City Council Approves Regulations for Tiny Houses

Monday evening City Council approved amendments to the zoning ordinance to include definitions for tiny houses and homes made from recycled shipping containers.

Posted: Jul 2, 2018 11:06 PM

(St.Joseph,MO) City Council is setting up guidelines for people wanting to invest in tiny houses.Monday evening City Council approved amendments to the zoning ordinance to include definitions for tiny houses and homes made from recycled shipping containers.

Tiny houses have been permitted in the city before, but haven't been regulated. Tiny houses are homes that are at least 900 square ft, built on traditional foundations, made from traditional building materials that are able to be connected to city utilities like sewer and water.

Councilman Kent O’Dell has been building a shipping container structure of his own, and said the additional guidelines will help give the city more oversight.

“They’re (tiny houses) so new and everything. There is nothing, no regulations or anything basically in St.Joseph’s code. So we are implementing the two structure types so there is some oversight,” O’Dell said.

The new ordinances will also insure that all tiny homes are built with the same regulations as an average sized home to insure neighborhood realestate value. 

“We have some control, control over what is going to be built and what is going to pass as local residences. We want to be able to have some kind of control to make sure things are regulated right, and we don’t bring any harm or blight to any of the neighbors,” O’Dell said.

The council also approved amendments to the code of ordinances allowing property owners to split their residential lots. The number of times a lot can be split in dependant on the size of the original property, with all lot sizes being limited to a minimum 6,000 square feet per residential lot.

Tiny homes and shipping container homes are required to be at least 900 square feet. Anyone interested in building a smaller structure would need to get approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

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