Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 33

Thread: What's so bad about a cottage (small home)?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    29

    What's so bad about a cottage (small home)?

    http://www.boston.com/realestate/spe...age/?page=full

    What's So Bad About a Cottage?
    A plan to build a dense community of homes 1,000 square feet or less has the pretty town of Easton in an uproar. But why? Maybe these are exactly the sort of properties this state needs to help fix a market filled with overpriced, oversized housing.....
    Very interesting article. With changing household sizes we may see these types of developments become more and more popular.

    Love this quote
    "We're not against affordable housing.... we're against cottages, and we're against density"

  2. #2
    It was an interesting article. People think that density will attract crime and all sorts of other undesirable things. It's a very common attitude thta is wrong, of course.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,247
    These folks would really hate me. Between my house and my cabin total square footage is slightly more than 1,300 sq ft! But then again, I'm not in debt like these folks probably are. I think that we need more houses of less than 1,000 sq ft. Why pay for the utilities, maintenance on rooms you never use anyways?

    Itrs sort of like when I got a new roof on my house for $3,000 and paid cash while the guy a couple miles away from me paid $8,000 and needed to take out a 4 year loan to do the work.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  4. #4
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Staff meeting
    Posts
    8,267
    I, too, would like to see this more of this type of development, especially here in Chicagoland.

    Many cities in the pacific northwest are seeing a fair amount of this type of development. The City of Portland, OR has even developed detailed guidelines for the creation of cottage developments on large lots.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,683
    Very frustrating to read beign a planner in the area. Anything other than large lot homes for the wealthy is opposed . . . actually that's not quite correct, large lot homes are still opposed by others in large lot homes.

    Isn't it a bit like only building $500,000 cars and outlawing Toyotas?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    1,460
    For one thing, look at how many dwellers furnish their living spaces. Overlarge overstuffed couches,oversized entertainment systems, overlarge appliances and islands in kitchens. A lot of people expect some space around them to stuff their stuff.

    Low budget small house subdivisions are one thing (besides ubiquitous), developing smartly designed small houses (cottages) with intelligent storage solutions, utilizing the most of their small footprint while maintaining a comfortable living space, is another.

    I am a proud cottage dweller, but had to put on a 500sf addition to save our sanity.(small rooms low ceilings no storage)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    South Milwaukee
    Posts
    8,935
    I live in an urban cottage and love it / will miss it soon. I hope this form revives and thrives.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Captain Worley's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    275
    Even though I like smaller houses, I completely understand the oposition. Established neighborhood, larger lots and someone wants to plunk down 7 houses per acre, 25% of which are low income housing. I'd be against it, too, if I lived there.
    Navy collier
    USS Cyclops

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,953
    I have had the benefit of having toured this kind of development. I can honestly say that I liked it, I would have no problem living adjacent to a well-designed one, and that this is what I would prefer to build if I were a developer. These developments tend to be very nice. Charming is the word that comes to mind.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Upstate
    Posts
    4,859
    I like the quote. This is exactly the sort of housing that should be built and promoted!

    Honestly, I don't know how anyone can afford a home at all in some markets. It seems like the only houses that are being built are huge and overpriced, filled with costly amenities.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rockwood, MI
    Posts
    1,420

    Fat Cat

    I have lived in houses with less than 1000 sq feet. I have to admit after the second child we did move into something larger, but as empty nesters we have once again lived in less than 1000 sq feet, Moving around it is easier to find homes in this size, easier to clean, cheaper to heat and cool, Not to mention like Detroit Planner, we are not in a lot of debt with a larger home not do we feel the need to have a larger home
    Having said that, others prefer the larger homes, or have maybe they have a large family and want a larger home,
    We are all different and that is also diversity

  12. #12
    I lived in a 900 square foot condo for 15 years before buying a slightly larger place (1300 sq feet) at the end of 2007. Couches, big screen tv's every modern comfort fit into the space. There are two of us, no kids. We lived very nicely then, we live very nicely now.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    28
    Cottage developments can be attributes to a community, as long as the cottage development standards of the jurisdiction are up to par. Many cottage ordinances fail because they have little in the way of site layout guidelines (open space, joint parking, unit orientation, etc.) and you end up getting another cookie-cutter air-space condo development (disclaimer: I'm guilty of designing a few of these, although I didn't like doing it).

