Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Colorado City Sets New Standards for Tiny Houses

The city of Cedaridge, Colorado was struggling with ordinances that would allow tiny houses, both on wheels and on semi-foundations, to be used as permanent residences within existing single family neighborhoods.

Under their current codes building a tiny home is difficult. The new building codes allow for better safety, namely with lofts, ceiling height, ship ladders and more.

Cerdaridge’s Planning Commission proposed ordinance would make tiny homes a permanent structure between 200 to 600 square feet for principle use under R2 and R3 zoning with MUDC2 conditional use. Thus, only specific lots would be available for development.

Then a twist occurred at the Board of Trustee meeting where the public had a chance to address the tiny house proposed ordinance. One person who said they were not opposed to a tiny home park wants it to be regulated and not look "distracting" from the beauty of the town.

The Mayor and board members voted down the Planning Commission’s proposed ordinance and passed a much tougher one that just might be the standards other cities in Colorado and maybe other states could adopt.

This ordinance would require 600 square feet as a minimum for living space. As it stands, a tiny home park could be established conditionally but at this time but Cedaredge will not modify the code to allow single tiny homes on a residential lot for principal use of R2 and R3 zones.

This means that land will have to be rezoned within the city limits to allow a Tiny House park similar to a manufactured housing community. Now instead of someone putting a tiny house just about anywhere they want in the city an investor will have to put a huge chunk of money in preparing a tiny house park with water, sewer and other public services which just might be of a more problem than its worth.

If this ordinance stands up to legal interpretation, this could soon be a model for other cities. Simple, clear and to the point.

Don’t be surprised if Cedaridge will also require all tiny houses within the park to meet the new modified IRC code tiny house requirements.

Gary Fleisher (the Modcoach) is a housing veteran, editor/writer of Modular Home Builder blog and industry speaker.

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