Tiny Houses (TC-6-21)
Tiny Houses (TC-6-21)
Tiny Houses (TC-6-21): This text change proposes amending the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) to facilitate the construction of tiny houses or small residential structures used for single-unit living. Read the full draft ordinance.
Over the past several years, there has been a growing interest in using tiny houses as a means to address a wide variety of issues including housing affordability, home-ownership, and sustainable development. Tiny houses are small residential structures, usually less than 600 square feet in size, which can be constructed on- or off-site and are used as a permanent dwelling. In March of 2021, the City Council directed staff to develop regulatory tools to facilitate and incentivize the creation of tiny houses, including "movable tiny houses".
Under the UDO today, a tiny house may be constructed as either a Detached House or a Manufactured House. If constructed as a Detached House, the structure must meet all of the dimensional criteria for this building type based upon the zoning classification. In addition, the structure must meet the North Carolina Residential Code. If constructed as a Manufactured House, the structure may only be located within a Manufactured Housing (MH) district and must be certified through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and constructed in compliance with federal construction and safety standards. State law does not permit other types of movable structures, such as travel trailers, RVs, or Park Model homes to be used as permanent dwellings.
Proposed Text Change:
The proposed text change would:
- Create a new building type for Tiny Houses, limiting overall gross floor area and instituting new lot dimensional standards. The minimum lot area, width and depth would be less than what is required for a Detached House.
- Permit Tiny Houses in all residential and mixed-use districts where Detached Houses are permitted.
- Permit Tiny Houses to be Manufactured Houses, provided they adhere to certain design and aesthetic criteria.
- Permit Tiny Houses to be included as part of a Cottage Court Development with a corresponding density bonus.
- Permit Tiny Houses constructed as Manufactured Houses to be Accessory Dwelling Units.
Public Meeting Schedule:
This text change is scheduled for a Planning Commission meeting in September. The Commission may act on that date or refer to their Text Change Committee for further discussion. We will be collecting comments here through September 14. Comments after this date should be submitted directly to Keegan McDonald via email.