The Village of Alfred is on the verge of temporarily banning an emerging trend in housing for one year, while it explores its impacts on use intensity and population densities.
The issue began when life-long resident and Alfred University Graduate Student Alena Giesche purchased a 147 square foot dwelling and sought a variance to store it in her parents’ backyard while she studies abroad.
Under current village code, applying to mobile homes, no residence under 400 square feet is allowed, causing Giesche to seek a variance from the Zoning Board, who referred the issue back to the Village Board.
The variance was granted because it will not be used for habitation. However, the codes remain vague, and there isn’t a solid working definition of what a “tiny house” is, according to Alfred Village Mayor Justin Grigg.
Some village residents wondered, if it’s not allowed already, then — Why is a moratorium necessary?
“This is a standard procedure when municipalities run into a situation that they do not have clarity in their local laws on,” Grigg explained.
A public hearing considering the moratorium will be held on Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
“This could go on for many months with many opportunities to comment. The board is not making a decision about the future of tiny houses or no tiny houses, he said.