Additional Dwelling Units, Information and Applications

An Additional Dwelling Unit, or ADU, is a dwelling unit that is either attached to the principal single-family dwelling unit, or is contained in a structure on the same parcel as the principal structure (e.g., in a garage or barn, or a standalone dwelling). 

ADUs may be allowed in most areas of La Plata County, provided the ADU complies with LUC Sec. 73-3, and fall under a few different permit types; see below to determine which type may work for your needs. If the parcel is in the Animas Valley, different requirements may apply, please give us a call.

Please be advised additional review fees may be required as part of the application process if existing structures and/or uses are found to be out of compliance with the land use code pursuant to LUC Sec. 80-8.V

Please contact the Planning Department to confirm which of these application types meets your needs prior to applying.

Director Determination ADU Permit

Administrative ADU Permit

Minor and Major ADU Permit

One single residence is allowed on a vacant legal lot of record; mobile homes, basement units, RVs and RV hook-upstiny homes, space over a garage, yurts, attached and detached structures may all be considered an Additional Dwelling Unit. If you are considering additional space, the following information may help to determine if an ADU permit is required.

Additional 'living space' may include the following, with no ADU permit required:
  • A full bathroom.
  • Attachment to the main residence with a separate entrance.
  • Placement in/with a detached structure.
  • Bedrooms.
  • An under-counter refrigerator.
  • A wet bar that includes a single compartment bar sink with maximum dimensions of 15” x 15” (width/length) x 8” (depth).   
  • A laundry room (may contain a utility sink).
  • A standard, countertop microwave oven (requiring no more than a 120 Volt power source).
  • A kiln for firing pottery (art facilities may also include a utility sink).
  • Is not a long or short term rental/cannot be lived in independently.
The 'living space' is an Additional Dwelling Unit, and requires an ADU permit if:
  • structure can be used for long or short term rental, or lived in independently from the primary dwelling.
  • structure contains a stove/oven/range, or the supporting 240-V electric hookup or equivalent gas piping for cooking facilities.
  • structure contains a microwave that requires an electric hookup greater than typical countertop appliances (no more than 110/120 Volts).
  • structure contains a single or double compartment sink designed for use in a kitchen (a sink that has dimensions larger than a bar sink).
  • structure contains a kitchen.
If you live in Animas Valley, there are additional zoning rules pertaining specifically to granny flats; confirm your zoning classification by visiting the La Plata County GIS Mapping site or call the Planning Department. 

There are multiple Additional Dwelling Unit permit options, please refer to the table or flow chart below to view the requirements of each option and determine which permit type you will need.
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