Zoning Regulations: The Most Tiny House-friendly States Out There

Zoning Regulations: The Most Tiny House-friendly States Out There

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Are you looking for the most tiny house-friendly states? You’re right for doing so. 

These places usually have lenient or, in other cases, limited zoning regulations. 

Zoning regulations primarily exist for the public’s safety and wellness. That is why any interested buyer or builder should not only have an inkling about these laws; they should also follow them. 

That brings us to the importance of being aware of the tiny house-friendly states. Not all states in the U.S. are friendlier with tiny homes.

By knowing these tiny house-friendly states, not only will you avoid hassles, but you will also be at peace since you’re not violating any zoning codes.

The most tiny house-friendly states in the U.S.

When a state is tiny house-friendly, it means they have looser zoning regulations for tiny houses. It could also mean their laws for Recreational Vehicles (RVs) is friendlier.

Since Tiny Houses on Wheels (THOWs) are considered RVs in some states, then the same lenient laws also apply to them. 

Here are the most tiny house-friendly states.

1. Texas 

most tiny house-friendly states - dallas, texas
Aerial drone view uptown Dallas, Texas during sunny autumn day.

Why are they friendly? 

Texas is one of the most tiny-house friendly states out there. It welcomes tiny houses with wide-open arms. In fact, in 2014, Spur became the first town in the U.S. to have tiny house-friendly zoning ordinances. Texas has relatively limited zoning regulations, which makes it easier for people to buy lands and build their small abodes.

This Texas Chalkboard is a great piece to add to your tiny home!

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Houston is already gearing towards the trend even though they don’t have official zoning regulations. Spur, meanwhile, is steadfast in encouraging people to invest in their town’s lots and build their lives there. They are even preparing to help in people’s transitioning to tiny houses.

2. California

Why are they friendly? 

This sunny state is also friendly with tiny houses. However, they have notable house rules. In 2016, based on the California Department of Housing and Community Development, a tiny house should have a chassis with axles. The house should also measure under 400 square feet. Homeowners must follow that plus other local-specific zoning rules of each city in Cali. 

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In December 2019, Los Angeles has officially legalized Tiny Houses on Wheels (THOWs), viewing them as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). Meanwhile, the Park Delta Bay of North California is the only legal tiny house community as of the moment.

3. North Carolina 

Why are they friendly? 

Just like California, NC is another one of the most tiny house-friendly states. That is, as long as they follow zoning and construction codes. You can own a small abode anywhere within Brevard, Asheville, and Buncombe County. However, they are cold with THOWs, prohibiting them anywhere except in campgrounds. 

This Catstudio North Carolina Embroidered Decorative Throw Pillow will make a wonderful piece to your tiny home!

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December 2019 has been a progressive month for tiny houses in NC as well. The first draft of the RV/Mobile Home Park Ordinance has been written by the Board Of Commissioners for Clay County. The aim of the ordinance is to regulate the mobile homes properly in the area. It also promotes appropriate street planning. 

4. Colorado 

most tiny house-friendly states - denver, colorado
Panorama of Denver skyline long exposure at twilight.

Why are they friendly? 

Tiny houses also find a home in Colorado, but not without having a few thorns to its existence. Particularly, THOWs still get parking restrictions. Still, compared to other states, it has been doing well. It even has its first legal tiny house community, the Peak View Park. 

Beautify your Colorado tiny home with this beautiful and artsy Hofdeco Decorative Throw Pillow Cover.

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Last Jan 22, 2020, the Denver Channel reported that the Boulder City Council updated their building code. The changes allowed people and builders to build tiny houses in residential areas starting July 1, 2020. 

5. Arizona

Why are they friendly? 

Tiny houses are allowed in Arizona, given that they follow the required size and space restrictions by the state’s building code. There are also several notable tiny house communities in Arizona such as the Village on 13 (V13), Tiny Camp Sedona, and LuxTiny Community. 

Decor your tiny house with this stunning TUMOVO House Decorations Living Room.

