Ordinance in Fresno, CA Makes Tiny Houses on Wheels Permanent Housing

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.

Comment This post currently has no responses. Be the first to comment!

Ambitious BIMBYs (Builder In My Back Yard) in San Diego, California

On January 5, 2016, Logan Jenkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote about affordable housing and compared what is happening in the city of San Diego, to Portland, Santa Cruz, and Encinitas.

True or falseIf 10 percent of the homeowners in San Diego County added 450 square feet of separate living space to their properties, the affordable housing crisis would be largely over.

AnswerTrue, I think.

In Portland, Oregon anyone building a backyard house or granny flat faces no developer fees and the city has relaxed their strict covered parking rules, for such units.

Santa Cruz, California is offering homeowners who are willing to offer below-market rent on a new accessory dwelling unit, access to pre-approved architectural models, loans, and fee waivers.

And Encinitas, California is offering current owners of granny flats, an amnesty deal, if the cottages are up to code and available for 20 years at affordable rates.

The most powerful thing local government can do to make San Diego affordable for all generations is to figure out ways to get out of the way of ambitious BIMBYs (Builder In My Back Yard).

To read the article, go to: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/jan/05/solution-sd-housing-shortage-bimbys/

Comment This post currently has no responses. Be the first to comment!

500 sq. ft. In-Law Suite in Tampa Bay, FL

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.

Comment This post currently has no responses. Be the first to comment!

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/

Comment This post currently has no responses. Be the first to comment!

Tiny House on Wheels Community in Lemon Cove, CA

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.

See http://www.lemoncovevillage.com/sites.html for more info!

Comment This post currently has no responses. Be the first to comment!

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/

Comment This post currently has no responses. Be the first to comment!

Legalizing ‘granny flats’ in Encinitas, California

On September 24, 2014, Jared Whitlock of the Encintas Advocate wrote about how the city of Encinitas in San Diego County, is looking to legalize any granny flats that were built or converted before the city’s incorporation in 1986.

Granny flats — so named by Australian builders constructing smaller backyard dwellings for homeowners’ elderly relatives — are considered a source of affordable housing. So, if a large number were to be legalized, the city would have to plan for fewer units.

The units have to meet building and fire codes, and include a kitchen sink and bathroom, to be eligible for the amnesty program. And the owner must agree for the unit to be “set aside in perpetuity for low-income residents.”

“It is recognized that many illegal units which were constructed prior to the incorporation of the city provide affordable housing that may not otherwise be available,” the city’s policy states.

For more information, go to: http://www.encinitasadvocate.com/news/2014/sep/24/Encinitas-program-granny-flats/

Comment This post currently has no responses. Be the first to comment!

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

Comment This post currently has one response. Join the discussion!

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

Comment This post currently has no responses. Be the first to comment!