New SE Bend housing to make use of city's 'cottage code'

Developer meets with neighbors to hear concerns

New development set to utilize...

BEND, Ore. - A proposed development is set to go into a Southeast Bend neighborhood, and it's going to utilize the city's "cottage code."

The project would place 22 cottages of 400 to 600 square feet on a 3.1-acre parcel that wraps around an already existing neighborhood.

This story was first brought to NewsChannel 21's attention last week and caused some controversy among neighbors.

The cottage code allows for smaller houses to be built in an area, as long as it doesn't exceed the density requirements already set for the neighborhood.

City Planning Manager Colin Stephens said Wednesday the cottage code was created in 2015 to help create more affordable housing options.

"It's still a single-family dwelling, it's not a duplex or a triplex, so it's another housing option, which is something that our council is very interested in," Stephens said. "It was a part of our urban growth expansion, to give more housing options to people to fill that middle."

The developer of the project is Jesse Russell, owner of Tongue and Groove Tiny Homes.

Russell said Wednesday he wants to be a part of the cottages here in Bend because they provide an alternative and more affordable way to purchase a house.

He said what he is building meets city building codes, and that tiny homes on wheels are not currently legal to live in within the city.

"At this point in Bend, it's really difficult for people to find homes at the $200,000 mark, and by building smaller homes, we're able to supply houses at that cost," Russell said. "And we are able to do that through cottages."

Some neighbors in the area said they were concerned about the idea of "tiny homes" going into their neighborhood.

They expressed worry that it could change the dynamic of their neighborhood and make it hard to have a homeowners' association.

Russell said he was able to have a meeting with some of the neighbors Tuesday night to listen to their concerns.

"Originally ,some of the neighbors had thought it was going to be a tiny house on wheels development, or a mobile home park, and I think, and rightly, were kind of against what we were trying to do," he said. "I've since met with them and explained that we are doing small cottages and we plan to do them with the existing style that's there."

As a result, some of the neighbors said they are coming around to the idea, while other sare still against the development.

Russell said he believes the cottages will be a great addition to the southeast Bend neighborhood.

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