Chapter 18.52


18.52.010    Findings.

18.52.020    Process.

18.52.030    Neighborhood meeting.

18.52.040    Definitions.

18.52.050    Cottage housing developments.

18.52.060    Applicability.

18.52.070    Cottage housing development size.

18.52.080    Special site requirements for cottage housing developments.

18.52.010 Findings.

(1) The purpose of this chapter is to allow development of cottage housing developments that exhibit housing choices not currently available in Normandy Park’s neighborhoods.

(2) The goals of cottage housing are to:

(a) Foster a strong sense of community by design;

(b) Allow a choice of alternatives for smaller households in ways that are compatible with existing single-family neighborhoods;

(c) Provide incentives for building smaller, lower-impact houses; and

(d) Encourage long-time Normandy Park residents to stay in the community by providing smaller homes and lots that require less maintenance. (Ord. 785 § 1, 2006).

18.52.020 Process.

(1) The applicant shall prepare a preliminary site plan and shall attend a pre-application meeting with the planning manager.

(2) When the planning manager determines that the preliminary plan meets the intent of this chapter, the applicant, in cooperation with the city, shall hold a neighborhood meeting. Notice shall be given to all property owners or residents within 300 feet of the proposed cottage housing development site. The applicant shall present and explain the plan to the attendees and seek input from those in attendance.

(3) A formal application shall be made to the city, in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 17.20 NPMC and the current fee ordinance.

(4) The planning commission shall hold a public hearing regarding the proposed cottage housing development, and make a recommendation to city council.

(5) The city council shall review the proposal in a public meeting and act on the application. (Ord. 785 § 2, 2006).

18.52.030 Neighborhood meeting.

(1) Intent. The purpose of having neighborhood meetings is to provide opportunities for nearby residents to obtain information about the proposal and provide comment on the overall cottage housing development design and concept before an applicant expends significant time and resources in developing the specific site and development features of the proposal. Applicants shall provide initial lot layouts and design. Designs shall be in accordance with the Normandy Park design guidelines.

(2) Requirements.

(a) The applicant for a cottage housing development is required to hold a minimum of one neighborhood meeting. The meeting shall be held after the pre-application meeting and before formal application.

(b) Notification of the meeting shall be mailed to property owners within 300 feet of the proposal and a sign will be posted on-site, according to the requirements of NPMC 17.12.040, Application – Notice posting.

(c) The city manager or designee shall participate in neighborhood meetings. (Ord. 785 § 3, 2006).

18.52.040 Definitions.

(1) Cottage.

(a) A cottage is a one- or one-and-one-half-story, detached, single-family dwelling unit, no less than 500 square feet and no larger than 1,050 square feet in total floor area.

(b) A one-and-one-half-story dwelling is defined as a structure in which at least 80 percent of the second floor height is wholly concealed beneath the primary roof, with the exception of gable end walls and dormers. Dormers may occupy up to 50 percent of the primary roof length. No portion of any dormer roof may project above the primary roof ridgeline.

(2) Cottage Housing Development. Cottage housing development is an alternative type of detached small single-family residences clustered around a common open space with parking located away from the houses and screened from the street. (Ord. 785 § 4, 2006).

18.52.050 Cottage housing developments.

(1) Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to:

(a) Provide a housing type that responds to changing household sizes and ages (e.g., retirees, small families, single person households);

(b) Provide opportunities for ownership of small, detached dwelling units within a single-family environment;

(c) Encourage creation of more usable open space for residents of the development through flexibility in density and lot standards;

(d) Support the growth management goal of more efficient use of urban residential land; and

(e) Provide guidelines to ensure compatibility with surrounding land uses. (Ord. 785 § 5, 2006).

18.52.060 Applicability.

A cottage housing development is allowed in all single-family residential zones of the city within 300 feet of First Avenue South between 178th Street Southwest and 200th Street Southwest and all mixed use zones; the map is shown in Attachment A to the ordinance codified in this chapter. All parent parcels shall be served by a public right-of-way. (Ord. 888 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 785 § 6, 2006).

