Cottages: Excitement this weekend about the possibilities of low cost cohousing
From: Melanie Mindlin (
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2021 08:34:53 -0700 (PDT)
There is a book that came out in 2011 called “Pocket Neighborhoods” by Ross 
Chapin.  This helped me pioneer a Cottage Housing ordinance in my small city of 
Ashland, Oregon during my time on the Planning Commission.  We passed our 
ordinance about 4 years ago.  A couple of years later, the State of Oregon came 
out with recommendations for addressing sky-rocketing housing costs, which 
included cottage housing.

Since passing the ordinance, our town has built a couple of cottage housing 
developments of 15 homes (this is a top limit in our ordinance).  Several small 
developments of 3-5 homes have also been built.  The minimum number is three, 
and one of these can be an original home of any size.  The ordinance basically 
allows you to double the number of units allowed on your lot, as long as they 
are no bigger than 1,000 square feet and average no more than 800 square feet.  
There are also requirements for parking in clusters and common open space.  
Garages are not encouraged—they count towards your total square footage.  
Common buildings are allowed up to 1,500 square feet.  I tried to get it to 
look as much like a cohousing community as possible within the expectations of 
our Planning Department.

You still have to build to Code like everyone else.

Melanie Mindlin
Ashland Cohousing

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