Tiny house regulations and codes vary by city, town, or county.
Washington County minimum square footage is under 300 feet. Tiny houses on foundations are allowed in residential areas as long as they are hooked up to utilities. Tiny houses on wheels are classified as park model recreational vehicles.
Salt Lake City permits accessory dwelling units (ADUs) that are either 50% of the square footage of the principal structure or 650 square feet (whichever is greater).
Utah has been fairly slow to accommodate codes and regulations to tiny houses despite growing demand. However, there are a number of tiny house builders available for those who wish to join the movement regardless.
Tiny house regulations and codes may vary by city, town, or county.
Spearfish, South Dakota:
A permanent tiny house on foundations that is building code compliant is permitted in all residential zoning districts in Spearfish.
A temporary tiny house on wheels can be located on any commercial campground in Spearfish.
Beresford, South Dakota:
The exterior width of the tiny house can’t be less than 8.5 feet or more than 20 feet.
The minimum size is 187 square feet with no less than 50 additional square feet per additional person.
Tiny homes that are not on wheels must be secured on a foundation.
A tiny house on wheels must be secured to a licensed trailer.
A tiny house must be tightly secured to the ground when parked in order to withstand weather. Learn more here (page 44, section 12.5).
South Dakota has made huge inroads in regulating tiny houses. Places like Spearfish and Beresford are great examples of communities that specifically address tiny houses in their ordinances. Over the next few years,hopefully we can expect other towns and cities in South Dakota to follow suit.
Tiny houses are not acknowledged in ordinances by the city of Providence.
Check with your local municipality for specifics on zoning regulations and building codes.
Most cities like Providence will refer to sheds as a place to keep gardening equipment. Recently, Rhode Island has passed a state law allowing owner-occupants of single-family homes to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs) for senior relatives age 62 and older.
Many parts of the State of Texas seem to be a Hotspot for establishing your Homestead and living in Tiny Houses or Shed to House Conversions, particularly in the rural areas of Texas.
Texas Cities Have Zoning Authority
Under Texas law, cities have the ability to adopt and implement zoning regulations. Texas Loc. Gov. Code Sec. 211. Interestingly, not all cities have done so. Houston, one of the country’s largest metro areas, does not have formal zoning, although it does control some land development through other indirect means.
Most cities in Texas, though, have zoning regulations. You can usually find a city’s zoning laws in a document titled “zoning ordinance” or “development code.”
If your property is outside city limits, different regulations will apply unless you are in what is called an “extraterritorial jurisdiction” right outside city limits. In Texas, counties have relatively limited zoning authority but may indirectly control development through regulation of transportation, environment, water, waste treatment, and stormwater.
Below is a list of Jurisdictions in Texas which seem to allow Tiny Houses or Conversions without any zoning or code issues.
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Tiny houses outside of cities have a better chance of meeting zoning requirements.
Tiny houses have a better chance of meeting building codes if placed on foundations.
Tiny houses on wheels are put into the same category as RVs.
While not yet represented in terms of regulations, tiny houses are still gaining traction in the state of Oklahoma. There are currently a few tiny house communities in development in the Wheeler District and in northwest Oklahoma City.
Tiny house regulations and codes may vary by city, town, or county.
Burleigh County regulations:
The minimum size requirement is 965 square feet, therefore, the size of a tiny house would keep it from being placed on single-family residential lots.
Tiny homes can be placed on agricultural lots.
The North Dakota Century Code and the Burleigh County Ordinance do not prohibit tiny homes that are placed on a lot of 40 acres or more.
Tiny houses on wheels must be placed on a foundation.
Tiny houses must have access to water, sewer, electricity, and gas.
Tiny houses must meet standard building codes.
Burleigh County does not currently allow accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
While popular, not all counties have specifically addressed tiny houses. Burleigh County is one location that is gradually loosening restrictions and paving the way for a tiny homeowners. Although they do not currently allow ADUs, their county ordinance does address the fact that they see the benefit of a “granny suite” for elderly family members.
In the state of New York, temporary structures such as tiny houses are not permitted.
While you can register a tiny house on wheels in New York, it doesn’t mean you are able to live in one full-time. The further away from major cities you are, the more likely you are able to live in your tiny home under the radar.
New York State is a very complex state in regards to Tiny House and Shed Conversions. They can be very strict on zoning and permitting.
Land use ordinances in New York include development standards that guide development in each zone. Development standards often include requirements that relate to:
Some of these standards can make the construction of a tiny house as a dwelling difficult. For instance, if your backyard is small, you may not be able to comply with setback requirements or lot coverage requirements. Similarly, if your lot is small, finding room for any required off-street parking might not be possible.
In Buffalo, for instance, ancillary dwellings are referred to as “carriage houses.” In many of Buffalo’s residential zones, carriage houses are lawful. Among other development standards, these structures must be built ten feet from the principal residence, be no more than two or three stories (depending on the zone), and be no more than 1,000 square feet. Buffalo UDO § 3.2.3.
The Town of Haverstraw will allow ADUs known as Carriage Houses built to code in Rockland County.
Private Restrictions May Also Apply to Tiny Houses
You should also review any private land use restrictions that may apply to your property. As an example, Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) control the development of property in many subdivisions or communities. It is common for subdivisions to have stricter development standards than local governments. If applicable, review any CC&Rs and other development restrictions carefully to see whether tiny houses are allowed in your community.
New York Building Codes Include Safety and Construction Standards
To ensure that buildings are safe for people to occupy, governments adopt and enforce building codes. Construction of a site-built tiny house will be subject to the applicable building code. The New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (“Building Code”) incorporates several different uniform building, fire, and safety codes. The Building Code’s specific standards apply to the construction of the foundation, walls, plumbing, electrical, and other major components of a tiny house.
Historically, building codes have created a significant hurdle to building a lawful tiny house. Building codes are slowly being updated to make it easier for tiny home builders to obtain the necessary permits. However, getting advice from a construction contractor familiar with tiny houses and the Building Code will help ensure that you design and construct a lawful tiny house.
Other requirements include windows, permanent heating facilities, wall-switch lighting, bathroom windows or exhaust fans, smoke alarms, and a door to the outside that’s at least 32 inches wide by 78 inches high.
The city of Albuquerque provides guidelines for building a tiny house. Converting a tiny house on wheels into a legal dwelling with a certificate of occupancy is also possible. You need a permit to anchor the tiny home to some kind of foundation. Similarly to a manufactured tiny house, you are able to move the structure in the future. Tiny houses on wheels must be built to residential code standards, as well as the ANSI codes that regulate the construction of RVs.