by Sam Hieb
I’m a fan of the TV show ‘Tiny House Nation,’ and while I think downsizing in general is cool, I often shudder when I think about the way homeowners must shuffle three things in their new 500-square foot home in order to accomplish one task. Sometimes I wonder how quickly that gets old.
My many years of observing local government also makes me wonder how the regulators deal with tiny houses, seeing as how they have to have an opinion seemingly on every aspect of our lives these days.
What do you know—the Winston-Salem Journal digs in:
City leaders are wrestling with how to handle tiny houses as they look at the larger question of regulating so-called accessory dwellings: in-law apartments, garage apartments and other dwellings that may sit behind a conventional house that faces the street.
The city needs to change its regulations to bring them in line with court rulings that invalidate certain current city requirements — rules that specify that an accessory dwelling can only be occupied by a relative of the main householder, or someone who is older, handicapped or a servant.
Courts are telling local governments they can’t dictate those kinds of requirements, city officials said.
Interesting that advocates for high-density housing cite many of the same reasons tiny house advocates cite—not only are baby boomers looking to downsize but the coming generation are having fewer children—-if any at all—so big houses are becoming less and less popular, so hopefully zoning regulators will find a way to deal with this trend.
That said—I sympathize with the neighbor of a tiny houser who was emptying his composting toilet in the back corner of the lot.