Planning & Urban Design

​Current Planning

​Accessory Dwelling Units

For more information, please contact Erica Greene, Senior Planner, at (214) 671-7930 or via email at If you're interested in receiving emails regarding this item, please sign up online by clicking here.

  • Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee (ZOAC) Meeting - October 1, 2020 (action was taken to hold on potential code amendments)
    Case Report
  • Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee (ZOAC) Meeting - August 20, 2020
    Case Report
  • Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee (ZOAC) Meeting – July 23, 2020

Reference Material

July 29, 2020

On June 27, 2018, City Council approved two different options, each with very specific regulations, that would allow Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to be built and/or rented.  However, action is required by the City (on one of the two options below) before an ADU can be built.  ADUs are not allowed to be built by right in most cases.

  1. Accessory Dwelling Unit Overlay (ADUO) :  Ordinance
    1. A neighborhood driven process where a neighborhood would come together to submit an application to the City to create an overlay that would allow ADUs.
    2. Neighborhood committee consisting of at least 10 property owners within the proposed overlay area would form and provide to the department (Sustainable Development and Construction – Current Planning): List of Committee members, boundary map and plat of neighborhood or area of request.
    3. City staff would conduct a neighborhood meeting, with notices sent to all property owners within the area of request, and generate the petitions necessary for signature
    4. Neighborhood committee is responsible for gathering the signatures and submitting the petitions to the city for verification. Petitions must be signed by more than 50% of the property owners within the area of request and verified by staff in order for an application for on overlay to be considered.
    5. Once an application has been submitted to the department, the request for an overlay will be scheduled for City Plan Commission (CPC) consideration at a public hearing.
    6. If approval is recommended at CPC, it will be scheduled for City Council (CC) consideration at a public hearing.
    7. If CC approves, an Accessory Dwelling Unit Overlay is placed over the neighborhood and property owners may then submit necessary plans and documents to Building Inspection for permits to build an ADU.
      ADUO Process Flowchart
      ADUO Neighborhood Committee Form
  2. Board of Adjustment process:  Ordinance
    1. A property owner may file an application with the Board of Adjustment (if applicable for their property) requesting a special exception to allow an additional dwelling unit to be built and/or rented.
    2. An application is submitted to the Building Inspection Division at the Oak Cliff Municipal Center, 320 East Jefferson, Room 105. This is where one can obtain a Board of Adjustment application, a checklist of what materials are needed to be submitted in conjunction with the application, the month in which the completed application would be scheduled before one of the three board panels, and the amount for the related application filing fee ($600.00 for an ADU exception).
    3. The Board administrator will schedule the case, and will notify the applicant by mail of the hearing date, time, and location.
    4. The applicant, or the applicant's representative, is encouraged to attend both the briefing and the hearing. The applicant has the burden of proof to establish the necessary facts to warrant favorable action by the Board.
    5. The Board will hear and decide special exception request for an ADU expressly provided for in the zoning ordinance. In general, the Board may grant a special exception when, in the opinion of the board, the special exception will not adversely affect neighboring property. The Board does not consider how the appeal may benefit the applicant. No case sets a precedent. 

Click here for Board of Adjustment webpage and information: