–Planning Commission and DPD create user guide for Seattle homeowners
The Planning Commission and the Department of Planning and Development have released an updated version of their popular comprehensive A Guide to Building a Backyard Cottage which helps a homeowner successfully design and build a backyard cottage. The Guide now reflects the December 2009 legislation allowing backyard cottages citywide.
“Because the Guide has been so influential we have updated it to reflect the changes in the citywide legislation,” stated Josh Brower, Planning Commission Chair, “we also see this guide as a celebration of an important piece of legislation that provides a valuable opportunity for housing choice in Seattle.”
Since the legislation passed Seattle has received national and local attention including;
- National press coverage from USA Today, with a cover story “Seattle’s Backyard Cottages Make a Dent in Housing Need.” The article ran on May 26th and featured backyard cottage owners, as well as city staff and elected officials. The article, and accompanying online video, can be viewed at http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2010-05-25-cottages_N.htm
- A local design challenge for backyard cottages that highlighted the creativity and flexibility of backyard cottage design. Planning Commissioner David Cutler served as one of the judges. All of the entries and winners can be viewed here: www.methodhomes.net/backyard-cottage-design-challenge.html.
- A cottage industry of small architectural firms dedicating their practice to developing designs for backyard cottages. Backyard cottages have provided an important economic development opportunity in these challenging times. Here is just a very small sampling of the press on the backyard cottage industry sprouting up in Seattle;
In addition, 32 permits have been filed for backyard cottages in neighborhoods throughout the City since December 2009. That brings the total number of backyard cottage permits to approximately 60, and the Guide to Building Backyard Cottages has proven to be an important and effective tool for educating the public on how to build quality backyard cottages.
The Guide is available at Seattle’s Backyard Cottage webpage here: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Planning/BackyardCottages/Overview/default.asp
Or link directly to the guide here: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/static/Backyard%20Cottages%20Guide_web_LatestReleased_DPDS015822.pdf