Marblehead Planning Board to Hold Public Forum Regarding the Possibility of ADUs(Accessory Dwelling Units) in Town

The Marblehead Planning Board will hold the online public forum on Wednesday June 29, 2022 at 7:00 PM remote on Zoom to talk about the possibility of “accessory dwelling units” (ADUs) in Marblehead.

Join through this link:

or Dial in +1 646 558 8656 US

Meeting ID: 876 4422 6061

Passcode: 826686

ADUs are second smaller, independent residential dwelling unit located within or on the same lot as a single-family home. ADUs go by many different names and are commonly referred to as in-law apartments.

Presently zoning laws in Marblehead prohibit most homeowners from adding ADU's to single family houses. The planning board has been researching this issue and looking into possible changes to the zoning regulations to allow ADUs.

The population in Marblehead is aging. The number of persons over 55 has increased by over 20% in the last 10 years.  As people live longer, more housing options are needed. Increasingly, people are asking about options for parents to live with them and ways to remain in their houses.

Potential changes could allow homeowners to downsize while remaining in their homes, give their children or parents a place to live, or provide an extra source of income by renting out an ADU. Many Massachusetts communities have adopted or are considering changes to their bylaws regarding ADUs as a way to help with family needs and with housing.

There will be benefits and concerns in permitting ADU's.  The planning board has done a survey online, is holding focus groups and researching what other towns have done. No decisions have been made this is a forum to gain input.

After public feedback and more research, the Planning Board will decide whether to draft zoning bylaw amendments to the existing Zoning Bylaw to allow ADU’s in Marblehead. If they do proceed there would be another public engagement prior to finalizing. Any proposed changes would then be placed on the Annual Town warrant and would need to be approved by the Town Meeting.