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Seattle’s backyard cottages make a dent in housing need26 May

This is a great article that talks about the rise of cottages or carriage houses in the Seattle area.  It also talks about the change in the zoning code that is being voted on by the Denver City Council that would allow carriage houses to be built in certain neighborhoods.
SEATTLE — John Stoeck is building a one-bedroom, 437-square-foot cottage on the spot where his garage stood before a tree fell on it. Construction costs: about $50,000. When the cottage is finished this summer, he plans to rent it for at least $900 a month, which will make a nice dent in his mortgage payments.

His is just one of about 50 tiny cottages sprouting in backyards across the city as it tries to expand affordable housing options in established neighborhoods without resorting to high rises and apartment complexes. The city changed zoning rules to allow cottages in single-family neighborhoods citywide, rejected a proposed cap of 50 cottages a year and helped organize a design competition to spur creation of reasonably priced plans. The point is not just to allow the cottages, but to encourage them.

“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,” says Stoeck, 47, an architect.

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