    When a developer builds a cottage community based on a proper cottage code, the results are typically very positive, with nice open space, no garages, minimal asphalt and quaint craftsman cottages. And true cottage developments are typically not very dense (8 du/acre at the most). The idea that a real cottage development is anything like a 14 du/acre trailer park is incorrect.

    The Cottage Company of WA has done it right on numerous occasions:

    http://www.cottagecompany.com/

  14. #14
    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Gone to a better place (in my mind)
    Posts
    407
    It's sad that so many good development ideas like this one seem to fall victim to the "lowest-common-denominator" developer, the one who will skirt as many rules as possible to put up ugly, poorly-envisioned cookie-cutter crap. There are many good developers who want to build thoughtful developments, but they are stymied by rules that were created to block out the cruft. I think the solution is tight ordinances with design review, but that requires both political will and professional planning, both things that are lacking in the average small New England town.

    That said, I do have a problem with plunking down bunches of cottages into areas that were created for large-lot, low density development. The infrastructure to support them (probably) isn't there, so residents will have overburdened roads, parks, etc., and may not have water and sewer at all. This type of development needs to occur in the proper context to make it successful. Even so, I think there is a real market for these developments and I hope that they become more prevalent in the future.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Jamestown, New York
    Posts
    1,695
    Quote Originally posted by Captain Worley View post
    Even though I like smaller houses, I completely understand the oposition. Established neighborhood, larger lots and someone wants to plunk down 7 houses per acre, 25% of which are low income housing. I'd be against it, too, if I lived there.
    I think that between the prices these cottages will go for and the median income of the area, "low income" will mean a family/individual with an income of $84,000. That's hardly qualifying for welfare, Medicaid or food stamps.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Syosset, ny
    Posts
    1
    Quote Originally posted by Captain Worley View post
    Even though I like smaller houses, I completely understand the oposition. Established neighborhood, larger lots and someone wants to plunk down 7 houses per acre, 25% of which are low income housing. I'd be against it, too, if I lived there.

    I agree with you. And will also add that several years after these "tiny cottages" are lived in, many are later enlarged. The idea of these cottages is not a new one, but the use of the word "cottage" is - just another marketing ploy. I love the idea of smaller though if only it was that easy to change a mindset. While looking for a small cottage myself, I found they too cost a bundle depending, as usual, on "location."

  17. #17
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 1998
    Location
    Greensburg, Kansas
    Posts
    2,956
    Reminds me of a developer relative who proposed condos in a subdivision. Single family homes valued at 250K or so. The condos would be 4-500K. The single family home owners did not want rif-raf in their neighborhood.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 1999
    Location
    400 miles from Orlando
    Posts
    13,762
    We watched an idiotic show on HGTV tonite on "co-housing" which amounted to nothing more than sprawl in Portland and Corvallis. With a common kitchen that might be used, what, once or twice a year?

    I'm all for small-home, well-planned development. Just can't support it when it doesn't take advantage of infill opportunities.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Gone to a better place (in my mind)
    Posts
    407
    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    We watched an idiotic show on HGTV tonite on "co-housing" which amounted to nothing more than sprawl in Portland and Corvallis. With a common kitchen that might be used, what, once or twice a year?

    I'm all for small-home, well-planned development. Just can't support it when it doesn't take advantage of infill opportunities.
    I agree. I'm familiar with co-housing developments in Amherst, MA and Northampton, MA, and they are all just houses plunked down in greenfields, sometimes far from downtowns or services. While the interior of these developments are usually nicely done, with a mix of small and mid-sized attached and detached housing, shared parking (no driveways or garages), and nice design, it is hard to forgive their location choices.

    While I am familiar with some urban infill co-housing projects, they seem to be multifamily, not cottages: http://www.easternvillage.org/

  20. #20
    Cyburbian cellophane's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2009
    Location
    louisville, ky
    Posts
    285
    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    Reminds me of a developer relative who proposed condos in a subdivision. Single family homes valued at 250K or so. The condos would be 4-500K. The single family home owners did not want rif-raf in their neighborhood.
    people are smrt.

