Tiny houses on wheels allowed as backyard cottages in California

Tiny houses on wheels are allowed as backyard cottages in many counties in California. Most require the tiny house dweller to be a caregiver, but Fresno city allows tiny houses on wheels without that stipulation.

Tiny houses on wheels are allowed as caregiver dwellings in the backyard of a person who needs assistance in the following counties:

  • Alameda
  • Contra Costa
  • Lake
  • Mendocino
  • Napa
  • Sacramento
  • Sonoma

Source: Sonya Tafejian of Tiny House Consulting Sonoma County

On November 20, 2015, Fresno city zoning approved tiny houses on wheels as backyard cottages without the requirement for the tiny house dweller to be a caregiver. This goes into effect on January 3, 2016:

Fresno Regulations:
Tiny House. A structure intended for separate, independent living quarters for one household that meets these six conditions:

  1. Is licensed and registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles and meets ANSI 119.2 or 119.5 requirements;
  2. Is towable by a bumper hitch, frame-towing hitch, or fifth-wheel connection. Cannot (and is designed not to) move under its own power. When sited on a parcel per requirements of this Code, the wheels and undercarriage shall be skirted;
  3. Is no larger than allowed by California State Law for movement on public highways;
  4. Has at least 100 square feet of first floor interior living space;
  5. Is a detached self-contained unit which includes basic functional areas that support normal daily routines such as cooking, sleeping, and toiletry; and
  6. Is designed and built to look like a conventional building structure.

Zoning regulations for tiny houses in Fresno: Fresno Development Code Requirements for Second Dwelling Units

Source: Pat Mosley of California Tiny House

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Elaine Walker