Category Archives: New Jersey

05/25 Board denies variance for tiny house community for veterans; nonprofit vows to reapply

It was standing room only at the Land Use Board meeting as attorney for OCEAN Inc. Stephen Smith described the micro housing development of 24 units, ten of which would be set aside for veterans.

It was standing room only at the Land Use Board meeting as attorney for OCEAN Inc. Stephen Smith described the micro housing development of 24 units, ten of which would be set aside for veterans.
Photo by Pat Johnson.

The Tuckerton [New Jersey] Land Use Board took its cue from the residents of Paradise Cove and Tuckerton Estates and turned away a potential affordable housing project that would have provided 10 homeless veterans a safe haven for life.

On May 19, the board decided with a vote of five to two to deny a use variance needed for the project to go forward.

On Monday, OCEAN Inc. Executive Director Ted Gooding said the nonprofit dedicated to improving community in Ocean County would not abandon the project. “We will reapply, we will tweak the application and be back, we do not intend to walk away.”

At the start of the May 19 meeting, Gooding said the last time he and his attorney had come to the board, back in April, their application for a use variance had been carried, but because he wanted to hear the concerns of the nearby residents, he had met with them outside. After hearing concerns about how close the development to some houses in Tuckerton Estates would be, he decided to change the application for the use variance from 35 detached micro houses to 24 and leave more of the site nearest the existing houses wooded and untouched.

OCEAN Inc. bifurcated the proceedings into this attempt to receive a land use variance, with a more developed site plan to follow. The reason they did this was to first be sure the town was in agreement with their plan before paying the engineer and an architect to develop the plans.

The 6.8-acre site on the northwest side of Route 9 is zoned general business but also is conditionally approved for cluster, attached housing.

OCEAN Inc. needs the use variance because what it is proposing is detached cluster housing with a small community center.

According to a land use board member who wanted to remain anonymous, questions to Gooding and OCEAN Inc. attorney Stephen Smith by the board were answered too vaguely for approval.

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05/06 NJ lawmaker sees tiny houses as solution to affordable housing

NJ Senator Ray Lesniak

NJ Senator Ray Lesniak

Will the so-called “tiny house” trend come to New Jersey? One state lawmaker says it is an idea whose time has come.

These structures are a minimalist’s dream: 500 square feet or less. They are obviously much cheaper to heat and air condition and furnish. They can be constructed on a much smaller lot, adding to the cost savings.

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union, says he’ll sponsor legislation to seek federal or private funding to build tiny houses in New Jersey.

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11/04 Tiny lake house in Denville, NJ raises questions

Sunrise at Cedar Lake
We as concerned residents of Cedar Lake in Denville [NJ] encourage the public to attend the Wednesday, Nov. 4 hearing at the Denville Municipal Building at 7 p.m. for an important matter that is causing a great divide in our small, close-knit community.

While most who live in this scenic corner of Denville known as Cedar Lake would prefer to keep our small slice of heaven out of the public spotlight, sometimes unpleasant events require that voices be raised. Such is the case now. A local contractor has mistakenly been allowed to convert a simple one-story lakeside boathouse into a two-story residence (“tiny house”) that in no way conforms to the existing zoning laws and ordinances of Denville or the Cedar Lake community.

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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

Park Model RV Regulations, State-by-State

The RVIA has provided a table showing regulations by state for park model RVs

What is a park model? 

Below is a description from the RVIA:

On July 1, 2012, RVIA created a new membership category for manufacturers of park model RVs (PMRVs). A park model RV (also known as a recreational park trailer) is a trailer-type RV that is designed to provide temporary accommodation for recreation, camping or seasonal use. PMRVs are built on a single chassis, mounted on wheels and have a gross trailer area not exceeding 400 square feet in the set -up mode. They are certified by their manufacturers as complying with the ANSI A119.5 standard for recreational park trailers.

PMRVs are most often used in recreational vehicle campgrounds. They may be owned by the campground and rented to guests, or they may be brought in and used exclusively by their owners on a site rented or leased from the campground. They can also be placed by their owners on private property. These RVs are used for recreational purposes only. They are not meant to be permanently affixed to the property, they do not improve property values in any way, and they are neither designed nor intended by their manufacturers to be used as permanent residences.

Two different types of park model RVs are offered. One type is less than 8′ 6″ in width and is designed for frequent travel on the highways while the other and more popular type is wider than 8′ 6″ (usually 12′ in width), and must be transported with special movement permit. The 8′ 6″ unit typically is expandable when it reaches its destination utilizing slide-outs or tip-outs. The wider units, being less mobile, are usually sited in a resort or RV park location for an extended term, typically several years. Park model RVs are titled as vehicles by the various states. This is because PMRVs are built on permanent chassis such that they can be and are moved either within a campground or between campgrounds.

Free Online Zoning Codes

Here are two sources of online codes:

  • Municodes from the Nation’s leading legal publisher.
  • The American Legal Publishing Company provides a free online library of state and municipal codes for most locations. Click on the map to go to the library and chose your state and city. Then search or scroll for descriptions of minimum lot sizes, setback rules, etc.

    American Legal Publishing Compay online library

    American Legal Publshing Company online library

    Information is available for all states except these 13: AL, CO, ID, KS, LA, MO, MS, ND, NV, UT, VT, WA, WY.