Decatur residents intrigued by cottage court project

Dozens of Decatur residents, probably well over a hundred, attended three days of initial site-plan drawings for the city’s proposed cottage court pilot project. Mississippi planner/ architect Bruce Tolar—a veteran of the New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina rebuilding—drew and subsequently revised a number of designs based on residential input.

Assistant City Manager Lyn Menne said Decatur’s interest in cottage courts stem from the proliferation of large, single-family homes and residents requesting more affordable housing.

“We want to show developers there are other ways besides slapping down big homes, that they can make as much money building creative smaller homes,” Menne said.

Decatur’s pilot project will be built on a half acre between Sycamore Drive and Commerce Drive across from the Ice House apartments. Menne anticipates house costs at $250,000 to $300,000 each, the size roughly 12,000 square feet at one to 1½ stories. The site will hold five to seven homes sharing a common green space.

Menne said construction could begin early next year. The city will likely hold a lottery to determine who can purchase a cottage court home.