Just over two years ago, legislation was passed which allowed detached accessory dwelling units to be built in Seattle. Detached accessory dwelling units are commonly known as backyard cottages, and between late 2009 and May 2011, 57 permits have been granted for the building of such a structure. Seattle’s growing population means that affordable housing alternatives are becoming necessary, especially to avoid redesigning certain neighbourhoods, and, more importantly, to prevent urban creeping into the forests of the Pacific Northwest.
Backyard cottages certainly provide more options when it comes to housing issues. Perfect for extended family or visiting guests, backyard cottages can also be rented out, so long as the landowner lives in the main property. Or vice-versa, with the property owner living in the backyard cottage, and renting out the main house. While many people were worried about the impact which backyard cottages might have on single-family neighbourhoods, a survey carried out last year showed that eighty-four percent of respondents said the backyard cottages hadn’t had any discernible impact on their neighbourhoods. Many people didn’t even realise that they were living near a backyard cottage.
If you’ve been dreaming of some extra space, wondering where your child can live after college or need the extra income which renting out a property can bring, get in touch with our Seattle architects to discuss your ideas.