"We're all mad here."
- Lewis Carroll,
Recent emails sent to me by homeowners on
The owner moved into the main house and rented the ADU but over time this arrangement became blurred as the owner began to rent the main house, too. Since then, it has become a vacation rental that is advertised, even at this moment, on Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO.com). The four-car garage is now being used for storage according to Iowa Dr. residents thus negating a portion of the arrangement by which the ADU was approved. Cars now spill from the “circular driveway” into the street. The rental is currently being touted on VRBO thus: **Now accepting offers for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. The nearest venue, The Richmond Olypmic (sic) Oval, is only 48 miles from the home** Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Now the live-in homeowners on Iowa Dr. are faced with the fait accompli of an approved ADU. The owner of the property agreed to certain terms to gain approval from the city. He has, according to neighbors, moved into the ADU - sort 0f- but now seems to be ignoring both the spirit and the letter of that agreement and the law. (The owner must live in either the main house or the ADU. Click here to read the present code on ADUs.) Predictably, the neighbors are facing a time consuming and uphill climb in fighting for code enforcement.
Although this account is anecdotal in nature, it demonstrates that my warnings regarding these seemingly benign additions are valid. Once the Infill Tool Kit is approved and neighborhoods accept them as a means of infill, there will be Iowa Drives all over town. Given the city’s generalized hesitation regarding enforcement and the insufficient number of enforcement personnel, how will the character of our neighborhoods be protected? Enough to drive one mad, no?
[Do you have an ADU horror story? If so, send it to me at zonemaven AT hotmail DOT com.)