Last week for the web, Jasmine Gallup wrote about Raleigh’s new program to fast-track design and permitting for ADUs, a.k.a. accessory dwelling units, a.k.a. granny flats, backyard cottages, or attached apartments. The piece generated a lot of discussion on our Facebook page.

“Any chance Durham could do this too??” asked commenter Donya Smith.

“Durham Planning Commissioners proposed this type of program in 2018 as part of an amendment process that they called ‘expanding housing choices,’” responded commenter Nate Baker (who is also a member of the Durham Planning Commission). “Ultimately, the city chose not to pursue that option. But we should and there’s nothing stopping us.”

Commenter Kenneth Webb says that Durham already has a version of the program. But, Webb notes, “Raleigh’s sounds easier.”

“What do you think it costs for labor/supplies to build? For the insurance? And for maintenance?” asked commenter Mary Molina.

“A lot,” Thad Anderson said in response to Molina. “I mean, we have a garage that is a perfect candidate and it wasn’t really worth doing because of the costs and being located in a non-prime neighborhood. I’m a big fan of the council’s work on ADUs, but the costs are going to be prohibitive for a lot of use cases. I say that in part bc the scare stories about these being in every back yard are very overstated due to cost vs. ROI. If someone lives right near downtown, yes this could be a great idea.”

“I imagine it would be worth doing for someone who is going to use it as a granny flat or an office rather than an Air b n b,” added commenter Kelli Raker.

“Makes you go hmm,” said commenter Sarah Jessica Farber. “I clicked through and looked at the plans and they are fantastic.”

But every plan has its critics.

“So now a lot of people are going to be running Airbnb in their backyards,” said commenter Robert Shank. “Rental properties!”

“I’m wondering where this ‘affordable housing’ they speak of is located,” said commenter Christy Lancaster Brown.

We also got the following email message on Gallup’s cover story from last week on the lawsuit that two Raleigh families are bringing against RPD for illegally raiding their homes using a no-knock warrant, handcuffing their children, and generally traumatizing everyone involved. Writes reader Terrance Duff:

“As I write this, I just heard about another police officer ambushed and murdered coming to a domestic violence complaint, 218 police killed this year from all causes with 9 in North Carolina. Of course, the police need a watchdog group but the police are not the problem. Of course anyone, Kenya Walton, who has been wronged needs a proper apology and recompense. The root cause problem starts with the rejection of the many freedoms and opportunities that our great Country provides everyone and continuing to vote for those failed schools and crime ridden neighborhoods. I wish there were organizations like Emancipate NC that focused on the reform of neighborhoods, which is the real problem. The goal would be to conform to simple norms; get an education, a job, then get married and then children, buy a house, avoid criminal activity and quit blaming others for your failures. Works every time it is tried.”

Ah, yes, conforming to “simple norms.” Definitely works every time.

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