Monday, December 26, 2016

Cities Are Beginning to Take Permanent Tiny Houses Seriously

Rome, Georgia City Commission approved a new development category Monday that clears the way for some tiny home communities in the city limits.

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Previously, the Unified Land Development Code set a limit of one house per lot in the city. Under the change, residential cluster communities are allowed on lots of one to two acres, with a density of up to 10 houses per acre.

The communities would be limited to areas zoned for multi-family development and would require a special use permit.

Developers have contacted the city planning commission about opportunities for the homes, which could be as large as 400 square feet.
Commission members expressed some concern about opening the door for mobile home parks, which are not allowed in the city. However each tiny house would have to meet standards for site-built or modular homes.

Which begs the following questions:
  • Are these homes going to be permanently attached to a footer or foundation?
  • In areas that require sprinklers for site built multi-family homes, will these tiny homes need to be sprinkled?
  • Will all egress regulations be adhered to?
  • Will they fall under the IRC regulations?
  • Will the prospective new owners be able to obtain mortgages or are these tiny homes to be on rented ground similar to mobile home parks?
  • Will bathrooms have to meet minimum size?
  • How many people are allowed to live in each tiny home?

Personally I would love to see these mini communities popping up everywhere but I am having a bad feeling about their future as the people that will be attracted to them are mostly empty nest singles and couples and young people that once they make the commitment to buy or rent one will not be able to fully accept the “tiny” aspect of it. Young people may want to start a family which will immediately make the maximum 400 sq ft home seem very small.   

3 comments:

William aka "Little Bill" said...

I am tired of hearing about these "tiny houses"!!!

Anonymous said...

Personally I thank Coach for bringing to our attention a type of home that could become a mainstay all over the country. Many modular factories are already looking to add them to their line. Coach wrote a story how Icon Legacy is working with a trade school to build a modular version. The tiny house movement will face a lot of code and zoning problems before they are accepted and I think it would be great if modular home factories were part of the movement.

Ted Smith said...

We get inquiries about these often. A big issue comes down to unrealistic budgets, and the people calling are usually shocked at how much it costs to build a small home. What they don't know is that many of the overhead costs remain fairly static, i.e. factory line movements, freight, set crew & crane, trades, even site work. Amazing how cost/sf skyrockets with smaller footprint homes. But it makes more sense to zone lots to allow more than one dwelling, otherwise there's not much scale economically.