• Delphine

Tiny Houses, Zoning, and More

Updated: Apr 17, 2018

Owning your own piece of property comes with much pride and a multitude of

options.  Whether you have already purchased vacant land or thinking about buying some, it’s smart to consider what you may want to do with your property. 


One option, that is becoming quite popular, is to build a tiny home on your vacant land.  This is becoming so attractive that there is now an HGTV show showcasing the build of tiny homes.



You can also now find tiny home communities popping up around the country.  As a result of the popularity, many areas are reconsidering those allowances into their regulations as many do not allow for the small square footage of tiny homes in their zoning. 


As life becomes more hectic, people want a place to get away from the busyness of everyday life.  This sometimes includes downsizing their possessions, saving money, having a smaller environmental footprint, or simply adapting a minimalist mentality and lifestyle.


As a result, more and more people are entertaining the idea of a tiny home. There are many factors to take into consideration, but first things first.  


Zoning!


An important item that needs to be addressed when building a tiny home, or making any

improvements to your land, is to understand the zoning restrictions in the area. Building codes are also something to consider but are different than zoning restrictions.


Zoning refers to the number of houses that can be built on a property, where they are built, and how services or utilities can be accessed. Building codes refers to how the house can be built.


What kind of regulations can zoning put on a property? There are several factors zoning could include such as sewer or septic connections, rainwater runoff control, square footage of a house, types of water hook ups, and the size of the lot to name a few. Also, because tiny homes are typically built with wheels, a zoning restriction may restrict wheels on the building.


So when building your tiny house, you may want to make sure your wheels are removable.

Depending on your city, county, or township, they could all have different regulations for

zoning.


The first thing to ask is, are there zoning restrictions? There might not be any but if

there are, know what they are. Rural locations often times do not have zoning restrictions which make it an easy choice. Typically, in these zone free areas, the only considerations you may have to look into, if any, are state building codes.


For zoning regulations in your city, just jump online and do a quick search for zoning in your

specific city. Your local city government should give some good direction for zoning. You may find that some cities lay this information out better than others. Again, be encouraged in your interest or purchase in vacant, rural land as there are typically no zoning restrictions on these types of properties.


There is something very liberating about the idea of detaching oneself from the many affections we call our “possessions”. Making the full time commitment to living in a tiny home isn’t for everyone, but for those who are not quite ready to take the plunge, might you consider the “practice” by building a tiny home on some property you bought as a second “get away” home? 


If I were to build a tiny home, there are a few features I can think of that I would like it to

include.  At the top of my list:  a roof top patio! 


What feature would you want to have if you built your own tiny house?   Tell us your ideas!

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