City exempts old accessory dwellings from rezoning

City exempts old accessory dwellings from rezoning
February 08
01:00 2018

The Winston-Salem City Council voted on Monday to allow existing accessory dwellings to continue using the Board of Adjustment for renewals instead of going through the City Council.

In September, the City Council revised accessory dwelling rules, requiring them to go through the City Council’s Special Use District rezoning process. The application for Special Use zoning costs $1000 and requires a site plan that can cost thousands more. While the council intended for this process to apply to new accessory dwellings, which are no longer subject to kinship requirements, an unintended consequence is that it would’ve applied to the 64 existing accessory dwellings whose permits require renewal.

“When we started letting people know that they were going to have to go for a rezoning when their renewal period came up, we got a big outcry,” said Planning Director Paul Norby.

The council fixed that issue by voting to let those who’ve already gotten Special Use Permits for their dwellings from the Board of Adjustment to continue to use that board for renewals. This is a far cheaper and simpler process. Renewals will last up to 10 years and can be perpetually granted.

This only applies to the city. Forsyth County commissioners decided not to change the process for accessory dwellings last year and allows all accessory dwellings in their jurisdiction to still get Special Use permits from the Board of Adjustment.

Also during the meeting, the City Council approved a change to the Limited Campus Use zoning that says institutions can only put multifamily housing or offices in single family zoning districts that are either adjacent or across the street from their campus within a 500 feet of that campus. The old ordinance allowed for such structures to be on a thoroughfare within 500 feet of the campus. The change was proposed by Wake Forest University after Ardmore residents expressed concern over Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center being able to be build near them without a zoning hearing.

The revision was recommended by the City-County Planning Board and planning staff. Along with college campuses and Baptist Medical Center, the change also applies to Forsyth Medical Center and Crossnore School & Children’s Home.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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