18.52.070 Cottage housing development size.

Cottage housing developments shall contain a minimum of four and a maximum of 12 cottages located in a cluster or clusters to encourage a sense of community among the residents. (Ord. 785 § 7, 2006).

18.52.080 Special site requirements for cottage housing developments.

(1) Density, Lot Coverage, Height, Setback and Parking Requirements.

(a) Intent. The site requirements chart establishes the basic dimensional requirements for cottages. Development standards are intended to define design parameters of cottages to achieve compatibility with adjacent single-family residential uses.

(b) Requirements – Cottage Housing Developments Site Requirements Chart.


Site Requirement

Cottages Allowed in Place of Each Standard Single-Family Home Allowed by the Density of the Zone1


Minimum Lot Frontage (in feet)

40 feet

Setbacks for All Structures from Adjacent Property Lines Along the Perimeter of the Site (except front or any public street setback) 2, 3

10 feet

Front or Any Public Street Setback4

20 feet

Minimum Distance Between Structures (including accessory structures)

10 feet

Maximum Lot Coverage for Structures

40 percent

Maximum Impervious Surface Area

60 percent

Minimum Common Open Space

400 square feet per cottage

Maximum Height for One-Story Cottages and Accessory Structures

18 feet

Maximum Height for 1-1/2-story Cottages5

21 feet

Parking Spaces per Cottage6

1.5 (less than 2 BR)

2.0 (2 BR or more)


1.    For the purpose of this calculation, fractional values shall be rounded to the nearest whole number (0.5 and above, round up; below 0.5, round down). In no case shall the number of cottages allowed in place of each standard sized house (as permitted by Normandy Park zoning code) exceed two.

2.    When vehicular access to a cottage housing development is from an alley or access corridor, a five-foot minimum rear setback is allowed if it meets height requirements as outlined in NPMC 18.32.100(7)(b).

3.    Except eaves up to 18 inches.

4.    Front orientation for purposes of lot setback requirements shall be the side or sides that address a public street or access corridor.

5.    Except gable end walls, all parts of the structure above 12 feet, as defined in the height limitation below, shall be roofs pitched no less than 4:12 and no greater than 16:12, except shed roofs on dormers, which may be pitched at a minimum of 2:12. The maximum height of any portion of the roof, except chimneys or cupolas, shall not exceed 20 feet above finished first floor level. Height limitation: For the purposes of this chapter, the limitation is 18 feet for single story units and 21 feet for one-and-one-half-story units, as measured from the lowest point of finished grade at the perimeter of the finished structure. Landscaping structures (i.e., retaining walls, raised planting beds, steep slopes) which would effectively increase the total apparent height beyond the height limit are not permitted within 10 feet of any cottage.

6.    The planning commission may reduce parking requirements based on the applicant’s demonstration of site-specific factors that justify a lower standard, such as opportunities for transit service or anticipated number of residents.

(2) Cottage Floor Area.

(a) Intent.

(i) Scale of Development. To ensure that the overall size, including bulk and mass of cottage structures and cottage housing developments, remains smaller and incur less visual impact than standard sized single-family dwellings, particularly given the allowed intensity of cottage dwellings.

(ii) Variety. To provide variety in cottage housing structures through a mixture of building sizes and building footprints.

(b) Requirements.

(i) The total floor area of each cottage shall not exceed either 1.5 times the area of the main floor or 1,050 square feet, whichever is less. Attached garages or carports shall be included in the calculation of total floor area.

(ii) For the purposes of this calculation, floor area shall be measured to the exterior walls.

(iii) Cottage areas that do not count toward the total floor area calculation are:

(A) Unheated storage spaces six feet or less in height located under the main floor of the cottage.

(B) Architectural projections, such as bay windows, fireplaces or utility closets not greater than 18 inches in depth or six feet in width.

(C) Attached roofed porches.

(D) Detached garages or carports.

(E) Spaces with a ceiling height of six feet or less.

(F) The city manager or designee may approve other exemptions similar in nature provided the intent of this section is met.

(iv) The maximum main floor area for cottages is 800 square feet. For the purposes of this calculation, the area of interior stairway may be allocated between floors served.

