7 units per acre; 1400-1900 square feet
Keyhole lots, sometimes called zipper lots, alternate narrow and wide dimensions of both homes and lots facing the street. They were developed to address the issue of high-density, zero-lot-line housing that lives well on the inside, but fails to accommodate people on the outside. The typical zero-lot-line layout creates narrow, shaded side lots and garage dominated street scenes.
The narrow dimensioned lot has its yard space concentrated at the side of the lot. The wider dimensioned lot has its yard space at the back.
The lot line runs along the zipper (see plan below) between the houses, but a use easement allows the narrow house to use all of the side yard. Fencing is an extension of the architecture and protects privacy. When the master bedroom is upstairs, it always faces the street to avoid having windows that look down into neighbors’ yards. Secondary bedrooms with higher windows and clerestory glass are at the back.
The concept utilizing the alternate wide and narrow siting has the look and feel of three to four homes per acre. Building these homes at 7 units per acre reduces land development costs and increases livability and privacy not found in most conventional subdivisions.
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