ADU ordinance under consideration again

Months after it was initially tabled by the Board of Josephine County Commissioners while they looked into changing certain details, Ordinance 2024-006 was brought back before the board for a first reading and public hearing, with a second reading and potential approval slated for June 26.
This ordinance would allow property owners in rural residential zones, provided they meet the required criteria, to construct an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, on their property. Like guest houses, ADUs provide living space separate from the primary home located on a residential property, and their construction has thus far been prohibited in JoCo. With the current housing crisis, the county hopes the ordinance can provide relief to those facing medical or economic hardships.
At the June 12 county weekly business session, held at Grants Pass’ Anne G. Basker Auditorium, Board Chair John West invited county legal counsel Stephanie Nuttal to summarize the ordinance.
Nuttal remarked, “In order to allow for accessory dwelling units, we do have to amend our ordinance to include these provisions. There’s nothing in here that’s not required by state law.”
Among the requirements for building an ADU on rural residential properties were the following:
-The lot or parcel for the ADU is at least two acres in size and not located within an urban reserve as mapped in the County’s GIS system;
-One single family dwelling is sited on the lot or parcel and the dwelling is not subject to an order declaring a nuisance or subject to any pending action under ORS 105.550 to 105.600;
-The ADU is limited to 900 square feet in floor area and shall be located no more than 100 feet from the existing single-family dwelling;
-Provide proof of service by a fire protection service provider with professionals who have received training or certification described in ORS 181A.410, as required by ORS 215.495;
-The ADU may not be used for vacation occupancy as defined in ORS 90.100.
Commissioner Dan DeYoung called the ordinance “a long time coming” and said “a lot of hard work” had been put into the ordinance.
The commissioners voted 2-0 to advance the ordinance to a second reading June 26. West and DeYoung were the yes votes, while Commissioner Herman Baertschiger was not in attendance.
Several county employees were recognized by the board for their years of service: Shawn Martinez – Prevention Treatment Services, 15 years; Adam Hanson – Community Corrections, five years; Kelsey Easter – Sheriff’s Office, five years; Anna Reese – Sheriff’s Office, five years; Eric Schroeder – Sheriff’s Office, five years; and Sarah Schroeder – Clerk’s Office, five years.
As the only honoree in attendance, Deputy Community Development Director James Black, who has worked for the county for 20 years, was personally presented with a plaque by the department’s director, Mark Stevenson. West congratulated Black by saying, “You’ve done the county good so far and hopefully continue on.”
The other recognized employees were to be given plaques at later times.