Greer seeks to simplify rules for detached garages, storage sheds and ‘mother-in-law’ cottages

The City of Greer is looking to simplify and consolidate its building code and land use planning regulations (LDRs).

To accomplish this, city staff is partnering with engineering consultant Kimley-Horn and Associates to create a Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) to simplify the rules for accessory units (AUs), which include detached garages and storage buildings, or accessory dwelling units (ADU), such as “mother-in-law” chalets.

According to Ashley Kaade, senior planner at Greer, this move will condense all regulations into one document. The city hopes the revisions will be completed by early fall.

Regulation lagging behind growth

Although the city has experienced significant growth in recent years, Greer’s zoning and land use rules have not been fully reviewed or updated since their inception. said Mayor Rick Danner. The public and members of council will have many opportunities to provide input and feedback as the process moves forward.

“While our prescriptions have been updated, they have not been changed to reflect new development trends,” Danner said. “A lot of the updates are purely functional, but I also think it’s progressing on our part as we consider our long-term planning and zoning efforts.”

By establishing an updated UDO, the city will have a streamlined, organized, and easy-to-navigate document that addresses topics and standards ranging from review procedures and zoning districts to development standards related to parking, signage and architecture, Kaade said.

She cautioned that rules set by the city will not supersede those set out in homeowners association (HOA) agreements.

For more information on the process, visit cityofgreer.org.

Examples of accessory units:

  • carport
  • Belvedere
  • Public baths
  • storage hut
  • Garage

Examples of secondary suites:

  • Mother-in-Law Cottage
  • Apartment-garage

Proposed changes include:

  • requiring AUs to be located on the same lot as the main building
  • requiring UAs to be built aft and to the side of the main structure
  • require the owner to live in either the primary residence or the ADU
  • requiring an ADU to be sold as part of the principal residence
  • require that the facade of any accessory structure match the colors of the main building
  • limit ADUs to one per property
  • limit residential AUs to no more than 35 feet in height and non-residential AUs to no more than 40 feet in height
  • limit ADUs to the lesser of 750 square feet or one-third of the main building’s habitable floor plan
  • limit ADUs not to exceed the height of the main structure next to it

About Jermaine Chase

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