White text reads City of Lakewood Public Hearing. Above the text is the City of Lakewood emblem in white. The background is a photo of Lakewood City Hall.

Lakewood to hold public hearing on ADUs and short-term rentals

Nov. 3, 2023

At its regular meeting Nov. 6, 2023, the Lakewood City Council will hold public hearing on proposed 2023 annual development regulation code amendments. One of the 12 proposed amendments relates to accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and whether they should be allowed as short-term rentals.

The Lakewood Planning Commission reviewed the proposed code amendment. After discussion and holding a public hearing, the commission voted to recommend owners of ADUs be allowed to rent them on a short-term basis.

Lakewood planning and development staff recommended against this. Planning staff cited a concern that it will worsen the existing housing crisis facing the region. A prohibition would mean ADUs could be used as new affordable housing units to help meet regional housing needs, according to the city staff recommendation. Staff also cited concerns about neighborhood impacts. And an increase to property values and rental prices if more short-term rentals are introduced to the market.

In a 4-1 vote, Planning Commission members recommended ADUs be allowed to be converted to short-term rentals. Reasons included they offer a return on investment. Building them brings more housing to the market. And a belief the market will eventually force short-term rentals to a long-term rental model.

The public can comment on the proposed amendments Monday, Nov. 6, 2023. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers, 6000 Main Street SW.

The other proposed code amendments are technical and cleanup city code.

One amendment, if approved, would allow commercial childcare facilities in more of Lakewood’s land use zones. It would also make it easier for owners to get the facilities permitted. This change is in response to a county- and city-wide shortage of childcare facilities. And a need for more affordable childcare options.