By Mike Kruzman /

Hamburg Township officials are considering a Zoning Ordinance amendment to allow for a certain type of accessory dwelling on waterfront property.

In May 2015 the Township Board approved a zoning text amendment which allowed and regulated Accessory Dwelling Units on specific lots within the Township, but not in the Waterfront Residential or Natural Rivers districts that abut or have access to a waterbody. At a meeting last month, the Board of Trustees held discussion on removing that restriction.

During this past Tuesday’s online meeting, with more information from Planning and Zoning Consultant Scott Pacheco, they further discussed the possibility of allowing attached accessory dwelling units in the WFR and NR zones. Attached dwellings, for example, could include attic, above garage, or basement living spaces. Board members were still firmly against detached dwellings, like guest houses. Township Treasurer Jason Negri said he was in favor of, and saw less risks, with attached dwellings. He said many people want these for family members, like he has used it for. Negri said he sees a potential for a problem with a detached structure in that people might be tempted to rent it out to people they can make money off of. He believes people will be less likely to rent it out to strangers as a purely commercial transaction if it’s attached to the house.

Most of the board was in agreeance, with Trustee Bill Hahn being the only one against. Hahn explained that he didn’t want any more accessory dwelling units of either type, saying that the lakes are already overcrowded and there are too many boats on the water. Others on the Board felt that there may be a changing of tides, so to speak, and that when we get out of this pandemic, people may want to be closer to their families, and this is one path towards that.

The board passed a motion to send the idea for the amendment to the Planning Commission to begin work on.