Category Archives: Georgia

12/16 Tiny House Trouble: kids have trouble donating tiny home to veteran

Tiny house built by students of Elm Street School in Rome, Georgia

Tiny house built by students of Elm Street School in Rome, Georgia. Video available via link at bottom of article.

Dozens of kids in Georgia set out to do a good deed for the homeless, but ran into red tape along the way.

Children at the Elm Street School in Rome made it their school project to build a tiny home, and deliver it to a homeless veteran. The challenge, however, is finding a city where a veteran can legally put it.

“We’re reaching out for help. We don’t want this to sit here empty,” said teacher Sandy Hemphill.

The tiny house, which measures four feet by eight feet, will also have a sleeping bag, supplies, and a propane heater that is safe for a small house or tent, but has no plumbing or electricity. The children were inspired by efforts of others nationwide, building tiny homes for the homeless.

“Imagine somebody not having a house, being cold in the winter. This could probably help that person be warm,” said Rosenda Cux Chan, a fifth grade student, who was one of many who also helped raise funds to pay for building supplies.

The children spent months building the home, and has now been sitting at the school since May.

In an effort to relocate the house, teachers have reached out to numerous cities across the state to find a permanent home for the structure, and discovered the legal challenges: they said different zoning laws either don’t address the unique nature of the home, or would ban someone from using it.

The children and teachers hope someone in Georgia or surrounding states can direct them to a city where the home can be legally placed, or a veteran who could use the home.

“Some [veterans] still can’t be home with their family for Christmas. We actually thought this would be a really nice gift for a veteran,” said student Journei Griffin.

Anyone with information to help the students can reach Elm Street Elementary at
(706) 232-5313, or e-mail Assistant Principal Laura Walley at

Source –

12/09 Tiny house community proposed to Athens-Clarke planning commission

map of Athens-Clark, GeorgiaA development proposal that would return part of an intown residential neighborhood to what it was a century ago has captured the imagination of Athens-Clarke County, Georgia planning commissioners, but neighborhood residents are worried it could bring additional traffic and might force their property taxes upward.

Laurie deVegter, an Atlanta-based real estate agent and developer who specializes in smaller houses, is under contract to purchase a lot of less than a half-acre at 1252 West Hancock Avenue near North Billups Street. She is proposing to divide the parcel, which also fronts on Indale Avenue, into six lots. One of those lots would include an existing three-bedroom house, and deVegter is proposing the construction of five additional homes on the tract. As envisioned, the one-bedroom houses would comprise slightly less than 600 square feet, and would include some loft space, according to deVegter…

She would prefer to develop the property as owner-occupied homes, deVegter said, but one of the problems with that is the lot sizes won’t meet local requirements for owner-occupied dwellings. The tract could possibly comprise rental units, either in a single building or duplexes or some other configuration, although it also might not meet local codes in those configurations. But deVegter would not rule out the possibility of pursuing that option if it became the only viable opportunity for developing the tract.

“It’s hard to do the right thing,” deVegter said in noting her desire to see the property developed as owner-occupied housing.

Read more –

08/07 Floyd planners looking to establish local regulations as tiny-home movement gains traction

Park Model RV at Little River Escape

Park Model RV at Little River Escape

While Rome-Floyd County [Georgia] Planning officials try to sort out issues related to the growth of the tiny-home industry, Rome businessman Ed Watters’ Little River Escape tiny-home community on Lookout Mountain in Chattooga County is finally beginning to pick up momentum. [Note: although the article refers to it as a tiny home community, Watters website makes a point of saying their park models are designed exclusively for part-time recreational use.]

Watters revealed plans for his tiny-home community along the East Fork of the Little River in April 2015. More than a year later, six homes are planted firmly on lots in phase one of the development.

Meanwhile, Rome-Floyd County Planning Director Sue Hiller said her office would probably take another month to try to address the growing interest in tiny homes, which are typically 400 to 600 square feet.

“We’ve had requests from people about trying to do tiny-home communities that would be upscale and tiny-home communities that would be affordable housing,” Hiller said. “The idea is they would be pretty high density development.”

Issues from a planning perspective involve the quality of the construction and how the small domiciles are used.

She said the tiny homes could be built as recreational vehicles for very temporary shelter. They can be built to the same standards as a mobile home or they can be built to single-family, industrial modular standards. The latter could essentially be used the same way as any other single-family dwelling.

Hiller said the larger issue involves standards for lot sizes and setbacks, but the more clustered, higher density development areas ideal for the tiny homes also need to be discussed.
Watters did not have to deal with any of those issues on the mountain near Cloudland because Chattooga County doesn’t have any zoning in the unincorporated areas of the county.

