Updated policies make it easier to build casitas in Tucson

As of 2021, Tucson allows Casitas or Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in areas that permit residential uses. A Casita is a small second home located on the same lot as an existing residence. More than a guesthouse or dorm, a Casita has its own entrance, kitchen, bathroom, living room, and sleeping area. Casitas are just one way to add to a varied and flexible housing offering in Tucson. City departments are working together to remove some barriers so that more people can own and rent these types of homes. Some recent policy updates help simplify the process or reduce costs in some cases.

Casita conversions have different building code requirements

Casitas that are created by modifying existing permitted structures (such as guest houses, garages, or sheds) do not have to meet the same solar, gray water, and electric vehicle charging requirements as new ones. constructions.

Shared or separate utilities are possible

Separate utility requirements do not apply to accessory structures, including Casitas. Utilities may be shared with the main structure of the property.

Use this document to learn about new regulations and how to design and license a casita. For more information on Casitas in Tucson, visit the project page.

More information coming soon

Other programs in development include a Casita Amnesty program, which is a way for owners to bring a Casita built before December 2021 “up to code” through an application delay, safety inspection and reduced fees. Another strategy is to create pre-approved Casita model plans that provide a faster, easier, and more predictable design and permitting process.

Daniel L. Vasquez