Tiny House Movement Pushing the Boundaries of Traditional Zoning
Charlotte, North Carolina, is the latest instance of a neighborhood where homeowners are requesting zoning permits for a little residence, but the structure either doesn’t match a zoning classification, or if it does, the usage is outright prohibited. And though contemporary tiny residences may be functional, budget-friendly, effective, as well as aesthetically compatible with single family members neighborhoods, few zoning authorities fit providing tenancy permits without clear, supporting laws. Are little houses a passing inquisitiveness, or does zoning need to overtake this advancing housing type?
The tiny home (or small house) motion has gained momentum over the last 10 years, and also includes a range of new real estate products such as Katrina Cottages, Echo Cottages, shipping container homes, and the Bungalow in a Box.
The movement is a response to increasing housing expenses, remaining effects of the financial recession, and also a growing cravings towards smaller sized, and also a lot more straightforward living. Several sorts of “little” houses are allowed under conventional zoning guidelines if the structure feeds on a foundation, satisfies minimal dimension needs, and also consists of the necessary energy connections like water, sewage system as well as electricity. Under these conditions a small house is no different in the eyes of zoning compared to a pre-fabricated (or modular) typical residence that simply occurs to be tiny. As well as if the structure doesn’t meet minimum dimension demands for key homes, it still could qualify as an accessory (i.e. yard) residence– which allow for smaller footprints (thinking the regional district does support accessory living).
If the framework has (or had) wheels however, it’s a different tale.
Frameworks that formerly had wheels are more than likely categorized as a made or mobile house, and have to satisfy U.S. Housing and Urban Development Manufactured Housing Standards. In this situation, local zoning would likely limit them to designated mobile house parks, which already existing partially to secure the character of standard domestic communities. The mobile house neighborhood, then, can attain different (and also more desirable), higher-density layouts versus standard neighborhood specifications, as long as common facilities for car parking, stormwater management and also various other facilities are supplied.
If the framework has wheels, it is most likely identified as a rv, and would certainly not qualify as a main residence under a lot of neighborhood zoning policies. They are either allowed on a momentary basis, or are limited to accepted RV parks for longer-term usage.
If a structure (or car) does not drop within any of these specifications, the dwelling would most likely be identified as camping, which is the regulatory equivalent of pitching a camping tent in a backyard, or uninhabited tract. Camping as a type of dwelling is either allowed on a short-term basis for personal land (typically limited to 30 days), or restricted to marked camping areas, similar to the above instance.
Tiny Homes on trailers– such as those produced by Tumbleweed Tiny Houses– are starting to question these conventional meanings. These devices are clearly Recreational Vehicle’s (as noted on the business web site), as needed for legal highway travel. However unlike a conventional RV, they are bought with the intent of being inhabited as an irreversible dwelling, either as a primary or accessory property.