Where Can You Park a Tiny Home?
HGTV programs like “Tiny House, Big Living,” which have helped popularize the movement, often gloss over this not-so-tiny detail. But the many Facebook pages and websites devoted to tiny-house culture are obsessed with it: Online discussions are dominated by requests, if not outright pleas, for tips on how and where to find tiny-house-friendly locations.
Zoning regulations in most places — especially densely developed regions like the New York metro area — typically do not allow full-time living in temporary structures like R.V.s or movable tiny houses. Most tiny homes are built on wheeled trailers that can be towed. Unlike R.V.s, however, tiny houses are generally not wheeled for touring, so much as for flexibility of location.
Zoning also commonly specifies a minimum home or lot size that is too large and expensive for a lifestyle geared toward affordability. Residential building codes can also present a problem for tiny houses built on foundations.Finding a site in rural towns is often easier, because of the likelihood of looser zoning and enforcement. In Lodi, N.Y., for example, Eleanor Liebson, an occupational therapist, is hoping to start a tiny-house community on a portion of the 100-plus acres she owns near Finger Lakes National Forest. “There’s the potential because there’s no zoning in our town,” she said. “We can do it.”
The downside to remote sites, however, is the absence of readily available utility hookups. A version of this article appears in print on October 8, 2017, on Page RE1 of the New York edition with the headline: Wanted: A Very Small Lot. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe