Should city regulations be changed to allow for more accessory dwelling units, or ADUs?

That is the question Austin residents are invited to help answer Oct. 20 during the second community meeting related to a City Council proposal that would potentially encourage the development of more ADUs—also known as granny flats, mother-in-law suites or garage apartments that are secondary, smaller living units on the same lot as a primary house.

Councilman Chris Riley in June proposed eliminating parking and driveway requirements to encourage more ADUs. He also argued that secondary units could help provide more affordable housing options and serve as a source of income for residents struggling with increasing property tax bills.

"Frankly, when it comes down to it, the real issue is that right now I'm more concerned about housing people than storing cars," Riley said at the time, suggesting council allow for more garage-style apartments. "We really have an issue of providing access of housing to people who want to live in the city."

An initial public hearing was held Sept. 18 during which the city presented its proposal and accepted comments from attendees.

Following the Oct. 20 second public hearing, the city's Code and Ordinances Subcommittee is tentatively scheduled Nov. 18 to hear any staff proposal related to ADUs.

The full Planning Commission would next take up any ADU-related item Nov. 25, according to a city spokeswoman, with the goal to have any staff recommendation to City Council by Dec. 11—before any new council members take office, she said.

The second public hearing takes place 7–9 p.m. Oct. 20 at the One Texas Center, 505 Barton Springs Road, Room 325.