Building a cottage court might be easier than you think, with the right house plans and a clever siting strategy.
- Zoning - Three units can be built as of right in some situations where cottage courts cannot.
- Financing and Construction Cost - Three-unit projects come with accessible financing options and simpler construction requirements than six-unit projects. (More on that later in this post.)
- Productivity - You can achieve land productivity of twenty units per acre with a cottage offering that looks like a pair of single-family homes dancing in rhythm with the other homes on the block.
- Camouflage - It may be a cottage court, but you'd never know it by merely looking down the street.
Sounds promising, right? To test the idea, I sent a sketch to R. John Anderson, a member of the Artifex team that designed the Loganberry Series. He replied with a sketch of his own — a street-loaded version that resolves the question of internal circulation.
John wrote, "With no alley, this can still work if the lot is 150' deep using a shared driveway and cross easements. The individual parcels each have three units, so they can be financed with a standard 30-year agency mortgage for one to four dwelling units. The buildings are all IRC buildings, so no fire sprinklers [in most places]."
He also noted that this siting strategy could be even more attractive on a corner lot, since the parking could be accessed from the side street, freeing the site from the necessity of a driveway. All that would be needed would be some minor modifications to the house plans to make them a little more formal on the sides that face the side street.
My takeaways from this exercise?
- The Loganberry Court and the Stuart Duplex would, indeed, make a great pair in real life.
- You don't need to be a major developer with lots of land to build a charming cottage court. You can do it with a pair of 50'-wide lots and the right house plans.
You can license house plans for the Loganberry Court and the Stuart Duplex from Liberty House Plans. We'll be glad to help make your cottage court real.
- The Loganberry Court by Artifex Cottages
- The Stuart Duplex by Historic Shed
Jennifer Krouse, Founder and CEO