Starting Dec. 1, owners of eligible properties can apply for rural Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) permits through Deschutes County Community Development.

On Nov. 1, the Board of Commissioners passed new rules to allow ADUs in certain unincorporated areas of Deschutes County after considering public feedback and recommendations from the Deschutes County Planning Commission.

Not all properties will be eligible for ADUs. Based on state and local ordinances, rural ADUs are subject to additional development standards compared to typical residential projects.

To qualify for an ADU:

  • The property must be located in a rural residential zoned area (*RR10, MUA10, UAR10, SR 2 1/2, & WTZ Zones)
  • In most unincorporated areas of the County, the property must be at least two acres. In Southern Deschutes County, the property must be at least five acres.
  • The ADU is limited to 900 square feet of useable floor space (*excludes attached garage areas, porches, and decks)
  • The ADU must be located within 100 feet from the primary dwelling
  • The ADU must comply with all applicable state laws relating to water supply, sanitation and wastewater disposal

For a full list of zoning standards and permitting requirements, please visit:

On Thursday, Nov. 30, staff will host a public information session for anyone who is interested in learning more about rural ADUs. The session will be held in the Barnes and Sawyer Room of the Deschutes Services Center, 1300 NW Wall Street, in Bend from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. The session will be held in-person with an option to attend virtually as well. Please RSVP at the following link if you wish to attend in-person as there will be limited space available:

If you have general questions concerning ADU development, please contact the Deschutes County Planning Division: