• City of Tacoma QA
  • City of Tacoma OpenData


ADU Regulations

Latest News

On December 7, 2021, the City Council adopted Amended Ordinance No. 28793 including changes to the City's Accessory Dwelling Unit rules. The changes addressed issues in the code that have posed challenges over the past two years since the major ADU Code updates were enacted. For more information visit the Home In Tacoma Project web page. 


ADU Regulations Effective on May 1, 2019

On March 19, 2019 the City Council adopted Amended Ordinance No. 28756 enacting a package of changes to the City's Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) regulations. The changes went into effect on May 1, 2019.  The changes made it easier to construct ADUs citywide, including Detached ADUs located in backyards. In September 2020, Planning and Development Services staff provided an ADU Status Update of the first 16 months of permitting under the new ADU Code.


Relevant documents are posted below.  Additional information, especially with respect to permit submittal, can be found at www.TacomaPermits.org.  


City Council Actions 

The City Council conducted the first and final readings of Amended Ordinance No. 28576 on March 5 and 19, respectively, after holding a public hearing on February 19, 2019, pertaining to the proposed Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) code amendments, as recommended by the Planning Commission on October 17, 2018 and subsequently modified by the City Council's Infrastructure, Planning and Sustainability (IPS) Committee on January 23, 2019.


Posted below for documentation purposes are some materials associated with the Council's actions:  

Council Committee Reviews 

The Council's Infrastructure, Planning and Sustainability (IPS) Committee reviewed the proposal, as recommended by the Planning Commission, on December 12, 2018 and January 23, 2019, and made its recommendation to the full Council on January 23rd.

  • IPS Committee Packet (January 23, 2019)
  • IPS Committee Packet (December 12, 2018)
  • Planning Commission Reviews 

    The Planning Commission made a recommendation to the City Council on October 17, 2018, concerning the proposed Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) Permanent Regulations.  The Commission formulated its recommendations based on a series of deliberations during July-October 2018 and a public hearing held on October 3, 2018.  Posted below are materials that document the Commission's review process of the subject:

  • Planning Commission Recommendation Packet (October 17, 2018) 
  • Planning Commission Presentation (October 17, 2018)   
  • Planning Commission Agenda Packet (October 17, 2018)   
  • Planning Commission Presentation (October 3, 2018)   
  • Planning Commission Agenda Packet (October 3, 2018)
  • ADU Public Hearing Packet (for October 3, 2018)
  • ADU Environmental Review Packet (for October 3, 2018)
  • Planning Commission Presentation (September 5, 2018))  
  • Planning Commission Agenda Packet (September 5, 2018)  
  • Planning Commission Presentation (August 1, 2018)
  • Planning Commission Agenda Packet (August 1, 2018)  
  • Planning Commission Presentation (July 18, 2018)
  • Planning Commission Agenda Packet (July 18, 2018)    
  • Project Overview

    In response to the acute housing need and concerns of displacement in the City, as well as level of community interest, City Council passed Resolution No. 39886 in December 2017 requesting the Planning Commission to modify Tacoma Municipal Code (TMC) 13.05.115 to increase the number of Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADUs) allowed and to review design standards and review processes for the entire Residential Infill Pilot Program.


    Subsequent conversations with the Infrastructure, Planning, and Sustainability Committee, as well the Planning Commission have redirected efforts toward increasing capacity by allowing DADUs outright in single family zoning districts. This will end DADUs as a part of the pilot program and move DADUs into a comprehensive Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) code that covers detached and attached types.


    Project Schedule

    The project was initiated in July-August 2018 and completed in March-May 2019.


    Staff Contact

    Elliott Barnett, Senior Planner
    (253) 591-5389