Friday, May 28, 2010

Seattle Is Allowing Backyard Cottages In Order To Preserve The Rural Countryside

Via SCC: Using backyard cottages to absorb density while maintaining neighborhood character
...architect John Stoeck, who is building a backyard cottage, told Keen, "I want to preserve rural areas around Seattle, and I don't want the suburbs continuing to march on without any limits. One way to do that is to add more density to these inner-city neighborhoods."

Via USAToday: Seattle's backyard cottages make a dent in housing need

Seattle tried a pilot program first and in the post-survery discovered most homeowners had no idea their neighbors had added a backyard cottage. Seattle is allowing these stand-alone ADU's because they:
  • provide additional housing options to renters
  • give families the option to be close to an elderly parent or adult child
  • reduce traffic congestion
  • reduce pollution
  • provide additional income for struggling home owners
  • increase urban density rather than suburban sprawl

NYT has a profile of one example: Converting a Garage Outside Seattle Into a Tiny Home

Perhaps Traverse City's "articulate young people" should change their language and ask for backyard cottages rather than accessory dwelling units.

It is disappointing that The Grand Vision makes no mention of accessory dwelling units as one tool to fight sprawl.