I'm an artist, a photographer, a recent law school graduate, and I live in a tiny house on wheels that I designed myself. I also own Legally Tiny!
For more on me, see cherylspelts.com or catch me on social media.
Every state is different, and the rules can vary widely, but one tiny house owner in North Carolina describes the process necessary to legally place a tiny house on wheels on his own property.
The process for what was called “the custom modular” sounds fairly simple: hire a structural engineer to certify that the house was structurally sound; put the trailer on piers and strap it down, much like would be done with a mobilehome; then apply for a building permit.
The Berzins Family had their biggest tiny house fear almost come true in 2013. They were found to be in violation of the Universal Statewide Building Code in Virginia because they didn’t get a building permit prior to building their 168 sq. ft. tiny house.
As Hari Berzins writes…
The code in Virginia puts any dwelling into the jurisdiction of the local building inspector. So even though we built on wheels (constructing mostly in Florida) and have a license plate, we still needed to have a building permit and inspections.
Their story has a happy ending–the inspection process was painless and they got their Certificate of Occupancy. But if you’re living or building a tiny house on wheels in Virginia, it might be smart to read their story…
A new ordinance that went into effect on January 3rd, in Fresno, California, allows tiny houses to be placed on residential property legally.
According to the Fresno Bee, tiny houses on wheels are now… “considered backyard cottages thanks to changes in the city’s zoning and development code. That means tiny homes can be used as independent living quarters on the same lot as a single-family house granted it meets some requirements. Previously, the mobile units could only serve as temporary lodging.”
Pat Mosley, owner of California Tiny House, a Fresno builder, worked with Fresno City Council Member Esmeralda Soria on changing the code.
This 500 square foot tiny house on a foundation is located in the backyard of another house in Tampa Bay, Florida, and is meant as an in-law suite.
Home Care Suites is the builder, and they offer help figuring out the rules for accessory units for property located in the areas they serve, and also offer to help their clients meet all zoning requirements, including matching the siding and roofing to the main house.
In June of 2015 the Rockledge City Council moved forward with new zoning regulations that will allow for the creation of tiny house developments.
Pocket neighborhoods encompass a cluster of tiny houses gathered around a shared open space. Neighbors know each other and are willing to look out for each other. A pocket neighborhood is also well-suited to empty nesters and senior citizens, who crave for a sense of community without the upkeep of a regular-sized house.—floridatoday.com
The city’s plan calls for tiny houses of at least 250 square feet, with an additional 100 square feet for each additional resident.
Rene Hardee, who led the campaign for the new zoning regulations, is now looking for developers interested in creating a tiny house pocket neighborhood, with her family among the first residents.
Lemon Cove Village is an RV park dedicated to tiny houses on wheels, and is located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, in the foothills of the western Sierra Nevada mountain range in California, just 19 miles east of Visalia. The community of Lemon Cove has a tiny population–only 350 people–and the property itself is studded with oak trees and the air is fresh.
There are 55 sites on eleven acres; 30 sites with full hookups (sewer, water, electric) and the rest with partial hookups. There’s a community garden, and the park is dog-friendly.
The park is open to not just tiny house owners, but also anyone building a tiny house! There is even an apartment on the property available to rent, while you build your tiny house.
Space rent is $450 – $595 for a regular space, or $125 – $150 for a build site.