Garland, TX response to tiny houses

From Dale Adams, posted on the Facebook group site,
DFW Tiny House Enthusiasts.

The Garland Plan Commission is submitting its final recommendations for the new development code (GDC). Council met last night for a work session with members of the Plan Commission and staff. Scott Roberts and Anita Russelman answered questions posed by council members regarding Tiny houses. The link to the Garland City Council video is attached. To skip to the discussion, look to the right under “December 1, 2014 Work Session,” scroll down to item 3C, then scroll forward to 53:16.
http://garlandtx.swagit.com/play/12012014-786

Here is what was said. No changes will be made to allow for Tiny houses except as Alternative Dwelling Units (ADUs) on “Permanent” foundations in areas zones as “Single Family Estate”. These structures must meet current building codes, standards and set back requirements. As proposed, these would be used as either guest houses or rental units. Councilwomen Lori Dodson expressed concern regarding ADUs as rental units.

There was discussion regarding the allowance of a Tiny House Community. Plan Commissioner Scott Roberts, who is also an architect, stated one could possible built as a PD (Planned Development) but stated the likelihood as nearly “nill”.

Additionally, but not directly related to Tiny Houses, there was some discussion of allowing for RV Parks to be built in Garland. Since TH can be built, inspected, certified and insured as RVs, this may provide for an option for some.

I encourage all of you to watch the video. I was there and I would say the TH community needs a good PR firm. There was a bit of snickering on the part of those involved in the discussion due to the “Trailer house effect”. Public perception is that a TH community and THs placed in yards will be poorly designed/built and not maintained due to their “temporary” nature. We need to change that perception in order to get building codes and zoning changed. The eyes are on us. When you post comments on a sight like this one, people are watching. Lets start by finding ways to promote the cause in a law abiding way that is a benefit to the community and show that this movement is positive. Also, write letters to your city council, state representatives and anyone else who can influence a change in policy.

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Elaine Walker