by Sara 

Backyard cottage open house in Magnolia


Recent changes in Seattle’s land use code make it possible for residents in Magnolia to build backyard cottages, or smaller, detached homes on the same lot as a primary residence.

Ben and January are one of the first couples in the neighborhood to take advantage of the changes and built a two-bedroom, 800 square foot cottage. According to Bruce Parker with Microhouse, they plan to use their newly constructed cottage as a vacation rental in the near term, with plans for January’s father to live in the cottage when he retires, a great advantage for a family with two small children.

This Sunday, January 15th, you can learn more about backyard cottages at an open house. Representatives of Microhouse, Carlisle Classic Homes and ANR Landscape Design will be on hand to answer questions.

The open house is from 1 to 4 p.m. at Ben and January’s cottage – 3448 36th Ave W.

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  1. This city needs LESS population density, not more. ?Please don’t junk up Magnolia with these.

    1. Well, I don’t agree with that. It’s better for everyone to keep the cities dense and the country sparse. Still, that’s a massive “cottage”

      1. Pretty funny – keep country sparse – the “sprawl” is happening, where have you been?? Only thing going on is a takeover by developers/developments both in city and in countryside.?

  2. Way to make an already dense neighbor more crowded! ?This is even worse than the houses that take up every square foot of the lot. ?Why don’t people value open spaces, yards, and outdoor living spaces anymore?

    1. you say this as if density is a bad thing. ?and here in magnolia, where we have the least density in the seattle metro area. ?maybe it’s time for you to… y’know, move east. ?plenty of sprawl out there for you. ?

      1. Least density.?? Let’s keep it that way.? I don’t want sprawl.? I don’t want to be in my car for 45 minutes to get to the grocery store.? I like being able to walk to the village and support my neighbors’ businesses.? I also like having a yard and being in a neighborhood with trees and birds.?

      2. Density and the sprawl narratives are the root cause of housing collapse and economic problems – it’s called artificial scarcity.?

  3. What a great use of space. And the footprint takes up the same space as a typical garage. If people do not like density perhaps the city is not for them.

    1. You can enjoy city life and the amenities of urban living without having your neighbor up your bum.? It’s so hard already to find a nice house for kids with more than three bedrooms and a yard in this city.? When you use up all of the green space, all of the families are going to move away.

  4. Those concerned about the scale of the cottage should feel free to stop by and check it out. The footprint is the same as a double garage. ??

    1. It might be only the size of a double garage, but are we suppose to tear down our garages?
      We were in Ballard when they started doing this and the parking became impossible. When they put in 2 next door we could not sell our house fast enough. If I wasn’t home from work by 5:00 I would have to park 2-3 blocks away.
      Do not do this to Magnolia!!! ?Aren’t our 3 ways in and out of here busy enough?

  5. I?m
    a little surprised by the direction of this discussion. The City of Seattle has
    a clear direction by their leadership decided to increase density as a measure
    of creating a Greener city, with better transportation routes, more patrons to cherished
    local companies of Magnolia. Granted some density plans have been shoddy at
    best, but the backyard cottage seems to be a good blend. I?ll fully reserve my
    opinion till I see a few more of them go in, but so far I?m for them. I guess
    in short, change is tough but inevitable and this seems to be one of the more
    well thought out changes to me.

  6. I like it. As a homeowner, I’m excited about how a backyard cottage might allow me to stay in my home as the dynamics of my family change (with aging parents and growing children). I think that? cottages are a more attractive option than the alternative, where single family homes? are getting torn down wholesale and being replaced with cluster houses, because of the rising land-values.

  7. I think the term cottage needs to be re-evaluated here. I live in a single story 800 sq ft “house” at least my $3200.00 yearly (at this time) property tax says it is a house.?
    Look at the people to “cottage” size perspective in the photo. That is a house.
    I liked the little office 4-500 sq ft offerings that were first introduced. My neighbors would be seriously upset if that wen up in my yard.

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