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

Last January 2020, FOX 10 reported good news for foster kids in Phoenix. Those who have outgrown the system can now live on their own in 240 square feet tiny houses. This initiative was spearheaded by Thrive, an organization that supports age-out young people. 

6. Georgia 

Why are they friendly? 

Georgia’s zoning regulations vary in every jurisdiction, but their building codes have been updated to tiny houses’ favor. In 2017, Georgia allowed the minimum size of livable rooms to reduce into 120 to 70 square feet.

According to this factsheet, RVs, mobile homes, site-built dwellings, and Residential Industrialized Buildings each has to follow different zoning codes.

Beautify your Georgia tiny house with this Georgia Sign – Rustic Farmhouse Decor For The Home.

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Similar to Phoenix, AZ, people with compassion and money are also seeing tiny houses as housing solutions. In fact, an anonymous donation was sent to Hand by Hand to build 60 tiny houses in Glynn County, each measuring 240 square feet. 

7. Idaho 

most tiny house-friendly states - boise, idaho
Colorful balloons in a blue sky over the little city of Boise, Idaho.

Why are they friendly? 

Idaho sure is one of the most tiny house-friendly states in America. It has become more welcoming to tiny houses by being the first state to adopt the IRC Tiny House Appendix V on June 27, 2017.

That was a major move since the appendix describes the tiny house as a dwelling that measures 400 square feet. This, in turn, encouraged the reduction of the square foot threshold from 500 square feet to 400 square feet. 

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In Moscow, the Moscow City Council has now allowed RVs and THOWs are now allowed in mobile home parks. The mayor himself, Bill Lambert led the council. Each member was supportive of the decision. 

8. Indiana

Why are they friendly? 

Indiana is moderately warming to tiny houses. Still, properties considered as tiny houses will have to comply with the Log Cabin Rule, which adheres to Indiana’s old housing regulations. Indiana also has tiny house communities such as the Lomax Tiny House Community, which is around the Kankakee River.

This Indiana Sign – Rustic Farmhouse Decor For The Home can make your Indiana tiny house feel more homey and cozy.

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

Tiny houses are also being used in Indianapolis to help homeless people. Last year, in Nov 2019, it was reported that the Lynhurst Baptist Church will build 28 tiny houses for citizens who don’t have houses. Each of the dwellings will measure 264 square feet. 

9. Michigan

Why are they friendly? 

This Midwestern state has no state-wide zoning laws that prohibit tiny houses. However, it has the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act. This allows legislative bodies within Michigan to demand zoning requirements from tiny houses. Also according to the Michigan State Building Code, the required minimum size for dwellings is 120 square feet. 

Personalize your Michigan tiny house with this adorable wood sign.

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

Based on Great Lakes Tiny Homes, a tiny house-friendly area in Michigan is Newberg Township. Still, properties will be subjected to the State of Michigan Residential Building Code. 

11. Minnesota

most tiny house-friendly states - Minnesota
Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota at night time as seen from the famous stone arch bridge.

Why are they friendly? 

Minnesota approves of tiny houses. Their 2020 Minnesota Residential Code, defines tiny houses as dwellings that measure 400 square feet excluding the loft. In 2016, American Tiny House Association reported that the state was about to pass a law that allows THOWs in backyards.

If you love decorating your room, then this Primitives by Kathy Wanderlust Box Sign is perfect for your Minnesota tiny home.

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

The state allows tiny houses, indeed—oddly, its citizens are quite adamant about the movement. Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported that the people might be hesitant because of zoning codes or property depreciation. 

13. Nevada

Why are they friendly? 

Nevada is warm towards the construction of tiny houses—that is, of course, if they measure under 200 square feet. Meanwhile, Las Vegas and Clark County have varying zoning regulations, but you can build an RV or tiny house in your own lot or in a tiny house community. Nevada’s first-ever tiny house community was the Airstream Village. 

Make your Nevada tiny house unique with this 6×12 Inches Vintage Feel Metal Tin Sign Plaque.

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

The Tiny House Movement is becoming more prominent in Clark County, Henderson, and Las Vegas, where the tiny houses are treated as RVs. The most notable tiny house communities are Sugar Shack, Goldspike Backyard and Ferguson Downtown. It’s no doubt that it’s one of the most tiny house-friendly states in the United States.

