On May 12 at the City Council’s Committee on the Built Environment, DPD presented its report on backyard cottage development over the past 18 months. In November 2009, Council adopted legislation allowing backyard cottages on eligible lots in single-family zones throughout the city. Fifty-seven units have been permitted since.
The report concludes that:
- Backyard cottages are evenly spread-out over the city
- Many owners matched designs with the existing house
- Siting, design, and neighborhood fit of the cottages is generally positive
- Units are generally well-screened from the street
- Many have been converted from existing garages
- Only three of the applications for the 57 units included a waiver for the parking requirement
Backyard cottages are a relatively affordable housing option in single-family neighborhoods, help someone pay their mortgage, make a room for a son or daughter moving back home, or allow for people to age in place.
The report includes photos, site layout, and additional information on each of the 57 backyard cottages. For more information on backyard cottages, also referred to as “detached accessory dwelling units,” visit this link on DPD’s website: www.seattle.gov/dpd/Codes/BackyardCottages/Overview/default.asp.