photo courtesy of al3xadk1n5/

ADU is an acronym for "Accessory Dwelling Unit', and refers to either attached or unattached living space built on single or multiple family lots in Missoula.

Many feel ADU's are the ideal vehicle to provide truly 'affordable housing' for Missoula, while others believe ADU's will clutter established neighborhoods with extra crowding, traffic, pollution and parking problems.

The Missoula City Council has been working on the ADU issue since 2009, and will address it yet again at a meeting of the Office of Planning and Grants, (now known as Development Services) on February 5th.

Ward 5 City Councilor Dick Haines opposes allowing ADU's in all single-family neighborhoods, such as Ward 5, in the Miller Creek and Linda Vista areas.

Ward 5 City Councilman Dick Haines

A grass-roots organization called 'Save Our Neighborhoods' has been gathering signatures on a petition to deny the City Council the right to impose ADU's on single-family districts. Read about their opposition on their website.

Dennis Gordon of "Save Our Neighborhoods' says some City Councilors are in favor because ADU's would directly benefit their families, allowing a mother-in-law or another relative access to inexpensive housing by building on, or adding a small structure to their property.

Gordon also charges that the Office of Planning and grants recently funded a $17,000 public study of the issue, and when the results did not match their expectations, did not allow them to be introduced in a public meeting.

Gordon says if 25% of all Missoula residents in single-family dwellings sign their petition, the City Council would require a 2/3rds majority to pass the issue, rather than just a simple majority.

Dennis Gordon of 'Save Our Neighborhoods'