Chapter 19.06


19.06.010    Purpose.

19.06.020    Generally.

19.06.030    Density and dimensions.

19.06.040    Dimensional standards.

19.06.050    Design standards.

19.06.010 Purpose.

The purpose of the cottage housing regulations is to:

A. To provide for a housing type that responds to changing household sizes and ages.

B. To provide centrally located and functional common open space that fosters a sense of community in developments.

C. To ensure that the overall size of cottages remain smaller and incur less visual impact than regular single-family homes.

D. To provide for a density bonus to encourage cottage housing units, particularly since they are smaller than traditional single-family homes.

E. To minimize impacts to the natural environment.

F. To minimize visual impact of vehicular use and storage areas on residents and streetscape.

G. To maintain a single-family character along public streets. (Ord. 2010-12 § 7, 2010).

19.06.020 Generally.

A. Cottage housing may be constructed only where the underlying zone allows the cottage housing as a principally permitted use or conditional use.

B. An application for cottage housing must be submitted on the forms for conditional uses provided by the town, and in order to be complete, the application must include the following:

1. A site plan and landscaping plan as specified in EMC 18.09.030(B).

2. A SEPA checklist.

C. The cottage housing conditional use permit application shall be reviewed and processed according to the conditional use permit processing procedure set forth in EMC 18.09.030. The decision maker on the conditional use permit and appeals is the same as set forth in the code for conditional use permits.

D. The criteria for approval of a cottage housing conditional use permit are as follows:

1. Compliance with this chapter.

2. Compliance with EMC 18.09.030(D), Standards and Criteria for Granting.

3. Compliance with the requirements of either Chapter 17.14 EMC, Binding Site Plans, or Chapter 17.20 EMC, Preliminary Subdivision/Plats. (Ord. 2010-12 § 7, 2010).

19.06.030 Density and dimensions.

Cottage developments shall conform to density requirements of the underlying zoning district, except that in single-family zones each cottage dwelling unit shall be counted as one-half a dwelling unit for the purpose of determining allowed density on-site due to the strict size limitations of cottage dwelling units. (Ord. 2010-12 § 7, 2010).

19.06.040 Dimensional standards.

Dimensional standards for cottages are identified in Table 1 below.

Table 1. Dimensional Standards
for Cottage Housing



Maximum Floor Area/Cottage

1,200 SF

Maximum Floor Area/Ground or Main Floor

800 SF (1,000 SF for single story cottages)

Minimum Common Space

(see EMC 19.06.050, Design Standards, for more info)

400 SF/unit

Minimum Private Open Space

(see EMC 19.06.050, Design Standards, for more info)

200 SF/unit

Maximum Height for Cottages

25' (all parts of the roof above 18' shall be pitched)

Setbacks (to exterior property lines)

Same as applicable zoning district

Minimum Distance Between Structures

(including accessory structures)


Maximum Height for Accessory Structures


Minimum Parking Spaces per Cottage


Figure 1. Cottage development examples.

(Ord. 2010-12 § 7, 2010).

19.06.050 Design standards.

A. Units in Each Cluster. Cottage housing developments shall contain a minimum of four and a maximum of 12 cottages located in a cluster to encourage a sense of community among the residents. A development site may contain more than one cottage housing development.

B. Common Open Space Requirements.

1. The common open space shall abut at least 50 percent of the cottages in a cottage housing development.

2. Cottages shall abut on at least two sides of the common open space.

3. Cottages shall be oriented around and have the main entry from the common open space.

4. Cottages shall be within 60 feet walking distance of the common open space.

5. Open space shall include at least one courtyard, plaza, garden, or other central open space, with access to all units. The minimum dimensions of this open space are 15 feet by 20 feet.

C. Required Private Open Space. Required private open space shall be adjacent to each dwelling unit, for the exclusive use of the cottage resident(s). The space shall be usable (not on a steep slope) and oriented toward the common open space as much as possible, with no dimension less than 10 feet.

D. Porches. Cottage facades facing the common open space or common pathway shall feature a roofed porch at least 80 square feet in size with a minimum dimension of eight feet on any side.

E. Covered Entry Facing Street. Cottages located adjacent to a public street shall provide a covered entry feature (with a minimum dimension of six feet by six feet) facing the street.

Figure 2. Cottage development examples. Note common open spaces and porches and semi-private open spaces oriented towards the commons.

F. Character. Cottages and accessory buildings within a particular cluster shall be designed within the same “family” of architectural styles. Example elements include:

1. Similar building/roof form and pitch;

2. Similar siding materials;

3. Similar porch detailing; and/or

4. Similar window trim.

G. Diversity. A variety of cottages within the same “family” of architectural styles shall be provided in each cottage cluster. Diversity of cottages can be achieved within a “family” of styles by:

1. Alternating porch styles (such as roof forms);

2. Alternating siding details on facades and/or roof gables; and/or

3. Different siding color.

H. Parking and Driveway Location and Design.

1. Parking shall be located on the same property as the cottage development.

2. Parking areas shall be located to the side or rear of cottage clusters and not between the street and cottages. Parking is prohibited in the front and interior setback areas.

3. Parking and vehicular areas shall be screened from public street and adjacent residential uses by landscaping or architectural screens. For parking lots adjacent to the street, at least 10 feet of Type III landscaping shall be provided between the sidewalk and the parking area. For parking lots along adjacent residential uses, at least five feet of Type I, II, or III shall be required. The planning director will consider alternative landscaping techniques provided they effectively mitigate views into the parking area from the street or adjacent residential uses and enhance the visual setting for the development.

4. Parking shall be located in clusters of not more than five adjoining uncovered spaces (except where adjacent to an alley). Exceptions will be considered by the planning director provided alternative configurations improve the visual setting for development.

5. Garages may be attached to individual cottages provided all other standards herein are met and the footprint of the ground floor, including garage, does not exceed 1,000 square feet. Such garages shall be located away from the common open spaces.

6. No more than one driveway per cottage cluster shall be permitted, except where clusters front onto more than one street. (Ord. 2010-12 § 7, 2010).