Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)? 

An ADU is an additional residential space that occupies the same lot as a primary home. In Wayzata, these look like smaller, secondary residences on properties that already have a single-family home. They must have their own kitchen, bathroom, and living area.

What does an ADU look like? 

ADUs can be interior to an existing home, an addition to an existing home or accessory building (like a detached garage), or a smaller separate building in the rear yard. Interior ADUs are typically attic or basement conversions. ADUs are also called guest houses, carriage houses, or in-law apartments. 

What are the benefits of an ADU? 

ADUs can be...

1. An affordable way to create an additional unit on an existing lot - there's no need to acquire land and utility infrastructure is typically shared with the existing home.

2. Convenient and flexible spaces for family members, friends, or renters - having an independent living space very close by can allow seniors to age in place with family support, college students to return home while still maintaining their independence, or other loved ones to stay for a while still maintaining their own space. ADUs may also be rented in Wayzata. 

3. Environmentally friendly - the creation of an ADU requires much less resources than building a new single-family home and the small size of ADUs means that they require less energy to heat and cool. 

What are the rules for building an ADU in Wayzata? 

Chapter 937.03.A of City Code outlines most of the regulations around ADUs. Other regulations regarding your zoning district or accessory structures in general may apply depending on what is proposed. Anyone interested in creating an ADU should contact Valerie Quarles, Assistant Planner, at 952-404-5323 or In short: 

  • Area: Depending on your zoning district, ADUs are limited to 33% of the primary residence's living area, or 960 square feet, whichever is smaller. For instance, if your house were 1500 square feet, any ADU space you create would be limited to 500 square feet. The minimum size for an ADU in all districts is 300 square feet. 
  • Lot size: Detached ADUs (separate structures) are not allowed on properties that are smaller than 11,000 square feet. However, interior ADUs and additions may still be possible. 
  • Architecture: An ADU should maintain visual consistency with the main home. 
  • Parking: Single-family homes require two off-street parking spaces. If you build an ADU, your property will need to have three total off-street parking spaces. 
  • Owner occupation: Either the main home or the ADU must be owner-occupied. A home with an ADU cannot have both units rented out. 
  • Renting: If an ADU is rented, it will require a rental license. 
  • Number: No more than one ADU is allowed on a single lot. 
  • Setbacks: New detached ADUs should follow the zoning district's principal structure setbacks. If the ADU is a conversion of an existing accessory structure (as of June 30, 2022) that does not meet principal structure setbacks, the conversion is subject to accessory structure setbacks.

Additional Resources

Wayzata Zoning Map - June 2022

Family Housing Fund - ADU Guidebook