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Existing ADU Application

  1. This application is exclusively for properties which have an existing dwelling unit which may qualify as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU).  Before continuing, please review this informational handout regarding the process to legalize an existing ADU. After submitting this application, review will take up to 3 weeks. If additional information or clarity is required from you, then you will be contacted by staff.

  2. Ownership Required*

    Only the property owner is authorized to submit this application.

  3. ADU Legalization Process*

    Prior to August 15, 2022, Accessory Dwelling Units were not permitted by Wheat Ridge City Code.  It is understood, however, that ADUs may exist in the community for one reason or another.  Per Section 26-646.F of the City Code, owners of property currently containing structures or portions of structures which may fall within the definition of ADU are granted the right to apply to the City for approval of an ADU until August 15, 2024. It is important to note that:

    • some existing units may be approved as is, 
    • some may require modifications to comply with life safety codes, and 
    • some may not be able to legalized as independent dwelling units. 

    The informational handout describes the review process related to existing dwelling units which may qualify as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU).  

  4. Deed Restriction*

    Per Section 26-646 of the City Code, property owners are required to live in either the ADU or the primary dwelling on a property. This is accomplished through a two-page deed restriction which also prohibits the ADU from being sold separately from the primary dwelling. A sample deed restriction is provided at the bottom of this page:

  5. Do you currently reside in either the primary home or ADU on the subject property?*

    The City acknowledges that there may be some existing dwellings which can be legalized as ADUs, but the property owner may not be residing in the primary home or in the ADU. That may be okay! If owners submit this application to legalize the ADU prior to August 15, 2024, then it may be possible to approve a temporary waiver of the owner occupancy requirement. If you do not currently occupy the primary home or the ADU, staff will contact you to discuss next steps to determine if the occupancy requirement can be waived in your situation.

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  10. Describe the location and history of the ADU. The more detail you can provide regarding the ADU, the more information staff will have to determine whether dwelling is legally nonconforming or unsanctioned as described in the informational handout.  You will have the ability to upload documentation below.

  11. Does the ADU have access to the outside as either direct access or through a common hall? *

    (In other words, if you answer "yes" below you are saying that you don’t have to go through the primary home to go from the ADU to outside.)

  12. Does the unit have cooking, sleeping, living and bathing space?*

    In order to be considered an independent dwelling unit, an ADU must have all of these features.


    Use the following upload fields to provide documentation related to the ADU. These are not required but are strongly recommended; the more information provided, the better staff can make a determination.  Supporting documentation could include evidence of any prior approval by the City, photographs of the unit, documentation of separate taps or utilities, documentation of address assignment for the ADU, etc.

  14. If you have additional documentation to submit, you will have the ability to email those additional items to staff after submitting this application.

  15. I attest that everything stated in this application is true and correct and that falsifying information in this application is an act of fraud.*
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  17. This field is not part of the form submission.