Tiny home workshop: concerns raised about appearances
KINGMAN – The main concerns raised at the tiny homes workshop Wednesday dealt with the appearance of tiny homes and the classification of properly-engineered storage containers as tiny homes.
The typical American home is about 2,600 square feet, according to Sylvia Shaffer, planner at the planning and zoning division. Tiny homes are typically between 100 and 400 square feet. City ordinances currently permit tiny homes in two zoning districts, Rural Residential and Residential Manufactured Homes.
“In R-MH zoning districts, a large portion of the lots were recorded in the early 1900s as 25 by 100 foot lots,” Shaffer said. “For lots plotted prior to 1945, the minimum building site for single-family homes is 5,000 square feet.”
The Planning and Zoning Commission discussed amending Kingman’s ordinances Feb. 13to allow for tiny homes to be built on lots of 2,500 square feet. The homes would have to meet building code, have access to the sewer system and be set in permanent foundations. No action was taken, rather the commission said it wanted additional input from citizens.
Concerns at the work session were primarily oriented toward the look of these would-be Kingman tiny homes, and the effect they could have on property values and overall appearances, especially downtown.
Staff has also been asked if the ordinance could be amended to allow for tiny homes to be built in R2 zoning districts, which have a large presence downtown. Many of the lots in these areas are 25-by-100 and 50-by-100 foot lots, and were also recorded prior to 1945. In addition, as tiny homes are not currently permitted in R2 districts, building code would have to be amended. Currently the zoning district’s minimum square footage is 860 square feet for single family detached dwellings built after 1991.
“We set criteria all the time for the Hualapai Mountain corridor. That has a criteria set for every building that goes through there,” said Keith Eaton, assistant fire chief, fire official and current building official. “And that’s what we would envision with areas whether you want to do a tiny home subdivision or if we’re doing tiny homes period that we would set some kind of an appearance criteria.”
Eaton said tiny homes would still have to abide by the international residential code, meeting all standards therein just like an average-sized home.
Another concern dealt with subdividing 50-by-100-foot lots, potentially making room for two tiny homes.
“If the R2 district is amended, tiny homes could be built on 25-by-100 (foot) lots,” Shaffer explained. “But the 50-by-100 (foot) lots could not be subdivided further unless they went through a partial plot or subdivision process.”
Some citizens weren’t comfortable with those plots being subdivided at all, which could also be addressed in an amended ordinance.
Inquiries and information gathered at the work session will be passed on to the Planning and Zoning Commission for consideration on April 10.
“We will be presenting this as a discussion item and will present possible things we could amend the text to,” Shaffer said Thursday. “Once the commission is comfortable with the recommendations is when they move forward with amending the text. We’re still in the early stages.”