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We're hearing this question a lot

In Portland and Seattle, we’re hearing this question a lot: “Can I build an ADU on my property?” Given the advent of Airbnb, the move towards hybrid/WFH, and startups like Radious, it’s no surprise that many people want to build a ADU or home studio/office.

But there’s still a web of regulations to wade through to see if your property is eligible for an additional dwelling unit (ADU). This has been complicated/clarified by new zoning rules that were recently instated.

So let’s take a look at the numbers.

How many (formerly) single-family zoned lots are there in Portland?


But how many of them currently exceed the maximum allowable built area, making them ineligible for an ADU? UrbanForm can instantly determine if the existing property exceeds the current FAR limit (because they were built under different zoning regulations) using the MaxBuild statistics. How many of those are there?


Almost exactly 10% of existing lots are already over the allowable built square footage limit, based on a multiplier of the lot size calculation (FAR).

Time it took UrbanForm to find these numbers? About 10 seconds.

Time it would have taken without UrbanForm? Essentially impossible.

UrbanForm can tell you instantly if your property is a good candidate for an ADU.

And one more thing: we can recommend an architect that can guide you through the process. There are great architects who are using UrbanForm to get past the “Can I build?” question as quickly as possible, so they can spend more time guiding you through the “Let’s make something great” process.


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