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Residential Infill Pilot Program


Residential Infill Pilot Program 2.0 Adopted by Council 

The Tacoma City Council adopted Ordinance 28695 on October 20, 2020, updating the Infill Pilot Program to:   


1. Expand Infill Housing Types:

  • Add Planned Infill Housing category (previously referred to as density-based)
  • Increase the number of each housing type allowed through the program

2. Modify design requirements and other standards:

  •  Allow Cottage Housing in rear yards when an alley is present
  • Increase flexibility for the two-family housing type by removing the requirement to be on a corner lot, and to present the general appearance of a detached single-family dwelling
  • Increase emphasis on qualitative design review of all categories
  • Other changes for improved design outcomes, program clarity and consistency with Building Code
  • Remove parking requirement for projects reviewed by the Infill Pilot Program

3. Streamline the permit process

  • Integrate the Infill Pilot Program review process into the Conditional Use Permit process (rather than requiring both separately)
  • Update handbook to reflect changes and promote quality and performance through improved guidance.

4. Update handbook to reflect changes and promote quality and performance through improved guidance.


More information on the application process for the Infill Pilot 2.0 will be available soon and the program will start accepting applications in December 2020. An updated Program Handbook and application documents will also be available soon.

Residential Infill Pilot Program 1.0 (Active: 2017 - Present) 


Project Overview 

In December 2015, the City Council adopted code enacting the Infill Pilot Program, as part of a package of Affordable/Infill Housing code updates. The following infill housing types will be reviewed under the Pilot Program: 

  • Detached Accessory Dwelling Units in single-family zoning districts
  • Two-family development on corner lots in the R-2 Single-family District
  • Small-scale multifamily development in the R-3 District
  • Cottage Housing in most residential districts

A maximum of three of each infill housing type may be developed (potentially up to 12 in total) through the Pilot Program. 

The intent is to promote innovative residential infill while ensuring that such infill demonstrates high-quality building and site design that is responsive to and harmonious with neighborhood patterns and character. The City hopes to see successful and well-regarded examples of these housing types built, as a way to inform a future Council decision on Tacoma’s regulatory approach to these housing types.


Space Currently Available 

  • Detached Accessory Dwelling Units: All three have been filled
  • Two-Family Developments on corner lots in the R-2 Single-family District: All three have been filled
  • Multi-Family Developments: All three are open
  • Cottage Housing: One of three are open


Residential Infill Pilot Program image


Staff Contact

Mesa Sherriff

(253) 591-5480