More homeowners in the city of Clovis will soon be able to add a small second home on their property and save nearly $10,000 along the way.

This week, the Clovis City Council approved an expansion of the city’s unique Cottage Home Program. It allows the addition of a cottage unit of up to about 500 square feet on residential properties adjacent to alleys.

Ten cottage homes have been built since the program was launched. Another home is currently in the pipeline.

The new policy makes the program available citywide in single-family residential zoning districts where alley access exists. Previously, only properties in the Old Town area were eligible.

“(The Cottage Home Program) is changing lives and also changing the city in being able to revitalize and beautify our alleys.” — Maria Spera, coordinator of the Cottage Home program

Clovis started the Cottage Home Program in 2017 to encourage small-scale infill residential development in the city’s central core. Another goal was to help revitalize older neighborhoods by orienting the cottages toward often-neglected alleyways. This approach helps create a “unique pedestrian street environment,” the city says on its website.

Free Home Plans Valued at $10,000

As part of the program, the city provides property owners with pre-approved cottage home plans free of charge, saving them up to $10,000 in costs. Three cottage home designs are available.

The program also allows for modified development standards to help property owners fit the second unit on their property, said Maria Spera, the city’s cottage home program coordinator.

Honored by National Planning Organization

The city’s efforts have now been recognized nationally. The American Planning Association recently honored the program with a National Planning Achievement Silver Award for a best practice concept.

“We are excited that we got that recognition,” Spera said. “(The Cottage Home Program) is changing lives and also changing the city in being able to revitalize and beautify our alleys.”

The citywide expansion is expected to go into effect in early May.

Learn More About The Program

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