Thursday, February 25, 2016

Modular Tiny Home Developments Given Green Light in Colorado

A Colorado RV and Modular home builder has big expectations for a series of tiny home suburbs in rural towns, which go well beyond offering vacationers a stripped-down seasonal stay.

Rod Stambaugh, founder of Sprout Tiny Homes, believes two planned developments composed of his company's compact eco modular homes can solve a crisis for rural ski towns desperate to house seasonal employees. He believes the sub-300-square-foot homes coming to the towns of Walsenburg and Salida can be game-changers for local development.

"Tiny homes are the only solution that can save some of these declining rural communities or provide quality affordable housing in…the mountain communities that are booming," he told Outside

Since founding Sprout in La Junta, Colorado, in late 2013, Stambaugh has been outspoken about the potential small homes have to help rural areas, and even function as temporary shelter for those displaced by natural disasters. The company's homes, built in their southeast Colorado factory, were showcased at the Tiny House Jamboree in Colorado Springs earlier this summer.

But this may just be the beginning if Stamburgh can follow-through on plans for the two housing developments.

After the town of Walsenburg changed its zoning code in 2014 to remove size restrictions on residential construction, Stambaugh purchased 4.5 acres of land and laid out plans to build a permanent tiny home community with a community center and outdoor theater. He expects the 32 units, ranging from 262 to 672 square feet, will sell for $60,000 to $130,000.

Walsenburg offers an intriguing test case for the tiny home movement. The city is the first in the country to alter size restrictions for new homes, and, being a former miner's town, has plenty of small lots that used to house small cottages for workers.

In addition to the Walsenburg development, Stambaugh also plans to construct 200 small homes on 19 acres in Salida, which has no size restrictions listed in its zoning codes. Called River View at Cleora, the development will offer long-term leases starting at $750 per month.

From an article on Curbed


Coach said...

Instead of turning our collective noses up at tiny house communities, what do you think would happen if a factory would build them to our codes with third party inspections and went after developers in metro areas. I bet they would have a winner on their hands. This would be the answer to affordable housing AND how to get Millennials their first home.

Will it happen...probably not but what if it did. Imagine the new business out there!

Anonymous said...

Factories do this - apartments and townhomes - unless zoning issues are addressed and satisfy the NIMBY crowd they won't be a viable product in metro areas where the cost of land means go vertical not horizontal. In addition, unless a factory can produce multiples in this size they are not profitable to produce considering cost of carry for the plant.

Besides we collectively complain about the public perception that modular is lipstick on a manufacturered pig imagine the confusion with RV park models in the public eye.

Anonymous said...

There are more obstacles to affordable housing than the size of the home and manufacturing costs from land costs, impact fees, zoning restrictions, appraisals, credit and Dodd Frank mortgage applications, personal debt, to the typical NIMBY response in metro areas for high density projects.
I am quite sure that any factory would meet your tiny house need if you walked in with mutiples of 10 or more delivered to the same location in a one week period.

Anonymous said...

Why should the factories wait for someone to come in with 10 tiny houses? Don't they have sales people that could be going after developers and city planners?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 2.26 at 11:08 pm

Maybe the factories should also deliver and complete them as well like some vertical integrated firms in Europe. Or maybe you as a local builder could identify or market such opportunities in your service area and work in partnership with a factory rep in developing and delivering the product needed.

But remember selling one (1) tiny home DOES NOT make sense for factory production but selling multiple units does that's why many factories survived the recession by identifiying and marketing the feasibility of modular in multi-family and commercial projects.