Missoula council approves Daly Street ADU on 11-1 vote

By Sherry Devlin/Missoula Current

The Missoula City Council approved an accessory dwelling unit – aka ADU, “mother-in-law house” or “backyard cottage” – during Monday night’s meeting.

But this ADU was neither as controversial as many of its predecessors nor fit the usual “backyard” descriptor.

In fact, this 420-square-foot house is in the front yard at 310 Daly Ave. and faces the street. The main residence sits back from the street.

And the building itself is already on the property, awaiting designation as an ADU so it can be remodeled for use by guests and, eventually, by the homeowner’s mother.

Resident Megan Moore said her own residence is too small to accommodate guests, and her aging mother will someday want to stay in the little house – to be nearer her daughter.

The property’s home dates to 1922. The smaller building has a similar look, and prompted no complaints from neighbors – most likely because it’s already on the property.

City planner Jenny Baker said the staff gave Moore’s request their seal of approval. So did 11 of the 12 City Council members.

Councilman Jon Wilkins, long an opponent of ADUs, cast the lone “no” vote.

In part, Wilkins questioned the request for a “conditional use permit” for the ADU, as it believes those requests are reserved for entities like in-home daycare centers.

In addition, he believes the University Area’s zoning is intended for one house per lot, not two, he said.