'Pocket Neighborhoods' On the Rise

Small neighborhood developments of cottages with low square footage known as "pocket neighborhoods" are catching on, especially with empty nesters looking to downsize.
April 2, 2011, 1pm PDT | Nate Berg
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Pocket neighborhoods have been popping up in cities all over the U.S. Washington developer and acrhiect Ross Chapin has been leading the trend.

"Based in Langley, Wash., Chapin has developed 40 pocket neighborhoods across the country - many in partnership with Seattle developer Jim Soules of The Cottage Co. He is currently working on projects in Indiana, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Cities in the Puget Sound area have adopted cottage housing ordinances that often allow twice the number of homes on a lot as long as they're small, limited in height and face a common area.

'Jurisdictions around the country are looking at these and adopting them,' Chapin says. 'The idea of a pocket neighborhood is that you have nearby neighbors coming together around a shared space. ... This really harkens back to the fact that we, as humans, are social. We want to be together.'"

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Published on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 in USA Today
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