Boulder Lifts ADU Restrictions

Beginning in September, Boulder homeowners will be able to build an ADU on their property with far more ease than previously existed. Boulder's City Council recently lifted many of the restrictions that had limited ADU construction, including:

  • Saturation limit. There will be no saturation limit on ADUs, meaning all owner-occupied single-family homes are eligible.
  • Size. ADUs can be built up to 1000 square feet, regardless of the size of the main home.
  • Construction time. Property owners will have more time to complete construction following approval.
  • Height limits. There will be greater flexibility on the height limits of existing structures.
  • Process. The application process can be completed in one step instead of two.
Ready to get your ADU on?
  • You'll want to get plans first, then go through approval, then construct the ADU. Check out Studio Shed for some great pre-fab plans! Once approved, they will do the installation and everything. Easy peasy.
  • Before you get started, be sure you have read the City's the nitty-gritty details.

The decision to integrate ADUs into Boulder's housing landscape is not only a significant stride towards more flexible and affordable housing options, but it also brings along myriad social, economic, and environmental benefits. Here are several reasons why ADUs are a smart and beneficial move for Boulder:

Affordable Housing Solution

As property prices continue to rise, ADUs present an excellent way to create more affordable housing without significantly changing the character of a neighborhood. With an ADU, homeowners can rent out extra space for additional income, and renters can find more affordable options in communities they might not otherwise be able to afford.

Diverse Housing Options

ADUs add diversity to the housing mix, accommodating a wide range of inhabitants from young professionals to empty nesters. This creates multi-generational neighborhoods that can lead to a more vibrant, dynamic community. For families, an ADU can serve as a living space for aging parents or grown children, keeping loved ones close while still providing privacy.

Sustainable Growth

By increasing density in existing neighborhoods, ADUs utilize Boulder's limited space efficiently, reducing the need for sprawling development. This aligns with Boulder's long-standing commitment to sustainability and green living. Smaller dwelling units also typically use fewer resources and generate less waste than larger homes, making them an environmentally friendly housing option.

Boosting Local Economy

In addition to providing affordable housing, ADUs can stimulate the local economy. The construction of these units can create jobs and provide income for local builders, contractors, and architects. Once built, these units can generate additional income for homeowners who choose to rent them out.


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