Tiny Homes | Urban Living

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tiny Homes

Posted By on January 11, 2017, 4:00 AM

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Everyone wants a tiny home. It's all the rage, right? The tiny home TV shows are some of the most popular because well, they're cute as hell, right? Personally, I would love to see a reality show called Living in My Tiny Home: Two Years Later. It's as if some people have a fetish with dollhouses, whereas others just don't need more than a pillow, a pan, a toilet and some clothes to exist.

Friends and customers call me all the time, inquiring about vacant land where they could build a tiny home in the Salt Lake Valley. My reply is always, "Call the planning and zoning department!" If you're a Salt Lake City resident, you'll notice there aren't any popping up in your neighborhood. If you live in more rural parts of the state, tiny homes are being built on mountain acreage and on ranches around Utah. I also suggest researching the cost, as those cute little two-story tinies you see on TV can run upward of $100,000.

Pleasant Grove passed an ordinance as part of their zoning laws. In city legalese, tiny homes are considered Accessory Dwelling Units. Pleasant Grove ruled that ADUs can be built on the same lot as a main home, but the land under both houses can't be subdivided. They also require the tiny home to be larger than 192 square-feet, built on a permanent foundation and permanently connected to city utilities like water and sewer. You see, if you had your tiny home on a trailer, it would be called an RV. There are sightings of tiny houses in Draper, Lindon and Fruitland, but no Tiny House Village ... yet.

Owners of these micro homes have gathered around the country to lobby local governments to allow for planning and construction of tiny home communities. Sounds pretty socialist, right? Well, pishaw to politics. The need isn't going to go away. Several counties in California allow a tiny house (on wheels) in a backyard if it is a caregiver cottage. Fresno allows them without the caregiver requirement. RV parks are natural locations for these kinds of homes as they allow them to be parked and charge rent for the pad and utilities. Florida has a year-round tiny house community near Orlando, and Georgia's Green Bridge Farm is a sustainable community that accepts tiny houses on lots they sell for $30,000-$40,000. In northwest Indiana, along the Kankakee River, a higher-end gated community for these homes is available with pads for sale or for rent. If you go to tinyhousecommunity.com, you can get info on 33 communities across the U.S., plus sites in Canada, New Zealand and the U.K. You won't however, find any sites in Utah. But have faith; locals are working to get laws passed and make it happen.

About The Author

Babs De Lay

Babs De Lay

A full-time broker/owner of Urban Utah Homes and Estates, Babs De Lay serves on the Salt Lake City Historic Landmark Commission. A writer and golfer, you'll find them working as a staff guardian at the Temple at Burning Man each year.

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