(v) A minimum of 40 percent of the cottages and not more than 60 percent shall have main floors of 700 square feet or less. For example: in a five-cottage development, two of the cottages would need to have main floors of 700 square feet or less and the other three cottages could have main floors of up to 800 square feet. For fractional numbers 0.5 and above, round up; below 0.5, round down.

(vi) The total square foot area of a cottage dwelling unit may not be increased beyond the requirements of this code. A note shall be placed on the title to the property for the purpose of notifying future property owners that increasing the total square footage of the structures, or any subsequent structures, is prohibited.

(c) Required Minimum Open Space.

(i) Intent. The minimum open space requirements are intended to provide a sense of openness and visual relief in cottage housing developments. The calculations for common open space shall provide a centrally located, focal area for the cottage housing development. The common area shall not include wet stormwater ponds, wetlands, streams, lakes, sensitive area buffers, other setbacks required as pursuant to this chapter, and shall be on slopes of 20 percent or less and developed and maintained so it is usable for active or passive recreation activities. Private open space shall provide a private area around the individual dwellings to enable diversity in landscape design.

(ii) Requirements. Common open space shall:

(A) Be a minimum of 400 square feet per cottage.

(B) Abut at least 50 percent of the cottages in a cottage housing development.

(C) Have cottages abutting on at least two sides.

(d) Cottages shall:

(i) Be oriented around and have the main entry from the common open space.

(ii) Be within 60 feet walking distance of the common open space.

(e) Private open space shall:

(i) Be a minimum of 300 square feet of private, contiguous, usable open space adjacent to each dwelling unit, for the exclusive use of the cottage resident. It shall be oriented toward the common open space as much as possible, with no dimension less than 10 feet.

(ii) Additionally, cottages shall have a roofed entry porch at least 80 square feet in size with a minimum dimension of eight feet on any side. The porch shall be visually open to the commons. This porch shall not be enclosed.

(3) Parking Location and Screening.

(a) Intent. To ensure minimal visual impact from vehicular use and storage areas for residents of the cottage housing development as well as adjacent properties, and to maintain a single-family character along public streets.

(b) Requirements. Parking shall be:

(i) Located on the cottage housing development property.

(ii) Screened from public streets and adjacent residential uses by landscaping or architectural screening.

(iii) Located in clusters of not more than six adjoining spaces.

(iv) Prohibited in the front yard setback area. (See Footnote 6, Cottage Housing Developments Site Requirements Chart.)

(v) Prohibited within 40 feet of a public street, except: single-loaded parking is allowed in a maximum 50-foot-wide area when set back a minimum of 15 feet from a public street. (See Figure 1.)

(vi) Allowed between or adjacent to structures only when it is located toward the rear of the principal structure and is served by an alley or private driveway.

(vii) A pitched roof design is required for all parking structures. If a parking structure is attached to a cottage unit, it must be served by an alley or private driveway, not accessible from the common area.

(viii) The planning manager may approve other methods provided the intent of this section is met.

(c) Requirements for Individual Garages.

(i) Vehicular access for garages and parking may not be from the entry/porch elevations of the cottages.

(ii) A detached garage serving an individual unit shall be limited to a total gross floor area of 312 square feet, with length or width not to exceed 24 feet, and height not to exceed 16 feet, or the ridgeline height of the unit it serves, whichever is less.

(iii) Garages may be “bundled” together in pairs with a common wall provided the restrictions listed in subsection (3)(c)(ii) of this section are met with respect to the individual unit the garage serves.

Figure 1. Cottage Housing Parking Requirements

(4) Community Buildings. The cottage housing development shall contain community building(s) that are clearly incidental in use and size and related to the dwelling units. Such community buildings shall be located on the same site as the cottage housing development and be commonly owned by the residents.

(5) Existing Dwellings. One existing detached or attached single-family dwelling that is incorporated into a cottage housing development as a residence and is nonconforming with respect to the standards of this section shall be permitted to remain on a site of six or more cottages used for a cottage housing development. However, the extent of the noncompliance may not be increased unless the proposed change is determined by the planning manager to be consistent in character, scale and design with the cottage housing development. The existing dwelling may be counted as a cottage in the density calculation for the site. (Ord. 785 § 8, 2006).