Albuquerque approves zoning changes, allowing more casitas

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque City Council approved some zoning changes earlier this week.

The new zoning laws are going to have a big impact on people building casitas on their property – one of the major topics that generated debate.

City officials told KOB 4 that building “accessory dwelling units,” or casitas, will help multigenerational families stay together and add more units to their housing stock.

This has been in the works for months. City reps said the main driving force behind all of the zoning laws is to create “desperately needed new housing for all segments of the housing market in Albuquerque.”

Casitas would now be allowed in most residential-zoned areas. They would be limited to 750 square feet and would require off-street parking.

Mayor Tim Keller shared the following statement:

“Lifting outdated and restrictive zoning will help generations stay together, seniors downsize, and young people find options that fit their need.”

Another concern about the zoning changes is the idea of people coming to Albuquerque and buying homes with casitas and renting them out on websites like Airbnb.

City reps explained that homeowners can still build casitas in their backyards for the purpose of renting them out, as long as they follow the rules written in the short-term rental ordinance.