  21. #21

    Cottages

    I grew up to age 15 in a 900 sq ft house in Revere, MA on a lot about 4,000 sq ft........we had no bathtub (only a shower) in a tiny bathroom (about 40 sq ft). My dad sold it in 1969 for 15K...............now worth about 300K with addition on top.

    Now (age 55) my wife and I live in an apartment, about 900 sq ft..............and I love it! No lawn to mow, no furnace to repair, and rent is $699/mo.

    I figure why waste space..........look at Japan.............tiny tiny dwelling units..........and other European countries as well................

  22. #22
    Cyburbian b3nr's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    272
    That's crazy. That size of house is more than enough for people without families.

    Show them their English namesake of 'Easton'. You want to see density?!?

    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&so...,0.007553&z=18

  23. #23
    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Gone to a better place (in my mind)
    Posts
    407
    Quote Originally posted by b3nr View post
    That's crazy. That size of house is more than enough for people without families.

    Show them their English namesake of 'Easton'. You want to see density?!?

    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&so...,0.007553&z=18
    The problem with Easton, Massachusetts is not density per se, it is that they don't want "those people" from neighboring Brockton, Massachusetts to move in, and if you build houses that "those people" might be able to afford, pretty soon "those people" are moving in next door, dating your daughter and tempting your pretty blond wife with their swarthy, "those-person"-like charms.

    Trust me, I grew up around there and almost every land use issue can be traced back to keeping "them" out, no matter what the superficial reason is claimed to be.

    Edit: OK, not really every decision, but sometimes it felt that way.
    Last edited by JimPlans; 27 Apr 2009 at 1:06 PM. Reason: Clarification

  24. #24
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2005
    Location
    NYC area
    Posts
    783
    Quote Originally posted by JimPlans View post
    The problem with Easton, Massachusetts is not density per se, it is that they don't want "those people" from neighboring Brockton, Massachusetts to move in, and if you build houses that "those people" might be able to afford, pretty soon "those people" are moving in next door, dating your daughter and tempting your pretty blond wife with their swarthy, "those-person"-like charms.

    Trust me, I grew up around there and almost every land use issue can be traced back to keeping "them" out, no matter what the superficial reason is claimed to be.

    Edit: OK, not really every decision, but sometimes it felt that way.
    I grew up on the other side of Boston on the North Shore and agree 100%. It's kind of the Massachusetts way of life, actually - municipalities in the state are aligned with one of two poles: former industrial cities with large low income populations and lots of racial and ethnic diversity (think Lowell, Lawrence, Lynn, Fall River, Brockton) and the so-called Ivory Soap towns, the dozens of little NIMBYfest suburbs like Easton, Duxbury, Concord, and Marblehead. Sad, but it seems that's how people there want it to be and I doubt it'll ever change.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian b3nr's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    272
    Quote Originally posted by JimPlans View post
    The problem with Easton, Massachusetts is not density per se, it is that they don't want "those people" from neighboring Brockton, Massachusetts to move in, and if you build houses that "those people" might be able to afford, pretty soon "those people" are moving in next door, dating your daughter and tempting your pretty blond wife with their swarthy, "those-person"-like charms.

    Trust me, I grew up around there and almost every land use issue can be traced back to keeping "them" out, no matter what the superficial reason is claimed to be.

    Edit: OK, not really every decision, but sometimes it felt that way.
    Well that sounds awful. But surely 'those people' are not a "material" concern. If it affects the built character of the area fine, but do your planning laws really concern themselves with potential demographics of residents?

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Cottage cheese
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 13
    Last post: 15 Feb 2012, 9:30 PM
  2. Replies: 13
    Last post: 17 Jan 2008, 12:53 PM
  3. Cottage Living subscription, anyone?
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 7
    Last post: 10 Jan 2008, 11:32 PM
  4. Cottage bylaws?
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 0
    Last post: 08 Jan 2007, 10:57 AM
  5. Big Home + Small Price = Cheap house
    Design, Space, and Place
    Replies: 18
    Last post: 16 Feb 2006, 1:49 PM