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New rules for ADUs adopted by City Council on June 23, 2015 allow for larger sized units. The following chart summarizes the new ADU regulations.

  Detached ADU Attached ADU
Name Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit  Attached Accessory Dwelling Unit
Parking one additional parking space required*
Max Size  up to 70% of the primary dwelling
   but not larger than 800 SF but not larger than 1000 SF
Min Size  N.A.
Max Height  25 feet (top of ceiling) residential district standard - 40'
Max Footprint 800 SF 1000 SF
Lot Type conforming or non-conforming
Setbacks  min 6' setbacks per residential district standard


*Additional parking required if located outside the central business district area, as per UDO Sec. 7-11-2(c)(4). See this map to determine if your property is within the area that does not require off street parking.


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ADUs provide practical housing options for the elderly, empty nesters, young students, and small families, and can provide additional rental income for homeowners. ADUs are smaller in size, do not require the extra expense of purchasing lots or land, can be developed by converting existing structures, and do not typically require the extension of city infrastructure for the additional housing units. As smaller housing units, ADUs are also usually more affordable and can thereby provide housing options for low- and moderate-income residents that might otherwise be priced out of the housing market.

ADUs are a relatively inexpensive way for the city to increase housing supply, and for a city like Asheville that is facing a housing supply crisis, the revised ADU rules give more flexibility to property owners so that more ADUs can be built. ADUs are a viable form of neighborhood-scaled subordinate housing units that are very context-sensitive considering that they are located behind homes and dispersed throughout the city.


2015, June - Revised ADU rules adopted by Council.

2014 - City's Affordable Housing Advisory Committee seeks changes to ADU rules.

1997 - ADU guidelines formalized within the newly established Unified Development Ordinance.

1948 - First zoning ordinance provides allowance for accessory buildings on residential parcels allowing secondary quarters.

Supporting Documents

ADU FAQ & Summary Sheet

ADU New Rules Presentation 

Adopted Ordinance

Contact Information

For specific ADU questions, please contact the Development Services Department at 828-259-5846 or visit 161 S. Charlotte Street.