Chapter 18.45


18.45.010    Purpose and intent.

18.45.020    Applicability.

18.45.030    Density.

18.45.040    Cottage housing floor area (maximum size).

18.45.050    Approval process for cottage housing developments.

18.45.060    Existing nonconforming structures and accessory dwelling units.

18.45.070    Design standards.

18.45.080    Common open space.

18.45.090    Private open space.

18.45.100    Tree conservation.

18.45.110    Stormwater low impact development techniques.

18.45.120    Partnership and residential use of cottages.

18.45.130    Impact fees.

18.45.010 Purpose and intent.

(1) Support the city council’s sustainability goals: economic, environmental, and social sustainability; affordable community housing;

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

(3) Support development of diverse housing in accordance with the comprehensive plan;

(4) Provide an alternative type of detached housing providing small residences for households of typically one to two individuals as part of the city’s overall housing strategy, which intends to encourage affordability, innovation, and variety in housing design and site development and to promote a variety of housing choices to meet the needs of a population diverse in age, income, household composition and individual needs;

(5) Provide opportunities for creative, diverse, and high quality infill development within existing neighborhoods;

(6) The cottage housing development design standards contained in this chapter are intended to create a small community of cottages oriented around open space that is pedestrian-oriented and minimizes the visibility of off-street parking. These design standards are intended to ensure that cottage housing developments include pedestrian amenities and take advantage of existing trail features on the site including topography and vegetation. The cottage housing development design standards are intended to maintain traditional cottage amenities and proportions and ensure that cottage housing developments contribute to the overall community character;

(7) Cottage housing may allow higher residential density than is normally allowed in the underlying zone district. This increased density is possible with smaller than average home sizes, clustered parking, and site design standards;

(8) Cottage housing developments are subject to special density standards. (Ord. 1634 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009)

18.45.020 Applicability.

Cottage housing developments are only allowed on parcels two and one-half acres or smaller. (Ord. 1634 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009)

18.45.030 Density.

Two cottage housing units shall be allowed in place of each single-family home allowed by the base density of the district.

Cottage housing units shall be developed in groups of a minimum of four units to a maximum of 12 units.

Cottage housing is not subject to minimum area and lot dimensions requirements of the underlying zone district, although the maximum lot size permitted is 3,000 square feet. The maximum lot size is not applicable to a condominiumized cottage development. (Ord. 1634 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009)

18.45.040 Cottage housing floor area (maximum size).

Residences in cottage housing developments are primarily intended for one- and two-person households and their occasional guests. Maintaining the maximum square footage of residences in cottage housing developments is necessary to prevent overbuilding of the site and not to exceed available off-street parking.

The total floor area of each cottage unit shall not exceed 1,200 square feet. “Total floor area” is the area included with the surrounding exterior walls, but excluding any space where the floor-to-ceiling height is less than six feet. (Ord. 1634 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009)

18.45.050 Approval process for cottage housing developments.

Cottage housing developments within the TC, AR-16, AR-22, R1-5, R1-7.5, and R1-10 zone districts require site plan review approval in addition to the requirements of WMC 18.45.110. (Ord. 1849 § 1 (Exh. A), 2018; Ord. 1634 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009)

18.45.060 Existing nonconforming structures and accessory dwelling units.

(1) On a lot to be used for a cottage housing development, an existing detached single-family residential structure, which may be nonconforming with respect to the standards of this chapter, shall be permitted to remain, but the extent of the nonconformity may not be increased. Such nonconforming dwelling units shall be included in the maximum permitted cottage density.

(2) New accessory dwelling units (ADU) are not permitted in cottage housing developments.

(3) All residential units in a cottage housing development count towards the maximum permitted density.

(4) An existing attached or detached ADU 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. (Ord. 1634 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009)

18.45.070 Design standards.

(1) Building Height. Structures in cottage housing developments shall be designed to be single-story or single-story plus a loft.

(a) The height limit for all structures shall not exceed 18 feet.

(b) The highest point of a pitched roof may extend up to 25 feet at the ridge of the roof.

(2) Covered Usable Main Entry Porches. All residences in cottage housing developments shall be provided with a covered main entry porch to create a private outdoor space protected from the weather and provide a transition from the interior private residential space to the semi-private outdoor space. Covered porches shall be usable in both design and dimension.

