Skip to main content

A. Purpose and Intent. The purpose and intent of this chapter is to encourage innovative site planning and variety in housing while ensuring compatibility with established neighborhoods, and to provide opportunities for ownership of small detached single-family dwellings for a population diverse in age, income, and household size. Where cottage housing developments are allowed, they are subject to Site Design Review under chapter 18.5.2, and shall meet all of the following requirements.

B. Exceptions and Variances. Requests to depart from the requirements of this chapter are subject to the approval criteria under subsection, Exception to the Site Development and Design Standards.

C. Development Standards. Cottage housing developments shall meet all of the following requirements:

1. Cottage Housing Density. The permitted number of units and minimum lot areas shall be as follows:

Table Cottage Housing Development Density


Maximum Cottage Density

Minimum Number of Cottages per Cottage Housing Development

Maximum Number of Cottages per Cottage Housing Development

Minimum Lot Size (Accommodates Minimum Number of Cottages)

Maximum Floor Area Ratio (FAR)

R-1-5, NN-1-5, NM-R-1-5

1 cottage dwelling unit per 2,500 square feet of lot area



7,500 square feet


R-1-7.5, NM-R-1-7.5

1 cottage dwelling unit per 3,750 square feet of lot area



11,250 square feet


2. Building and Site Design.

a. Maximum Floor Area Ratio. The combined gross floor area of all cottages and garages shall not exceed a 0.35 floor area ratio (FAR). Structures such as parking carports, greenhouses, and common accessory structures are exempt from the maximum floor area calculation.

b. Maximum Floor Area. The maximum gross habitable floor area for 75 percent or more of the cottages, within developments of four units or greater, shall be 800 square feet or less per unit. At least two of the cottages within three unit cottage housing developments shall have a gross habitable floor area of 800 square feet or less. The gross habitable floor area for any individual cottage unit shall not exceed 1,000 square feet.

c. Height. Building height of all structures shall not exceed 18 feet. The ridge of a pitched roof may extend up to 25 feet above grade.

d. Lot Coverage. Lot coverage shall meet the requirements of the underlying zone outlined in Table

e. Building Separation. A cottage development may include two-unit attached, as well as detached, cottages. With the exception of attached units, a minimum separation of six feet measured from the nearest point of the exterior walls is required between cottage housing units. Accessory buildings (e.g., carport, garage, shed, multipurpose room) shall comply with building code requirements for separation from nonresidential structures.

f. Fences. Notwithstanding the provisions of section, fence height is limited to four feet on interior areas adjacent to open space except as allowed for deer fencing in subsection Fences in the front and side yards abutting a public street, and on the perimeter of the development shall meet the fence standards of section

3. Access, Circulation, and Off-Street Parking Requirements. Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 18.3.9, Performance Standards Option and PSO Overlay, and part 18.4, Site Development and Design Standards, cottage housing developments are subject to the following requirements:

a. Public Street Dedications. Except for those street connections identified on the Street Dedication Map, the Commission may reduce or waive the requirement to dedicate and construct a public street as required in section upon finding that the cottage housing development meets connectivity and block length standards by providing public access for pedestrians and bicyclists with an alley, shared street, or multi-use path connecting the public street to adjoining properties.

b. Driveways and Parking Areas. Driveway and parking areas shall meet the vehicle area design standards of chapter 18.4.3.

i. Parking shall meet the minimum parking ratios per section

ii. Parking shall be consolidated to minimize the number of parking areas, and shall be located on the cottage housing development property.

iii. Off-street parking can be located within an accessory structure such as a multi-auto carport or garage, but such multi-auto structures shall not be attached to individual cottages. Single-car garages and carports may be attached to individual cottages. Uncovered parking is also permitted provided that off-street parking is screened in accordance with the applicable landscape and screening standards of chapter 18.4.4.

4. Open Space. Open space shall meet all of the following standards:

a. A minimum of 20 percent of the total lot area is required as open space.

b. Open space(s) shall have no dimension that is less than 20 feet unless otherwise granted an exception by the hearing authority. Connections between separated open spaces, not meeting this dimensional requirement, shall not contribute toward meeting the minimum open space area.

c. Shall consist of a central space, or series of interconnected spaces.

d. Physically constrained areas such as wetlands or steep slopes cannot be counted towards the open space requirement.

e. At least 50 percent of the cottage units shall abut an open space.

f. The open space shall be distinguished from the private outdoor areas with a walkway, fencing, landscaping, berm, or similar method to provide a visual boundary around the perimeter of the common area.

g. Parking areas and driveways do not qualify as open space.

Figure Cottage Housing Conceptual Site Plans

5. Private Outdoor Area. Each residential unit in a cottage housing development shall have a private outdoor area. Private outdoor areas shall be separate from the open space to create a sense of separate ownership.

a. Each cottage unit shall be provided with a minimum of 200 square feet of usable private outdoor area. Private outdoor areas may include gardening areas, patios, or porches.

b. No dimension of the private outdoor area shall be less than eight feet.

6. Common Buildings, Existing Nonconforming Structures and Accessory Residential Units.

a. Common Buildings. Up to 25 percent of the required common open space, but no greater than 1,500 square feet, may be utilized as a community building for the sole use of the cottage housing residents. Common buildings shall not be attached to cottages.

b. Carports and Garage Structures. Consolidated carports or garage structures, provided per subsection, are not subject to the area limitations for common buildings.

c. Nonconforming Dwelling Units. An existing single-family residential structure built prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section (December 21, 2017), which may be nonconforming with respect to the standards of this chapter, shall be permitted to remain. Existing nonconforming dwelling units shall be included in the maximum permitted cottage density. One thousand square feet of the habitable floor area of such nonconforming dwellings shall be included in the maximum floor area permitted per subsection Existing garages, other existing nonhabitable floor area, and the nonconforming dwelling’s habitable floor area in excess of 1,000 square feet shall not be included in the maximum floor area ratio.

d. Accessory Residential Units. New accessory residential units (ARUs) are not permitted in cottage housing developments, except that an existing ARU that is accessory to an existing nonconforming single-family structure may be counted as a cottage unit if the property is developed subject to the provisions of this chapter.

7. Storm Water and Low-Impact Development.

a. Developments shall include open space and landscaped features as a component of the project’s storm water low-impact development techniques including natural filtration and on-site infiltration of storm water.

b. Low-impact development techniques for storm water management shall be used wherever possible. Such techniques may include the use of porous solid surfaces in parking areas and walkways, directing roof drains and parking lot runoff to landscape beds, green or living roofs, and rain barrels.

c. Cottages shall be located to maximize the infiltration of storm water runoff. In this zone, cottages shall be grouped and parking areas shall be located to preserve as much contiguous, permanently undeveloped open space and native vegetation as reasonably possible when considering all standards in this chapter.

8. Restrictions.

a. The size of a cottage dwelling may not be increased beyond the maximum floor area in subsection A deed restriction shall be placed on the property notifying future property owners of the size restriction. (Ord. 3147 § 2, added, 11/21/2017)