Cottage homes possible in Troy

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A new type of housing development could be coming to Troy.

City leaders are considering an ordinance to regulate cottage housing developments in Troy, a move that would open the Troy market to these “pocket neighborhoods.”

“Cottage Housing is basically another alternative for affordable housing,” said Melissa Sanders, planning and zoning administrator for the city. “These types of developments include small, single-family houses that are typically 800 to 1,000 square feet for a single story …

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“The houses are built around a central green space, with the only road access to on the back or side of the development.”

The properties typically appeal to retirees, small families or single-person households and are designed to maximize use of urban land and green spaces.

Sanders said the developments feature stand-alone, smaller houses – two-story properties are typically 1,200 to 1,400 square feet – and are often designed as planned development with a central space. “These are affordable housing options in community-oriented type environments,” Sanders said. One company that specializes in this type of development, The Cottage Company, describes the developments on its website as “pocket neighborhoods of compact homes.”

The draft ordinance, approved by the planning commission and pending before the Troy City Council, would allow the cottage housing developments in areas of the city zoned R3 or high-density residential.

“These are going to be your areas where you have apartment complexes or, for example, along Elm Street from Gibbs to South Brundidge Street,” Sanders said.

The draft ordinance would allow cottage housing developments in the R3zones as platted lots, condominium projects or under a multi-family ownership model.

The proposed ordinance requires a 40-foot buffer between the mail street and any development as well as 20-foot buffers on either side of the alleyways that would serve as driveway access to the housing.

Sanders said while no specific proposals have been submitted to the Planning Committee for review, she believes some developers may be interested in creating this type of housing in Troy.

The second reading of the ordinance takes place at the Sept. 27 city council meeting and council members could approve the ordinance that day.