Cottage Community Regulations

The Planning Board and Planning Department has been working with the Horsley Witten Group and Union Studios to develop revisions to the Town’s Zoning Ordinance associated with the “Missing Middle”.  Missing Middle Housing types provide diverse housing options, such as duplexes, fourplexes, cottage courts, townhouses and multiplexes (small apartment building).  These house-scale buildings tend to fit seamlessly into existing residential neighborhoods and support walkability, locally-serving retail, and provide options for public transportation.  As a result of this work the Planning Board has recommended proposed changes to the Town’s Zoning Ordinance, which is now the subject of a public hearing and final action by the Town Council as it relates to the possible adoption of the proposed changes.

The proposed revisions to the Town’s Zoning ordinance are associated with cottage court type developments and were created in an attempt to offer an alternative to the Town’s traditional single-family housing at a more affordable price point.  The proposed amendments would allow the development of cottage style developments as a Major Land Development Project, in the Town’s R10 and R20 Zoning Districts.  These types of developments will only be allowed on lots that have existing access to water and sewer service or where the applicant can demonstrate that new water and sewer access will be provided prior to occupancy.  The language of the ordinance sets a maximum density of eight (8) cottage units per developable acre of land and requires a minimum of six (6) dwelling units and may contain a maximum of thirty (30) dwelling units.  A Cottage Community may be developed with dwelling units on separate lots, a single lot, or a combination thereof.  The ordinance includes specific dimensional standards, common and private open space requirements.  The first floor of the units shall not exceed 900 square feet (foot print) not inclusive of any porch or deck area.  Where a second floor is included, the habitable area of the second floor shall not exceed 50% of the ground floor area.  The ordinance also contains specific building/architectural and fence design standards, storm water management requirements, and parking standards.

For additional information on these Cottage Community regulations please refer to the Design Guidelines Bulletin and the proposed ordinance language listed below: