School District in Vail, Arizona Builds a Tiny House Community for Teachers

With local home prices out of reach, and no apartments available within a normal commuting distance, many of the teachers in Vail, Arizona were forced to live in Tucson, and drive 25 miles one way, to get to work. So the school district set out to create a community of tiny houses, on five acres of district-owned land, located near the town center. The homes will be available both to rent or to own, and the mortgage on a customized tiny home with a 30-year fixed rate loan, will be about $700 a month.

Because you have to be an employee of the district to live in the tiny home community, if you decide to leave the district—or if you are asked to leave—you also would have to leave your home. Although Carruth says that teachers will have the option to take their tiny homes with them if they move on, moving these structures, particularly if installed on a foundation, can be a costly endeavor. Tiny homes typically don’t retain value like traditional homes do, in large part because they aren’t attached to land ownership.

https://www.citylab.com/design/2018/07/a-tiny-fix-for-a-big-problem-affordable-teacher-housing/566033/

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Rockledge Tiny House Community

A group on Facebook is in the planning stages for a tiny house pocket community in the City of Rockledge, Florida, where it will be possible to own your own lot, and build a tiny house on a foundation, or in some cases place a tiny house on wheels. The houses will range from 170 to 700 square feet, and the community will feature “a common greenspace to encourage interaction.”

Pocket neighborhoods are clustered groups of neighboring houses or apartments gathered around a shared open space — a garden courtyard, a pedestrian street, a series of joined backyards, or a reclaimed alley — all of which have a clear sense of territory and shared stewardship. They can be in urban, suburban or rural areas. pocket-neighborhoods.net

And from the Rockledge Tiny House Community Facebook Group… “The site plan that has been submitted to the City of Rockledge for approval has 12 tiny foundation house lots and 3 THOW lots. Only 25% of the houses can be THOWS per the ordinance.”

To join the Rockledge Tiny House Community Facebook Group, go to: https://www.facebook.com/groups/909633985742545/

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California Clarifies the Legality of Tiny Houses

On February 4th, 2016 the state of California released a document meant to “clarify the legality of use, design and construction approval of any residential structure that may be commonly referred to as a tiny home.”

The Information Bulletin doesn’t change any existing law, but instead simply clarifies the existing law, making it easier for those interested in a tiny house in the state of California to know what is legal to occupy.

The document describes when a tiny home fits into one of four definitions–which are all legal to occupy. The basic classifications are recreational vehicles (including park trailers), manufactured homes, factory-built housing, or a site-constructed California Building Standards Code dwelling.

The summary…

A tiny home sold, rented, leased or occupied within California may be legal if used on an approved location, complies with all applicable laws, and is either:

• Built on a chassis with axles; contains 400 square feet or less of gross floor area (excluding loft area space); is considered an RV, CC or PT; is not under HCD’s jurisdiction for the design and construction of the unit; and its construction and occupancy is enforced by local enforcement agencies with appropriate jurisdiction; or

• Not constructed on a chassis with axles; is placed on a foundation or otherwise permanently affixed to real property; and complies with CBSC or FBH standards; and may be enforced by local enforcement agencies having appropriate jurisdiction.

The document is only four pages long, easy to read, and is a huge help to anyone looking to buy, build, or live in a tiny house on wheels or on a foundation, in California.
http://files.ctctcdn.com/4d29178d401/ddccfe12-c56f-48cf-8ed9-8bbec86bb521.pdf

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Tiny House Pocket Neighborhoods Approved in Rockledge, Florida

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.

For more information on the zoning changes, see: http://www.floridatoday.com/story/life/home-garden/spaces/2015/06/19/tiny-houses-catch-brevard/71079722/

For more information on the Rockledge Planning Commission’s decision, see: http://www.cityofrockledge.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/330?html=true

To join Rene Hardee’s Facebook Group for the planned tiny house pocket community, go to: https://www.facebook.com/groups/909633985742545/

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Planned Tiny Homes Community in Salida, Colorado

River View at Cleora is a planned tiny house development in Salida, Colorado, by Sprout Tiny Homes.

