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Residential Infill Pilot Program

Residential Infill Pilot Program 2.0 (Under Development) 


A Note about COVID-19 

Due to COVID-19 related impacts, a number of employees are in furlough or temporary layoff status. For help reaching a specific City employee, dial 311 from within Tacoma city limits or (253) 591-5000 from anywhere else. However, if you have specific questions about during this period, please reach out to the Planning Division Manager, Brian Boudet, at bboudet@cityoftacoma.org.

Proposed Updates

The Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, at 5 PM in the Council Chambers, to receive public comment on the proposed Residential Infill Pilot Program Regulations. These changes would allow the Infill Pilot Program to continue to function by adding more spaces for applicants to replace the ones that have been filled. The proposed changes would also add flexibility to address the specifics of each project and allow for a more streamlined project review without reducing the oversight that each project receives. The Commission is expected to forward its recommendations to the Council in late March 2020 for consideration for adoption in April 2020. 

Infill Housing Types


Expand Infill Housing Types:

  • Add density-based Housing category
  • Increase the number of each housing type allowed through the program

Modify design requirements and other standards:

  •  Allow Cottage Housing in rear yards when an alley is present
  • Increase flexibility for the two-family housing type by removing the requirement to be on a corner lot, and to present the general appearance of a detached single-family dwelling
  • Increase emphasis on qualitative design review of all categories
  • Other changes for improved design outcomes, program clarity and consistency with Building Code
  • Remove parking requirement for projects reviewed by the Infill Pilot Program

Streamline the permit process

  • Integrate the Infill Pilot Program review process into the Conditional Use Permit process (rather than requiring both separately)
  • Update handbook to reflect changes and promote quality and performance through improved guidance.

Update handbook to reflect changes and promote quality and performance through improved guidance.


Upcoming Public Meetings


Public Information Session: March 4, 2020 from 4-5 PM at the Tacoma Municipal Building (747 Market St.) Room 243


Planning Commission Public Hearing: March 4, 2020 at 5 PM at the Tacoma Municipal Building (747 Market St.) in the Council Chambers (first floor) 


Documents for Review

Residential Infill Pilot Program 1.0 (Active: 2017 - Present) 


Project Overview 

In December 2015, the City Council adopted code enacting the Infill Pilot Program, as part of a package of Affordable/Infill Housing code updates. The following infill housing types will be reviewed under the Pilot Program: 

  • Detached Accessory Dwelling Units in single-family zoning districts
  • Two-family development on corner lots in the R-2 Single-family District
  • Small-scale multifamily development in the R-3 District
  • Cottage Housing in most residential districts

A maximum of three of each infill housing type may be developed (potentially up to 12 in total) through the Pilot Program. 

The intent is to promote innovative residential infill while ensuring that such infill demonstrates high-quality building and site design that is responsive to and harmonious with neighborhood patterns and character. The City hopes to see successful and well-regarded examples of these housing types built, as a way to inform a future Council decision on Tacoma’s regulatory approach to these housing types.


Space Currently Available 

  • Detached Accessory Dwelling Units: All three have been filled
  • Two-Family Developments on corner lots in the R-2 Single-family District: All three have been filled
  • Multi-Family Developments: All three are open
  • Cottage Housing: One of three are open



Residential Infill Pilot Program image


Staff Contact

Mesa Sherriff

(253) 591-5480