Soap Lake Wa Has Become Very Tiny Home Friendly


Soap Lake, Wa

Soap Lake, Wa. Adopted Chapter 17.25 into the  Soap Lake Municipal Code

In 2016, the city council of Soap Lake, Wa. adopted chapter 17.25 into the Soap Lake Municipal Code to encourage single units and clusters of tiny homes on city lots in Soap Lake. The minimum requirement is 200 square feet and the maximum requirement is 1000 square feet. At this time, wheels need to be taken off, but they are very open to changes and willing to have an open conversation to make it work for everyone.

About Soap Lake, Wa.

Soap Lake is located in the center of the state of Washington, 20 miles north of Interstate 90 between Seattle and Spokane, sitting in a desert environment with nine inches or less of rainfall per year and 320 days of sun. The current population is approximately 1,740 people. Soap Lake is formed at the end of a chain of lakes running down the center of the Lower Grand Coulee. The Lower Grand Coulee is over a mile and a half wide in places with sheer basalt rock walls rising 900 feet over the coulee floor. State Highway 17, Coulee Corridor-National Scenic Byway, runs through Soap Lake and up the floor of the canyon heading towards Grand Coulee Dam and Canada.

Healing Waters In Soap Lake

Soap Lake is known to have healing waters because the minerals in the water make the water alkaline.

More Cities In Washington Are Becoming Tiny Home Friendly

I was very excited to speak with Darryl Piercy, who is the planner of 5 cities in Wa. state and he said there are more cities that want to welcome tiny homes, including the city of George. Darryl is the man to speak with to get your permit to place your tiny home.

Contact For Permits

Plan It Consulting
A Division of Partners With Government LLC
312 Alpine Drive
Ellensburg, WA 98926
509.859.2943 Eastern Washington
509.859 2943  Grant/Adams County
360.362.6339 Western Washington
FAX 888-778-1275


Chapter 17.25 Click Here:  Full Details 



Section 1. Adopt the following chapter into the Soap Lake Municipal Code:

17.25 Cottage housing design standards.
A.    Purpose.
1.    To provide an opportunity for small, detached housing types clustered around a common open space;
2.    To ensure that cottage developments contribute to the overall character of residential areas;
3.    To provide for centrally located and functional common open space that fosters a sense of community;
4.    To provide for semi-private area around individual cottages to enable diversity in landscape design and foster a sense of ownership;
5.    To minimize visual impacts of parking areas on the street and adjacent properties and the visual setting for the development; and
6.    To promote conservation of resources by providing for clusters of small dwelling units on a property.
B.    Description. Cottage housing refers to clusters of small detached dwelling units arranged around a common open space. Cottage housing developments shall only be allowed in the R-2 zone.
C.    Lot Configuration. Cottages may be configured as condominiums or fee-simple lots provided they meet the standards herein.
D.    Density Bonus. Due to the smaller relative size of cottage units, each cottage shall be counted as one-half a dwelling unit for the purpose of calculating density. For example, a cluster of six cottages would be equivalent to three dwelling units.
E.    Dimensional Standards.

Table 17.25.010 Dimensional standards for cottages.
F.    Units in Each Cluster. Cottage housing developments shall contain a minimum of three and a maximum of 12 cottages located in a cluster to encourage a sense of community among the residents. A development site may contain more than one cottage housing development.
G.    Windows on the Street. Transparent windows and/or doors are required on at least 10 percent of the facades (all vertical surfaces) of all cottages facing the street and common open space. For facades facing north, at least eight percent of the facade shall include transparent windows or doors. facades provided the design meets the purpose of the standards.
H.    Parking and Driveway Location and Design.
1.    Parking shall be located on the same property as the cottage development;
2.    Where lots abut an alley, the garage or off-street parking area is encouraged to take access from the alley;
3.    Parking areas shall be located to the side or rear of cottage clusters and not between the street and cottages. Parking is prohibited in the front and interior setback areas;
4.    Parking and vehicular areas shall be screened from public street and adjacent residential uses by landscaping or architectural screens. For parking lots adjacent

to the street, at least 10 feet of shall be provided between the sidewalk and the parking area. For parking lots along with adjacent residential uses, at least five) shall be required. The city will consider alternative landscaping techniques provided they effectively mitigate views into the parking area from the street or adjacent residential uses and enhance the visual setting for the development;
5.    Parking shall be located in clusters of not more than five adjoining uncovered spaces (except where adjacent to an alley). Departures will be considered provided alternative configurations improve the visual setting for development;
6.    Garages may be attached to individual cottages provided all other standards herein are met and the footprint of the ground floor, including the garage, does not exceed 1,000 square feet. Such garages shall be located away from the common open spaces; and
7.    No more than one driveway per cottage cluster shall be permitted, except where clusters front onto more than one street.
I.    Common Open Space Requirements.
1.    Open space shall abut at least 50 percent of the cottages in a cottage housing development;
2.    Open space shall have cottages abutting on at least two sides;
3.    Cottages shall be oriented around and have the main entry from the common open space;
4.    Cottages shall be within 60 feet walking distance of the common open space; and
5.    Open space shall include at least one courtyard, plaza, garden, or other central open space, with access to all units. The minimum dimensions of this open space are 15 feet by 20 feet.
J.    Required Private Open Space. Private open space shall be required adjacent to each dwelling unit, for the exclusive use of the cottage resident(s). Space shall be usable (not on a steep slope) and oriented toward the common open space as much as possible, with no dimension less than 10 feet.
K.    Porches. Cottage facades facing the common open space or common pathway shall feature a roofed porch at least 80 square feet in size with a minimum dimension of eight feet on any side.
L.    Covered Entry and Visual Interest. Cottages located facing a public street shall provide:
1.    A covered entry feature (with a minimum dimension of six feet by six feet) visible from the street;
2.    At least 10 feet of landscaped open space between the residence and the street; and
3.    At least two architectural details, such as:
a.    Decorative lighting;
b.    Decorative trim;
c.    Special door;
d.    Trellis or decorative building element; and/or
e.    Bay window.
Alternative design treatments will be considered provided the design treatments provide visual interest to the pedestrian.
M.    Character and Diversity. Cottages and accessory buildings within a particular cluster shall be designed within the same “family” of architectural styles. Examples elements include:
1.    Similar building/roof form and pitch;
2.    Similar siding materials;
3.    Similar porch detailing; and/or
4.    Similar window trim;
A diversity of cottages can be achieved within a “family” of styles by:
1.    Alternating porch styles (such as roof forms);
2.    Alternating siding details on facades and/or roof gables; and/or
3.    Different siding colors.

509 345 2013

509 770 1694

3 thoughts on “Soap Lake Wa Has Become Very Tiny Home Friendly”

Comments are closed.