Seeking Public Comments To Help County Decide
Written By Janet Thome
Humboldt County, California- Should tiny homes be allowed? Where tiny houses will be allowed in the future depends on how the county defines tiny houses and what codes and standards apply to their construction. The public is invited to help the County figure out if, when and where they should be allowed by contacting Mary Milner, the planner of Humboldt County.
There is currently no official definition of a Tiny House in California. However, in practice, it is generally understood that a Tiny House is a permanent dwelling or bedroom less than 400 square feet in size, either built on a tow able chassis (Moveable Tiny House) or attached to a foundation.
The definition of the Tiny House dictates which building code or standards apply to its construction. Humboldt County proposes a definition that includes the following characteristics:
Classification as a permanent, year-round dwelling,
On wheels or on a foundation
.A few jurisdictions around the state have adopted local ordinances that permit Tiny Homes on Wheels (also known as Moveable Tiny Houses) as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). These are These are Fresno, Ojai, Placer County, San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles (proposed, not yet approved).
Why Promote Tiny Houses?
When the International Code Commission (ICC )made changes to its residential code (IRC) in 2018 to facilitate Tiny House construction, its rule making document cited these reasons:
Average US home size is increasing, while family decreasing;
Tiny Houses use a fraction of the wood and wood products of a conventional home
Lifetime conditioning costs can be as low as 7% of conventionally sized homes;
Increased housing cost makes home ownership unfeasible for many;
Tiny Houses can add to affordable owned and rental housing stock
Call Mary Milner, Planner at 707-268-3772
Eureka Is Encouraging Homeowners To Build ADUs In Their Backyards
One of the city’s main priorities is encouraging homeowners to build mother-in-law units in their backyards and to offer perks to developers who construct affordable-by-design units.
There are also 22 churches in the city, most of which are zoned in single-family residential zones and which also have large parking lots, Holmlund said. A couple of parking spaces in those lots can also be used for tiny houses.
“We encourage all the churches in town to do this,” Holmlund said. “Maybe they have the resources to find someone that is very low-income or homeless, have them live in that unit, work with them, coach them into reintegrating into society and then we have 22 more housing units just like that.”
2019 Housing Element
Welcome to Humboldt County’s Housing Element Update page. It is intended to inform people, and invite community input about current and future housing in the unincorporated parts of the county.
Housing Element Progress – Latest Version
The files below represent the version of the Housing Element to be presented at the August 20, 2019 Board of Supervisors hearing. It includes public input, revisions requested by the Planning Commission, by Dept. of Housing and Community Development (HCD), and by Legal Services of Northern California. The last file is a summary of the revisions.
Topics Related To Housing
New allowances for ADUs
New allowances for Tiny Houses
How Can You Participate?
You are invited to help us update the Housing Element in several ways:
Sign up for notifications
Take our surveys
Submit written comments
Attend Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors hearings
You can sign up for email or text notifications for the Housing Element update and other topics on the County’s website at: Notify Me
Select “General Plan Implementation” for Housing Element workshops, meetings, and notices.
As work on the Element progresses, interactive surveys and tools for public comment on specific topics will be incorporated into this and other websites. To receive notifications as surveys become available, sign up at Notify Me. Select “General Plan Implementation”.
Please send written communications to: firstname.lastname@example.org
All comments will be part of public record.
Contact Person for Housing Element
Michelle Nielsen, email: MNielsen@co.humboldt.ca.us
With Housing Element Passed, Staff Pushes Forward on Tiny Houses August 29th, 2019
The nonprofit Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives, which has long lobbied for creative solutions to the county’s housing crisis, applauded the board’s vote to pass a plan that, in addition to tiny homes, also includes provisions for a sanctuary parking program and campground.
Bold New Approaches
But there are also some “bold new approaches,” according to the county’s staff report. “For example,” it states, “the amendments propose to dramatically expand allowances for accessory dwelling units (formally known as second units), and to create new allowances for tiny homes, moveable tiny houses, and tiny house villages.”
This comes as welcome news to many of the county’s most prominent activists on homelessness issues. Nezzie Wade, board president of the group Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives (AHHA), said she’s very happy the county has included tiny houses in its plan.
Related: Shit Talking: Humboldt County Looks at Adjusting Compost Toilet Rules Amidst Bureaucratic Tangle
A handful of rural resident stakeholders see composting toilets as the most environmentally responsible method for disposing of human waste in Humboldt County. When residents live away from communities with sewage services, wastewater is generally treated with septic systems under California Plumbing Code, but a group of rural residents are saying septic systems needlessly waste water and energy. These stakeholders are encouraging the County to not merely allow water-less and composting toilet systems but to see them as the preferred method of waste treatment in low density areas such as Southern Humboldt.
Article Source Redheaded Blackbelt
Photo Credit: American Tiny House