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Fountain Hills residents with a guest house or casita on their property may now include a kitchen as part of this secondary dwelling unit.

The council voted unanimously at its Aug. 24 session to amend the Zoning Ordinance to allow for the use. Councilman Dennis Brown, a general contractor and homebuilder, said he has been trying for nearly 20 years to get such a change.

Brown thanked Development Services Director John Wesley for his work on the amendment.

Wesley pointed out in his report to the council some of the challenges faced in developing the ordinance. One of the primary reasons for a prohibition on kitchens in the regulations is that the town cannot create de facto duplex units on property zoned for single dwellings. Also, there is a ban on commercial uses in single family zoning districts.

Some of the key elements within the revisions to the ordinance are:

*Kitchens are no longer prohibited.

*Use of 220 power is no longer prohibited.

*An additional parking space is required if the structure is used as a guest house.

*An illustration is required that shows that if the guest house is in front of the front plan of the house it can be no farther from the front of the house than one-half the depth of the guest house.

The ordinance amendment also included changes in regulations related to large accessory buildings.