15. South Dakota

Why are they friendly? 

South Dakota allows the building of tiny houses in their state as well. Tiny houses on foundation, particularly, have to comply with Spearfish’s residential zoning laws. The house must measure at least 450 square feet. And if someone moves in after the construction of the tiny house, the owner must add an extra 100 square feet for the occupant. 

Add this Prop License Plates, Number Tags Replica to your South Dakota tiny home to make it feel more homey.

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

At the moment, South Dakota has done a good job in regulating tiny houses, especially in Beresford and Spearfish. The state has approved ordinances that work in favor of the movement. It’s safe to say that the future also looks bright for tiny house communities in the area. 

16. Tennessee

Nashville, TenneseeUSA - January 30, 2020 Nashville city skyline, including the AT&T Tower or Batman Building
Nashville, Tennesee/USA – January 30, 2020: Nashville city skyline, including the AT&T Tower or Batman Building

Why are they friendly? 

Tennessee allows the building of tiny houses provided that the properties follow the building code’s requirements. A new tiny house community also developed in East Tennessee.

Interestingly, many municipalities in Tennessee don’t require building codes and impose zoning regulations, but you still have to pay and submit an Electrical and Septic Permit. 

Welcome your friends to your Tennessee tiny home with this Home & More Tennessee Doormat.

The latest news about tiny houses, RVs, and ADUs

News Channel Nashville reported that a big demand for tiny houses has been growing in Tennessee. In Nashville, tiny houses can be built in the backyards of multi-family duplexes. 

More about zoning regulations

Every state, county, and city has a specific set of zoning regulations. But why should homeowners and business owners follow those rules? We answered your questions below.

Why should you follow zoning regulations? 

Zoning regulations don’t just exist for compliance. These are state and city laws that ensure an individual’s quality of life during the entirety of their residence in a house or occupancy a corporate building. 

In a nutshell, zoning laws protect the health, safety, and wellness of the residents. Without them, any city would be in disarray. And that is why you should follow them. 

What are the consequences of violating zoning regulations? 

Violating zoning regulations results in serious trouble. The person in question may have to pay civil penalties. Their properties might also be demolished or seized. 

In most cases, the person in question is served with a citation, which requires them to appear in court and then enter their plea. 

If they’re found guilty, the zoning authority in that area might “blacklist” that person if he or she is guilty of the violation. They won’t secure a zoning permit for that person in the future.

How does zoning regulations benefit homeowners?

  • Implementing zoning regulations prevents overcrowding of structures in a residential area. Overcrowding will bring many safety and health risks—fire hazards, noise, poor quality of life, and easier spread of diseases.
  • The best development standards on space and height in properties, preventing overcrowding inside a property. 
  • These laws encourage the preservation of property values by prohibiting the incompatibility of infrastructures in one area. For example, a liquor store shouldn’t be built near a school.
  • Zoning regulations also help maintain the aesthetic quality of a neighborhood since it creates and preserves recreation areas.
  • Through the enforcement of zoning laws, residential properties and commercial structures are protected from each other’s inevitable nuisance.

In a nutshell

Through knowing the regulations of these states in the U.S., you will save yourself from a tantamount of legal and financial blunders. 

Whether you’re planning to move into another state or you just want to build a tiny house in your backyard, zoning is the very first aspect you should study. 

If possible, get help from a property developer or inquire at your local zoning authority. 

Related questions 

What are the tiny home-friendly cities in California?

In Fresno, California, Tiny House On Wheels (THOWs) can find a good home. Other areas in California such as Long Beach, Milpitas City, and Marin County are also making their regulations of ADUs and tiny houses friendlier. Fresno, particularly, made waves by announcing that they allow secondary houses and THOWs on properties without a caregiver. 

What is the average size of a tiny house?

Mostly, you will find tiny houses that measure under 400 square feet. Some tiny houses on foundations can go beyond that size. Tiny houses on wheels, on the other hand, measure under 2.4 meters by 6 meters.

All About Tiny Houses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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