(a) Cottage homes shall have a covered main entry porch with a floor area measuring at least 80 square feet in size.

(b) The floor of the covered main entry porch shall have minimum dimensions of not less than five feet in any direction (length or width).

(3) Exterior Trims and Roof Eaves. Cottage housing development structures shall be provided with substantial exterior trim elements consistent with traditional northwest cottage design and small home craftsmanship. Roofs in cottage housing developments shall have eaves to recognize traditional northwest cottage design traits to efficiently shed rain and provide rain protection for exterior walls.

(a) All windows and doors shall provide trim with a minimum width of three and one-half inches for all cottage housing development structures.

(b) Eaves of at least 12 inches shall be provided on all cottage structures on at least two sides of each building. Where buildings are not square (one set of exterior parallel walls is longer than the other), the eaves shall be provided on the parallel walls that are the longest.

(4) Street-Facing Facades. The street-facing facades of cottages in a cottage housing development will contribute to the neighborhood by including attractive design details such as windows, changes in materials, and views of front doors or porches. The main entries of some cottages will be visible from the adjacent streets to provide a visual pedestrian connection with the surrounding neighborhood.

(a) All cottages shall have street-facing facades that avoid blank walls or appearing to “turn their backs” to the street. All cottages shall include one or more of the following on street-facing facades:

(i) Changes in exterior siding material and paint color;

(ii) Windows which may include bay windows; and/or

(iii) Building modulation with a depth measuring at least one foot.

(b) At least one cottage shall have its front main entry door and/or front porches visible from each street frontage.

(5) Setbacks for all structures from property lines shall be not less than five feet.

(a) Setbacks for all structures from property lines shall be no less than five feet and not less than 10 feet from a public street.

(b) Exception. The community development director in consultation with the public works director may authorize the setback of five feet from the public right-of-way where the location of all structures, landscaping, and other improvements will not conflict with future improvements in the right-of-way, sight distance, or location of public easements.

(6) Separation of Structures. Structures within cottage housing developments shall observe minimum setbacks from other cottage housing development structures to avoid overcrowding the site and to maintain a sense of privacy within the cottages themselves.

(a) All buildings within a cottage housing development shall maintain a minimum separation of 10 feet from cottages within a cottage housing development measured from the nearest point of the exterior walls. Accessory buildings (clustered parking area or multipurpose room – club/meeting house) shall comply with building code requirements for separation from non-cottage structures.

(7) Off-Street Parking Requirements. Off-street parking space requirements for cottage housing developments shall be less than normally required for detached single-family residences. These reduced standards are based upon the cottages being smaller than average detached single-family homes on average and containing fewer occupants. Off-street parking shall be located and designed to be less visible from frontage streets than the cottages themselves. Off-street parking shall be designed to maintain a pedestrian character for the overall cottage housing development. Clustering parking to the side or rear of a cottage project will most often best accomplish these goals. Parking areas shall be attractively landscaped to screen parking from adjacent properties and street rights-of-way and shall meet applicable parking lot landscape standards.

(a) Parking Ratios. Parking shall average at least 1.5 spaces per unit.

(i) Cottage floor area of 800 square feet or less: 1.25 parking spaces per unit.

(ii) Cottage floor area of 800 to 1,200 square feet: 1.5 parking spaces per unit.

(iii) Existing nonconforming single-family residence: 2 parking spaces per unit.

(b) Off-Street Parking Location. Parking shall be located on the cottage housing development property. Off-street parking lots shall be located to the side or rear of the cottage housing development. Parking lots shall not be located between the cottage housing development and the primary street frontage.

(i) Off-Street Parking Screening. Off-street parking may be located in or under a non-cottage parking structure (such as a single or multi-auto carport or garage), but such structures shall not be attached to individual cottages. Uncovered parking is also permitted; provided, that off-street parking is screened from direct street view from all abutting street faces.

(ii) Parking Lot Landscaping. Screened from public streets and adjacent residential uses by landscaping and/or masonry wall. Solid board fencing shall not be allowed as an architectural screen.

