Accessible dwelling units and sustainable living

In regard to the recent conversation about housing options, I support zoning changes that will permit accessory dwelling units in our neighborhood. And I especially support plans that would allow such units to be part of existing homes. My reasons grow out of a deep environmental concern. For me, this is linked to peace and justice issues. We are to walk more gently on the earth.

About a third of a person’s energy use is due to housing. As a personal action to decrease our energy footprint, my husband, Michael, and I would like to explore sharing part of our home—a room and a kitchenette—with a student or a visiting faculty member. We know we are able to live with a bit less space. We think this could be quite enjoyable. When our daughter and granddaughter lived with us for a few years, we loved it.

There is one issue—both of us are strong introverts! So this arrangement may not work for us. However, I want our neighbors to have options to share their dwellings and property if they wish. Accessory dwelling units are a hopeful, creative and potentially inspiring way toward a sustainable lifestyle.

Regula Russelle, St. Anthony Park

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