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Residential Infill Pilot Program

Update (April 17, 2019)

The City of Tacoma has received an application for a Cottage Housing project and will be convening the Review Committee to conduct the review in May 2019 (details below).  In addition, the two-family projects that were reviewed in January 2019 have been accepted as described in the Decision Letter (March 21, 2019) and are now able to apply for a Conditional Use Permit.  


Notice of Review Committee Meeting

  • Date/Time: Friday, May 3, 2019, 3 PM
  • Location: Tacoma Municipal Building North, 733 Market Street, Room 16 (access from St. Helens Ave.)
  • Project to be Reviewed: 6812/6816 S. Alder St. 
  • Comments: Please submit comments for the committee via email or letter to staff by May 1, 2019

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

DADU Codification (Status as of March 2019)

On March 19, 2019, the City Council adopted Amended Ordinance No. 28576 enacting a package of changes to the City's Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) regulations.  The changes will go into effect on May 1, 2019.  The code changes allow Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADUs), as of right, in single-family zoning districts.  The remaining three project types will remain in the pilot program.  For more information, please visit the DADU Regulations web page. 


Project Milestones (2015-2018)

The following is the background information about the pilot program. 


Selection of Projects

Four projects have been selected to move forward into the permitting process.  Please see the following official determination of the Director of the Planning and Development Services Department, dated May 24, 2017:

  • Residential Infill Pilot Program - Project Selection Report and Decision
  • Review and Evaluation of Applications

    Through the application process in early 2017, the City received 16 project applications, involving three housing types: Detached Accessory Dwelling Units, Cottage Housing, and Two-family Development on Corner Lots.


    The information packet, Infill Pilot Program Project Review Criteria and Summary of Applications, provides summaries of the 16 applications, project review criteria, and relevant background information.


    The Project Review Committee comprised of staff and citizen volunteers met on April 27, 2017 to evaluate the applications and recommend up to three projects of each type to move forward to the permitting process.  The public was invited to observe the deliberations and offered the opportunity to comment prior to the meeting.


    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.



  • Infill Pilot Program Application  
  • Tacoma Infill Pilot Program Handbook 
  • Affordable Housing (project webpage) 
  • TMC 13.05.115 Residential Infill Pilot Program
  • TMC 13.06.150 Accessory dwelling units
  • TMC 13.06.160 Cottage Housing
  • TMC 13.06.640.G Conditional use - two-family development on corner lots in the R-2 District
  • TMC 13.06.640.H Conditional use - multi-family development in the R-3 District

    Residential Infill Pilot Program image


    Staff Contact

    Mesa Sherriff

    (253) 591-5480