Massachusetts Tiny Home News
Somerville City Council, Administration Pass City’s First Zoning Overhaul In 30 Years Dec. 13th, 2019
Somerville is the first and largest municipality in the Boston metropolitan region to adopt a citywide form-based code (FBC) that also incorporates best practices from performance-based and use-based zoning to achieve more than 180 objectives of SomerVision 2030, the City’s comprehensive Master Plan first adopted in 2012.
Among the vast array of language, regulatory, and procedural improvements, the new 552-page ordinance:
· Uses clear, simple language to make zoning understandable to a broad audience.
· Includes illustrations, graphics, and photos to help users visualize the standards.
· Regulates development through standards for 23 different building types.
· Permits common home improvements such as dormers, bay windows, rear additions, porches, and other ‘building components’ by-right.
· Permits backyard cottages, including tiny houses.
· Provides graduated density bonuses for larger lots, net zero ready buildings, and 100% affordable housing buildings.
Mashpee approves accessory apartments to increase housing stock Oct. 21st, 2019
MASHPEE — The town of Mashpee will allow accessory apartments as a by-right use in existing homes, new construction and detached structures to increase its affordable housing stock.
Early in the meeting, an article to ban polystyrene products, such as disposable food service containers, was indefinitely postponed by a 132-98 hand vote. The vote came after several residents on each side of the argument, including a local ice cream shop owner, took to the microphone to state their case. Ultimately, the article was shelved until more information could be obtained about the impact on businesses and possible alternatives. The plastic straw ban met the same fate.
Big Massachusetts Tiny House Festival coming to Beverly October 9th, 2019
BEVERLY — All across the country, people are turning to tiny houses in order to build more sustainable, affordable and creative lives.
North Shore residents will have an opportunity to experience the tiny house world at the Big Massachusetts Tiny House Festival, which will be held Oct. 19 and 20 at North Shore Music Theater in Beverly.
Miranda’s Hearth, a non-profit focused on building community through creativity that is affordable, approachable and accessible, will host the festival, which celebrates the tiny house movement through fully immersive showcases.
“A lot of our festival goers are just curious,” said Miranda Aisling, founder of Miranda’s Hearth. “They just think it’ll be fun. They’ve seen them on TV. They want to experience them, and they want to meet the people.”
High School Students Use Their Skills To Build Tiny House For Disabled Veteran Oct. 9th, 2019
MARLBORO (CBS) – Students Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School are putting their classroom skills to work. They’re building a tiny house inside their Marlboro school.
“It just feels good knowing that you built something from the ground up,” said sophomore Lucas Coelho Da Silva.
Where In Massachusetts Are Tiny Houses Legal? May 23th, 2019
With your help, we’re compiling a list of every city and town in Massachusetts and its attitude toward tiny houses on wheels and on foundations. This is part of a larger initiative by the American Tiny House Association to gather tiny house information for every state in the US. (Katie at B&B Tiny Houses is also ATHA’s northeast regional director.)
As you’ll see in the chart, most cities and towns don’t already have a policy on tiny houses, whether on foundations or on wheels, so their stance on tiny houses is currently unknown. Municipalities probably won’t consider whether to allow tiny houses unless someone brings it up with them! As we’ve seen in Nantucket and Auburn, all it takes is one person to ask.
Auburn town meeting puts out welcome mat to tiny houses May 8th, 2019
AUBURN – Thanks to Monday night’s Annual Town Meeting, Auburn is closer to becoming the second town in Massachusetts to allow tiny homes as primary or secondary dwellings.
While the Kerins’ article was tabled indefinitely with their blessing, Auburn Town Planner Adam Menard drafted a similar article that would have a better chance of being accepted by the state attorney general.
The town planner’s article passed 52-23, getting the two-thirds majority a zoning bylaw article requires. Now, it will be forwarded to the attorney general’s office for final approval.
According to the article, the intent of the bylaw is to allow direct family members who are elderly or disabled and their caregiver to reside in a tiny home to be near family members. A tiny home is not an accessory structure as defined in the state building code. Also, a tiny home shall require a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
A tiny home is a detached structure containing a dwelling unit on a trailer with a maximum of 400 square feet of habitable living space and no more than 15 feet tall, according to the article. It is a structure intended as a full-time residence for the occupant and can only be constructed on a lot with an existing single-family household.
Only one tiny house unit shall be allowed per lot.As of last month, Nantucket is the sole community in the commonwealth that allows tiny homes.
Massachusetts Appendix Q: Official January 2020 July 2nd, 2019
The newest complete edition of the MA Building Code will be released in 2021. However, effective 1/1/2020, Appendix Q, also known as the Tiny House Appendix, is anticipated to be adopted into the current Massachusetts state building code.
The City of Boston Wants You to Put a Tiny Home in Your Backyard May 4th, 2018
Boston’s housing market in a tough spot right now. There aren’t enough homes to meet the demand of all the people who want to live here, driving the cost of living sky high. One way to fix that is to increase housing density, or in other words, create more supply. But how can we build more housing in a city where available land is extraordinarily scarce?
But the housing lab’s newest venture, called the Plugin House, seeks to build tiny houses on those relatively small swaths of land known as backyards.
“We want to know if having homes in backyards is one way to add affordable units on the market, and in a way that doesn’t impact the fabric of the neighborhood,” explains Marcy Ostberg, director of the Mayor’s Housing Innovation Lab.