Next Tuesday, Feb. 5, the Missoula Consolidated Planning Board will meet to discuss whether or not accessory dwelling units (ADUs) should be allowed to be built on land In Missoula currently zoned single family. Councilman Alex Taft of Ward 3 is pushing for the rule change and claims it will bring a host of benefits.

"ADU is a tool that allows you to not have to build new infrastructure, and not to have more traffic, and not to have an overloaded police and fire department because they're closer to town," explains Taft who also pointed out that the reduced trafic would lead to better air quality in Missoula because of more people "using public transport to get to work, biking and walking, there are just all kinds of benefits."

Alex Taft:

A group of Missoulians are fighting back against the proposal through an organization called Save Our Neighborhoods. They claim that ADUs could hurt property values and are an affront to those who purchased property in the past with the expectation that their home would stay in single family zoning.

"We have protections in there about the design of the building," explains Taft. "You have to actually go to city council if you're gonna put a separate building on your property. If you don't, if your putting in an attic apartment or a basement apartment, you may put those in by right."

Taft says it is possible that the city council considers only allowing accessory dwelling units near the university or only allowing a certain number of them to be built. For now, however, the plan is to apply the new Accessory dwelling unit rules to all areas of Missoula.