An ordinance adopted by City Council in January now allows for the conversion of garages into additional living space.
The Planning and Development Services Department receives numerous inquiries from homeowners who are interested in converting their garages. The City requires two garage enclosed parking spaces and two driveway spaces in residential zoning districts, effectively prohibiting garage conversions. However, in some cases, particularly in older neighborhoods where deed restrictions don’t prevent conversions, we noticed conversions occurring despite the parking requirements. The primary reason the City adopted this ordinance is to ensure converted garage space meets building codes pertaining to health and safety.
The garage conversion ordinance applies to single-family and two-family dwellings on lots platted prior to 2002. This cut-off date was chosen because prior to 2002, the Zoning Ordinance did not require two garage-enclosed parking spaces, effectively re-establishing a property right that was previously in effect for many older neighborhoods.
The new ordinance does not allow the converted garage to be used as a separate dwelling unit, and it provides architectural and materials standards to foster a consistent design between the house and the converted garage space.
Please refer to the Garage Conversion brochure for information on eligibility and requirements for garage conversions. If you have additional questions, contact Senior Planner Joelle Jordan at 512-218-5422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.