The Colorado mountain town of Salida sits in the middle of the state, literally in the “Heart of the Rockies,” about 2 hours west of Colorado Springs and 3 hours southwest of Denver.

Located on 19.1 acres between the Arkansas River and County Road 102 in Chaffee County, Colorado.

The town of about 5500 residents is included in the guidebook America’s 100 Best Small Art Towns, and has been listed in US News and World Report as a Top Ten Bargain Retirement Spot.

The community will be adjacent to the historic Cleora platted townsite, on the Arkansas River, and includes sites for 200 tiny homes.

For more info, see: http://sprouttinyhomes.com/salida-community/

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300 sq. ft. Tiny House in Yellow Springs, Ohio

This tiny house, located in a small town in Ohio, is 16 x 20′ and 300 square feet, and sits on a permanent foundation.

After two years living in their tiny house, the owners recently tore down an old garage on the front of their lot, and are starting to build a three bedroom traditional-sized house in it’s place.

The owner talks about zoning starting at the 6:40 minute mark in this video by Kirsten Dirksen. The city was in the process of changing their code–going from a 500 sq. ft., to a higher minimum–and this house started a conversation about minimum size limits, and accessory units.

In February of 2013, the Yellow Springs Village Planning Commission agreed to a new size minimum of 900 square feet for Residence A and B, and no minimum size for Residence C. (See the zoning plan map at yso.com or ysnews.com for the locations of the residential districts.)

The planners’ challenge is to create a zoning code that balances two different local needs, according to Chair Matt Reed: the need to protect property values of existing neighborhoods and to promote more flexible and creative housing to increase infill in the village.

The owner spoke at the meeting about his tiny house, saying he and his wife are quite comfortable in their small space.

“I don’t think my neighbors mind their extra yard space,” he said. “I don’t think it’s valid that small houses lower property values.” – Alex Melamed

To read the article in the Yellow Springs News by Diane Chiddister, go to: http://ysnews.com/news/2013/02/planners-limit-tiny-homes

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Spur, Texas is the Nation’s First Tiny House Friendly Town

In July of 2014, Spur Texas declared itself the first tiny house friendly town, and invited the tiny house community to settle in Spur. The motivation was a declining population in Spur, and a desire to reverse that trend and bring in “do’ers from all walks of life who value self-sufficient sustainability and practical progress” via appealing to tiny house owners.

Spur is a classic West Texas town which has undergone a dramatic population drain to the big cities over the last few decades.  Once a town of several thousand, Spur has all the infrastructure you would expect of a city, with paved roads, city electric/water/sewage, and even fiber optic internet.  But with only about 1,000 people, the city has hundreds of vacant lots and abandoned buildings and several vacant commercial buildings.

Prices for acreage average around $1,500 per acre. Lots in town, owned by the County, average around $500 each.  Each lot is about 1/6th of an acre with the dimension ranging from 60′ x 120′ to 50′ x 160′.

And the regulations? They’re pretty loose in Spur Texas!

If you have or want a THOW, you can order it, build it, and park it in Spur, with access to utilities – if you want them – without having to hide from building inspectors.  If pursuing this route, we do require a THOW to be secured to a foundation while in city limits.  This is a safety concern as there are occasionally high winds which could otherwise knock your house over, or worse, into someone else’s home and property.  If you buy land just outside of city limits, you’re welcome to do as you please.

For more info see http://spurfreedom.org

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Tumbleweed “Bodega” on a foundation in Royalston, MA

Just 252 square feet, this tiny house in Royalston, Massachusetts is fully permitted and legal, and was built using modified Tumbleweed “Bodega” plans. It’s on a permanent foundation and was completed in October 2013.

According to owner/builder Chris Haynes, the code in his area requires one room that is at least 150 square feet, and while the living room area was listed as only 120 square feet in the plans, when combined with the kitchen, Chris was able to achieve the 150 square feet minimum. He also had to add a back door to the plan, and he discusses the allowed width of that door. Chris praises the building inspectors in Royalston.

Derek “Deek” Diedricksen, of HGTV/DIY interviews owner/builder Chris Haynes, and the conversation on meeting the code starts at the 1:10 minute mark in the video.

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