May 1 workshop to focus on proposed county code change to allow accessory dwelling unit to count as less than one unit for density purposes in certain situations

Discussion related to County Commission’s efforts to promote affordable housing in the community

This is an example of an accessory dwelling unit — a ‘granny flat’ — that could be used for workforce housing. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

At 5:30 p.m. on May 1, in the Training Room at the Sarasota County Administration Center, Sarasota County staff will hold a public workshop on a proposal to allow accessory dwelling units to be used to create more affordable housing opportunities in the community, the county has announced.

Accessory units are those such as garage apartments.

The Administration Center is located at 1660 Ringling Blvd. in downtown Sarasota.

The County Commission has been working toprovide more affordable housing in the community by approving amendments to county regulations to allow diverse types of housing. As a result, Sarasota County staff is considering an amendment to the county’s Unified Development Code (UDC) regarding how an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is addressed, a county news release explains.

In the UDC, an accessory dwelling unit counts as one unit and contributes to the overall density on a parcel, the release explains. Considerations to be discussed on May 1 include not counting an ADU as one dwelling unit when various conditions are met, such as its size and location. This change is not being proposed for the barrier islands, the release stresses.

The May 1 workshop is designed to gather public comments about the proposed change.

To amend the UDC, the release continues, staff would draft an ordinance, seek authorization to advertise a public hearing on the proposed amendment, and hold a public hearing for the County Commission to consider the amendment to the Unified Development Code. “Those steps have not been scheduled,” the release adds. They are dependent on the results of the workshop, the release points out.

Anyone unable to attend the workshop who would like to comment on the topic may submit a written statement via email to or by mail to the following address: Planning and Development Services Department,

1660 Ringling Blvd., 1st Floor, Sarasota, FL 34236.