(8) Exterior Lighting and Heating/Cooling Equipment Noise. Cottage housing developments to be designed to minimize light impacts both within the development and to adjacent properties. Where provided, exterior lighting shall be mounted as low as possible, pointed downward, and the light source shall be shielded from direct observation from above, adjacent properties, and public rights-of-way.

(9) Fences.

(a) Chain link fences shall not be permitted.

(b) Fences are limited to 36 inches adjacent to the common open space.

(10) Alternative Design. The director shall have the authority to review and approve a proposed alternative design that meets the intent and purpose of this chapter. (Ord. 1634 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009)

18.45.080 Common open space.

Open space that is commonly owned by all residences of a cottage housing development is an important feature of any site design. It is intended that the open space be adequately sized and centrally located with individual cottage entrances oriented toward the open space.

(1) For the purpose of cottage housing, “common open space” shall be the central space that may be used by all occupants of the cottage complex, surrounded by grouped cottages.

(2) A minimum of 20 percent of common open space is required.

(3) Common open space shall be a contiguous area located in front or behind the cottages.

(4) Common open space areas shall not be located between buildings or in the side yard area.

(5) Parking areas, yard setbacks, spaces between buildings, areas under power lines, and private open space and driveways do not qualify as common open space.

(6) The common open space shall have cottages abutting at least two sides grouped around the common open space.

(7) At least 50 percent of the cottage units shall abut a common open space.

(8) All of the cottage units shall be within 60 feet walking distance measured from the nearest entrance of the cottage along the shortest safe walking route to the nearest point of the common open space. The common open space shall not be across a street or parking area.

(9) The common open space shall be distinguished from the private open space with fencing, landscaping, or berm to provide a visual boundary or a walkway around the perimeter of the common area.

(10) No dimension of the common open space shall be less than 10 feet.

(Ord. 1634 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009)

18.45.090 Private open space.

Each residential unit in a cottage housing development shall be provided an area of private open space. The private open space shall separate the main entrance to the cottage from the common open space to create a sense of privacy and shall be oriented to take advantage of solar orientation and other natural features to create a small but pleasant private yard area. The private open space may be separated from the common open space with a small hedge, picket fence or other similar visual separation to create a sense of separate ownership.

(1) Each cottage unit shall be provided with a minimum of 300 square feet of usable private open space separated from the common open space by a hedge or fence not to exceed 36 inches in height.

(2) No dimension of the private open space shall be less than 10 feet. (Ord. 1634 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009)

18.45.100 Tree conservation.

Cottage housing developments shall be designed to incorporate existing trees to the extent possible. New trees shall be located to create amenities in common open space, private open space, provide shade where appropriate, to create separation between buildings when desired, and to screen and soften the perimeter of parking areas and street-facing sides of the cottage housing development.

Preservation of existing trees and/or new trees shall be provided consistent with the city’s urban forest ordinance. (Ord. 1634 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009)

18.45.110 Stormwater low impact development techniques.

Cottage housing developments shall be designed to take advantage of open space and landscaped features to utilize stormwater low impact development techniques including natural filtration and on-site infiltration of stormwater.

(1) Low impact development techniques for stormwater management shall be used wherever possible. Such techniques may include the use of pervious pavers in parking areas and for walkways, directing roof drains and parking lot runoff to landscape beds, green or living roofs, and the use of rain barrels.

(2) Cottages shall be located to maximize natural stormwater functions. Cottages shall be grouped and parking areas shall be located to preserve as much contiguous, permanently undeveloped open space and native vegetation as possible.

(3) Impervious surfaces shall not exceed 60 percent of the site area. (Ord. 1634 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009)

18.45.120 Partnership and residential use of cottages.

(1) All cottage housing developments shall be developed utilizing the procedures of Chapter 17.48 WMC, Binding Site Plans, in the case of condominiumized cottage home developments or Chapter 17.44 WMC, Short Plats and Subdivisions, in the case of individual lot ownership.

(2) Appropriate documentation of condominiums shall be provided and recorded with the Clark County auditor’s office and a copy provided to the city of Washougal community development department.

(3) Cottages are for residential use only and may not be operated as transient accommodations (e.g., hotel, motel, homeless shelter). (Ord. 1634 § 1 (Exh. A), 2009)

18.45.130 Impact fees.

Impact fees for cottage housing developments shall be calculated at the multifamily rate. (Ord. 1654 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010)