To make his Little River Escape plans work, basically all he had to do was make sure he could get approval for septic tanks from the health department.

Watters said he learned he would have to get U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approval if he disturbed more than one acre — which is why the lot size was set at three-quarters of an acre.

Read more –

11/04 Tiny Houses Could Be Huge, but Rules Stand in the Way

Peter Hartel 's tiny guest house

Peter Hartel owns one of the few tiny houses in Athens, GA. He says it was a “nightmare” to get it approved.

Living in a historic district meant Hartel ended up with a guest house that looks very much like the main one. Historic preservation standards forced him to leave out much of the whimsy he’d hoped for, he says, and some building requirements—like a seven-foot minimum ceiling height—seemed arbitrary and unnecessary.

“With regards to zoning, it becomes very apparent very quickly that there are a lot of things that are completely appropriate for building that concern a person’s safety,” he says. “But there are some things in there that make utterly no sense when it comes to building a tiny house.”

Read more

Statham, Georgia City Council discusses tiny house community proposal

Statham mulls ‘tiny house’ community
Author: Janet Segars Barrow County News
Date: September 13, 2015
Publication: Barrow County News, The (GA)
Page: A1

Is a “tiny house” community coming to Statham?

At Thursday’s Statham City Council Work Session, the pros and cons of allowing such a community were discussed. The popularity of tiny houses has increased over the last couple of years. Currently, the minimum house size within the City of Statham is 1600 sq. ft., but the proposal for the tiny house community is half that size. This community would be marketed towards young couples and seniors. It would allow young couples to save money.

Read the article

Building code map

Handy map of the US. Just click on your state (in the link, not on the picture) to see which building codes are in effect:

International Code Council Map

International Code Council map

07/29 When will Atlanta join the tiny house movement?

Tiny House in Martin, GA

Tiny House in Martin, GA

Aside from academic experiments, like the 135-square-foot “SCADpads” built last year in a Midtown parking deck, developers aren’t allowed to build tiny homes inside the Atlanta city limits. Why not? The city’s code prohibits the construction of single-family homes smaller than 750 square feet. Some local governments have created restrictions on the minimum size of “dwellings” prior to the burgeoning tiny house movement. Looking elsewhere in the metro area, Gwinnett and Dekalb counties require single-family homes to be at least 1,000 square feet.

Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall is hoping to change that.


07/16 Tiny houses in Altanta? Council is considering revising city codes

Tiny houses in Atlanta?

Tiny houses in Atlanta?

An Atlanta City Council member is calling for a re-examination of the city’s policies around tiny houses and micro-living — and how city codes may be revised to make Atlanta “friendlier” to such construction.

Councilman Kwanza Hall introduced a resolution at the council’s July 6 meeting directing the Department of Planning and Community Development to study the city’s ordinances, according to a news release. Specifically: Do they allow for construction of tiny houses and micro-unit apartments?

And if they don’t, Hall’s resolution would direct the department to explore “how the code can be revised to make the city more friendly to smaller housing alternatives,” according to the release.


Atlanta City Councilmember Kwanza Hall requests feasibility study for tiny houses and micro-unit apartments

ATLANTA – At the July 6 meeting of the Atlanta City Council, Atlanta City Councilmember Kwanza Hall introduced a resolution directing the Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Community Development to conduct a feasibility study to determine whether the City of Atlanta Code of Ordinances currently allows for the construction of tiny houses and micro-unit apartments and, if not, how the code can be revised to make the city more friendly to smaller housing alternatives.

The concept of tiny homes is not new to the metropolitan Atlanta area. In 2014 the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) constructed three temporary micro-unit apartments or “SCADpads”—each the size of a parking space (135 square feet)—in a Midtown parking garage.

“Atlantans want to see the city embrace a broad spectrum of housing options,” said Councilmember Hall. “Many cities across the U.S. are experiencing increased demand for apartments and homes that occupy a smaller footprint than traditional residences. These alternatives are typically less expensive than traditional apartments and homes. My legislation will help us identify impediments and opportunities for a new generation of city residents who are looking for new residential living alternatives.”
Councilmember Hall has asked that the feasibility study examine current city, county, and state regulations that prohibit or impede the construction of tiny houses and micro-unit apartments. The Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Community Development would issue a recommendation within 180 days of adoption of the legislation.

The legislation was referred to the Council’s Community Development and Human Resource Committee.

Dexter Chambers
Council Communications Director
404-330-6309 – Direct/404-392-0159-Cell
July 8, 2015