Wellfleet, MA

The Town of Wellfleet, MA on Cape Cod has allowed ADUs since 2002, but through 2021 they were required to be deed-restricted affordable housing for income-eligible renters. (Massachusetts has no statewide ADU requirement.) The Town’s affordability requirements were matched by property tax relief for the homeowners, as well as grants by the local Housing Authority for construction. Still, between 2002 and 2020, only 11 affordable ADUs were permitted in Wellfleet, though hundreds of grandfathered ADUs and illegal ADUs exist there. In 2021, Wellfleet Town Meeting passed amendments to remove affordability requirements for ADUs, hoping the move would bring broader market affordability. ADUs are now permitted by right in most of Wellfleet, as long as they meet the zoning’s specifications. The (attached or detached) ADUs must be between 600 and 1,200 square feet in size and require two parking spaces. The ADU must be rented out on a year-round basis. Renting the ADU seasonally or as a short-term rental results in a daily $300 fine.
A birds-eye photograph of a 1.5-story accessory dwelling unit. The home has wooden shingle walls and slate shingle roof with traditional windows, including a large set of windows in the loft area. The unit sits on a raised foundation over a slab. The home is surrounded by trees and brush.
An ADU in Wellfleet, MA. (Image via Wellfleet Housing)