Mukilteo puts cottages on hold

MUKILTEO – Opponents of cottage-style housing won’t have to worry about the high-density developments for the next few months.

At the request of 10 residents who spoke on Monday, the City Council approved a moratorium on developments of clustered, smaller single-family homes.

The council will decide next week the length of the moratorium. Similar temporary bans in nearby cities have generally been set at six months to a year or more.

The council wants the Mukilteo Planning Commission to review all the rules pertaining to cottage housing, which is currently allowed in some parts of Mukilteo.

The planning commission will look at issues such as building size and appearance, access, density and whether to require covenants.

An eight-home development, Woodson Crest Cottages at 8420 44th Ave. W., is nearing completion, developer Craig Woodson said. The parcel covers slightly more than three-quarters of an acre.

Five of the 1,110-square-foot, two-bedroom homes will have full views of Possession Sound and the Olympics, Woodson said. Prices for the homes have not been announced, he said.

Woodson’s Everett-based company, Cascade Cottages, had considered building on a vacant, seven-acre parcel located in the area of 88th Street SW, 92nd Street SW and 54th Place W. and 55th Place W., but has not turned in an application to the city.

Cottage housing is allowed only in the middle section of the city, between 70th Avenue W. and 92nd Avenue W.

Harbour Pointe has its own neighborhood plan that prohibits cottage housing, and the city deemed cottage housing inappropriate for Old Town, planning director Heather McCartney said.

Most of the residents who spoke Monday live near the parcel on 88th Street SW. Their concerns include traffic and neighborhood character.

Cottage homes bring “a lot of houses, a lot of traffic, a lot of people,” resident Peggy Green said.

“I think we need to tighten this thing up to protect our property values in the future,” resident Scott Alberts said.

The discussion turned to how the city will grow. The Growth Management Act calls for the city to increase from its current 19,600 residents to 22,000 by 2020.

“It’s bigger than us,” Mayor Joe Marine said. “It’s something that needs to be looked at on a statewide basis.”

Builder Chris Chase, a Mukilteo resident, said cottage housing can be an asset to the community if it’s done well. Greater density is a trend, he said.

“You’re going to see tremendous changes in the next 20 years,” he said.

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