“This is an opportunity for more diverse housing in our county,” he said.
Cottage clusters are growing in popularity as a solution to Washington’s missing middle housing — more affordable homes with two or more attached, stacked or clustered homes.
In April, the Legislature passed House Bill 1110, which allowed for more middle housing in areas that have been traditionally zoned for single-family homes. The emergence of cottage houses, which are smaller and more affordable than most single-family homes, has contributed to increasing the state’s supply of affordable housing.
But it’s possible the prices for NE 58th Avenue Cottages could come closer to the average sale prices of homes in Clark County.
The county’s circulation standards, which refer to rules about transportation systems within a development project, require that a public street runs through the property, connecting the streets on either side.
Jennifer Reynolds, development engineering services manager for the county, said county code requires the project to show how it would facilitate car, bicycle and pedestrian travel. Having a public street through the property would satisfy the code section outright, she said. The public road could run along the property line rather than going directly through, she said.
The project’s private street would be 26 feet wide, but the county’s standard for a public street is a 46-foot right-of-way, reducing the available buildable land.
This would result in the loss of four to five units, Kay said, and cause prices to increase by around $100,000 each, making them similarly priced to many of the neighboring houses’ estimated values, according to the home listing site Zillow.
In June, the median sale price for a home in Clark County was $521,600, according to the most recent Regional Multiple Service Listing Service report.
The applicant, Dmitriy Gurnik, has submitted a request to the county asking to avoid the public street requirement, according to Reynolds.
Kay said the property would not be the best option for a road because it would require an abrupt turn to connect Northeast 58th Avenue to Northeast 61st Avenue. The project’s application to circumvent the public street suggests an alternate location to the south of the property to avoid the existing development, Kay said.
If the county goes through with the requirement, the additional street would necessitate an entire redesign of the project, Kay said.
The Clark County Hearing Examiner will hold a public hearing for the project at 6 p.m. Aug. 24. People can attend virtually through a Webex link on the county’s website.
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