Monday, December 21, 2020

Many Tiny House Buyers Don't Understand Zoning Laws

The tiny house movement may be popular, but it is also important to know whether a jurisdiction allows the dwelling a potential buyer wants and which banks will offer financing, and to know about insurance and other concerns.

The Tiny House Alliance has information about laws, builders, for veterans, and other items, with a mission of building “tiny houses with collaborative partners and to foster and transform vacant, abandoned, and distressed properties into vibrant tiny home communities that will transform neighborhoods into a valuable asset for the community,”

CLICK HERE to read the entire Columbia Basin Herald article

1 comment:

  1. I read a story just yesterday about a young lady who was a recent grad and placed a Tiny Home in her parents backyard only to be cited by Zoning as a nonconforming use.

    Zoning laws in most states have been promulgated to local jurisdiction to enforce and administer and much of what is contained in local ordinances is cookie cutter in the broader sense with local takeaways. The issue is the Administration of the Zoning Ordinance as many don't understand the differences or application of Comprehensive Planning versus Developmental Planning and use the Subdivision Ordinance as a means to direct all development. The other parts of Zoning in terms of general violations lie in subjective enforcement due to the politics of Zoning.

    Most Zoning ordinances and Comprehensive Plans limit USE in terms of future development and current placement of HUD, CROSSMOD, Tiny and Park Model homes by defining the Building Code permitted in each zone.. In addition they require Special Use Permits to develop or expand Mobile Home Parks to a point of non-existence. The areas they do designate for HUD homes are the least desirable location or locations with no utility or demand in the marketplace.

    Mr. Buffet is quoted, or at least I read he has been quoted, about creating a MOUT around his brands. Well local governments have created a MOUT around a small sector of the North West Corner as the only place by right a HUD Homes can be placed and it does not appear that is changing or being challenged.

    The other side of this issue is VALUE and the COST of delivering local services, especially school operating and CIP cost. Unless you see the math most can't comprehend the issue facing local governments.

    This math varies by location however for Virginia this is closely accurate. For example, consider the following and adjust accordingly;

    Avg Home Value $255,000
    Avg Per Student Cost(local dollars) $ 5,500
    Avg Tax Rate Per $100 $ .0085
    Annual Tax on 255K $ 2,168
    No. of Homes to Cover 1 Student 2.55
    Value of 2.55 homes average $650,250
    $650,250 x .0085 = $5,527. or
    $5,500 rounded.
    Change Value to $125,000 - it takes 5.18 homes to educate 1 child. New Developments estimate anywhere from 1.75 to 2.5 children per home, do the math.

    So How many HUD, Tiny, CrossMOD or Park model homes will it take to educate 1 student locally or the average household?

    The cost of school operations and CIP is placing an ever pressing burden on local resources and yet Affordable Housing options are needed on an equal scale. In order to solve one you need to solve the other. We lived in a Double Wide for many years so I understand the need for affordable housing yet I cant discount the facts surrounding the numbers or dollars and sense either.

    Thank you for permitting me to comment.

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