The City of Bozeman has passed a proposal to create smaller, cottage style homes to add lower priced inventory to Bozeman’s real estate market. Bozeman has been addressing home affordability in town for some time, including passing an inclusive zoning ordinance, while continuing to approve additional developments.
The general proposal encourages homes between 1,000 and 1,200 square feet, built surrounding the edges of a property, with an interior, shared common space between them. The design would aim towards using the land more efficiently, fitting many more units per acre with a clustered living style. The design creates a pseudo courtyard feel, with buildings surrounding a natural space.
Growing homes have, at the very least, contributed to growing home prices in Bozeman. Since 1950, the average square feet for a Bozeman home has doubled, while the average household size has actually shrunk. As buyers have searched for bigger homes year over year, builders have obliged, requiring lower end buyers to buy more home or return to the rental market. Allowing builders more opportunities to create smaller homes will help renters and condo owners get more opportunities to own a detached home.
The new proposal would also allow for infill development from Bozeman property owners and developers as well. City officials believe cottage housing will improve density, while avoiding large apartments and other urban designs. Previous ordinances had funneled developers into building condos. Condo owners own their own units, but not the exteriors or the land beneath them. The cottage homes would make detached homes more affordable while also giving home buyers the opportunity for land ownership.