Former Takoma Park Director of Housing Services Expresses Serious ADU Concerns

Sue Present, the former Director of Housing Services of Takoma Park, has submitted testimony to the County Council on the proposed zoning text amendment (ZTA) that would substantially relax requirements for accessory dwelling units (ADUs).

In particular, she suggests two amendments to the proposal: (1) buildings that are already out of compliance with code requirements or exist due to the granting of a special exception should not be eligible for conversion to ADUs, and (2) parking for ADU occupants must be independently accessible and the absence of sidewalks should disqualify a unit from off-street parking waivers.

Like myself, Present is distressed by the failure of either the Planning Board or the County Council to properly evaluate the impact on infrastructure, rents, and taxes. On infrastructure, Present raises concerns about the added burden on aging water and sewer lines, school capacity, and street capacity for parking and emergency vehicles. Similarly, she asks whether ADU rents near employment or transit would be affordable and whether they would reduce the property value of neighboring homes.

Read her testimony in full below: