02/29 Could tiny houses work in Arlington, MA?

tiny house in a backyard

“Tiny houses,” the minimalist homes gaining popularity around the country, could work in Arlington, but you’d have to overcome some big hurdles first.

In a real estate market driven by demand for ever-larger new homes, a trendy, miniature style of house presents an interesting option for Arlington residents.

Town building officials say these tiny houses could present problems related to zoning and building regulations.

Interim Director of Planning Laura Wiener said that although construction cost would be lower based upon the size of the home, land price would still be the same.

Arlington’s residential zoning bylaw states a minimum of 6,000 square feet per lot, no matter the size of the home.

When asked if a number of tiny houses could be placed on one residential lot, Wiener said that putting more than one home on a lot was a violation of town zoning, at least on lots zoned for one- and two-family homes.

“In a commercial zone you could build a tiny house complex, but not in a one-family or two-family zoned area,” she said.

As town bylaws aren’t permanent, Wiener said there is an opportunity to change them with enough public backing.

Read more – http://arlington.wickedlocal.com/article/20160229/NEWS/160227136

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Elaine Walker