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  • Writer's picturehawaiichocolate

Tiny House Communities

Just like a lot of you, I spent my Memorial Day at a picnic. Our Tiny House Community, County Line Cottages held its very first holiday pot luck picnic. There are 27 homes here and the turnout was excellent. A few people had family in the local area to spend the day with but for the majority of folks here, this is our family. Everyone brought tasty food- pulled pork sliders, chicken wings, deviled eggs, potato and macaroni salads , some outstanding creative vegetable salads and coleslaw , baked beans and an array of desserts including a banana pudding everyone loved. We introduced ourselves because we recently had new people move into the community which is now full. There were a lot of laughs, some sober moments honoring veterans and a comradery that lasted almost 7 hours!

It showed me how hungry people are for a sense of community, something often lacking in our typical suburban neighborhoods. Our community center is under construction and I can tell it will be a well- loved and utilized space to meet, watch a movie or sports event, exercise, play cards or have a group pot luck in the winter.

I have been working on a book about tiny home communities across the US. I’m hoping to publish it in July. Its been an interesting research project to uncover, not just a place to park a tiny home, but to appreciate the pioneers that have really taken the effort to create a unique and welcoming community in their development projects. My book takes into account factory built Tiny Homes on Wheels (THOW) which can be towed down a road ,and larger 400 sf “Park Models” which need permits to be hauled and require a professional mover, and are both typically parked in an RV, Mobile/ Mfg community or private land. And a few cabins or modular choices under 1000 sf that can be placed on your own land. Most communities have lots that are leased, but there are some co-ops and developments where you can own the land as well, obvious more expensive.

Our community is only about 15 months old. It’s 55+ but we get plenty of grandkid visits. It’s comprised of both singles and couples and a variety of pets.

It wasn’t really mapped out from the start but it’s not overmanaged with ridiculous HOA rules either. The houses are spaced among mature oak trees and there’s about 10 acres of open space/pasture currently filled with colorful wildflowers. After trying to find other really nice communities across the US. I appreciate this one even more.

Tiny Home Communities are an alternative way to live, and one more way to alleviate housing crisis and develop a sense of place for all to be proud of. Slowly, sometimes too slowly, these houses and what they bring to a community at large , are staring to be accepted. It is unbelievable that municipalities have minimum square footage laws with the minimums starting at 1000 sf!. In many places NIMBY attitudes prevail . People complain tiny houses will ruin their large home investments. Some really more progressive laws were passed in the last couple years, allowing communities like these to exist, allowing a tiny house in a backyard as an Alternative dwelling unit (sometimes called a granny flat) .

I can’t blame people for not wanting the typical soulless mobile home park in their backyard. Where the houses are parked right next to each other with little to no landscaping. That’s an ugly way to live. Some of these tiny house communities on the other hand are a model of how to create meaningful neighborhoods. Where people know each other and care about one another. This can be applied to manufactured homes, or stick built homes but only when profit and greed are not the only desired outcome of the developer.

Join the conversation. What is your perception of living tiny? Could you live tiny? Would you welcome or a oppose a tiny house community in your town and why? Who do you think lives tiny?

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