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Table 1 provides the basic design standards for cottage housing development in the City of Covington.




Maximum number of stories

One and one-half

The second story shall be no more than .6 of the square footage of the main story

Maximum building height

18' (maximum of 25' at roof ridge with minimum roof slope of 6:12)

The ridge of pitched roofs with a minimum slope of 6:12 may extend up to 25 feet. All parts of the roof above 18 feet shall be pitched

Maximum impervious surface percentage

50% of gross lot area

Maximum lot coverage for all principal and accessory structures in development

35% of gross lot area

Maximum building footprint

1,000 square feet per unit, excluding attached garage

Two-unit attached structures shall not exceed a building footprint of 2,000 square feet for one-story units, or 1,800 square feet for one-and-one-half- or two-story units

Maximum unit size (total floor area)

1,600 square feet excluding an attached garage

Habitable space in a below-grade story (i.e., basement) shall count towards the total floor area


12 du/ac. See CMC 18.30.060 through 18.30.100 for other density requirements

See density bonuses for affordable units below


1.3 spaces for 1 BR units, 1.5 for 2 BR units, and 1.8 for 3 BR units. E.g., four 1 BR units (x 1.3), six 2 BR units (x 1.5) and two 3 BR units (x 1.8) = 18 parking stalls for 12 units

Parking requirements for cottages may be reduced if the location of the site is within .3 miles (1,600 feet) of a transit stop. Other parking requirements and reductions specified in Chapter 18.50 CMC apply

Open and common space

Minimum of 400 square feet per unit of common open space and a minimum of 250 square feet per unit of usable private open space (excluding side setbacks, but may include decks and patios)

Common space should be in one contiguous area, or no more than two separate areas. Primary entry and patios should be oriented toward open space wherever feasible

Affordability incentives

See CMC 18.90.030 and 18.90.040 for details of affordable housing incentives. Bonuses of up to one and one-half times base density are possible, or two times base density if all units are affordable

Under conditions stated in CMC 18.90.030 and 18.90.040, each unit affordable to households earning under 50 percent and 80 percent of King County median income (benefit unit) allows up to 1.5 bonus units. E.g., four affordable units permit a bonus of six units over the base density

Green building incentives

Bonus of one and one-half times base density allowed if cottages and community building are built to LEED Gold, or Built Green™ 4 Star or 5 Star standards*

Affordability and green building incentives may be combined up to a maximum of two times base density. Note that 4 and 5 Star Built Green™ levels require verification by a third party

*See for details of Built Green™ program, and for details of LEED program. See note to CMC 18.37.050(2) for example of calculations.

(Ord. 10-10 § 3 (Exh. C); Ord. 10-09 § 1 (Exh. A))