One of the main barriers to tiny house living is the fact that a lot of areas have various bylaws and city ordinances that make living in a tiny house quite restrictive if not downright impossible.
If you want to build a tiny house and park it in a town or city you will have all kinds of reasons put forth as to why you can’t do it.
Everything from minimum size requirements for a dwelling on a city lot, to access to sewers for flush toilets and all drains, to having to be within a certain distance from a fire hydrant.
The city of Fresno, California however, is being much more flexible to the Tiny House Movement.
Instead of putting up barriers to living in a tiny house, the city is making it easier! What a novel idea!!
From the Fresno Development Code:
Tiny House. A structure intended for separate, independent living quarters for one household that meets these six conditions:
- Is licensed and registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles and meets ANSI 119.2 or 119.5 requirements; (note: requirements for being a legal RV or park trailer)
- Is towable by a bumper hitch, frame-towing hitch, or fifth-wheel connection. Cannot (and is designed not to) move under its own power. When sited on a parcel per requirements of this Code, the wheels and undercarriage shall be skirted;
- Is no larger than allowed by California State Law for movement on public highways;
- Has at least 100 square feet of first floor interior living space;
- Is a detached self-contained unit which includes basic functional areas that support normal daily routines such as cooking, sleeping, and toiletry; and
- Is designed and built to look like a conventional building structure.
It is really quite interesting. Specifically, Code Section 15-2754 Second Dwelling Units, Backyard Cottages, and Accessory Living Quarters does set minimum and maximum sizes, does not demand extra parking, and even deals with the look of the dwelling
“If visible from a public street or park, the architectural design, roofing material, exterior materials and colors, roof pitch and style, type of windows, and trim details of the Second Dwelling Unit, Backyard Cottage, or Accessory Living Quarters shall be substantially the same as and visually compatible with the primary dwelling.”
Is this the end all and be all of making living in a tiny house barrier free? Probably not. As with anything there will be other issues that come up.
But this is an interesting development in the Tiny House Movement, and one that may make tiny house living more viable in urban and suburban areas.
Well done Fresno. Well done.
Your thoughts on this?