Category Archives: Utah

09/20 Popular tiny houses fighting to find a home in urban Wasatch Front communities

Alpine Tiny Home in Utah

Alpine Tiny Home in Utah

The tiny house movement has found a home in the Beehive State, but finding a place to put the small dwellings has become a challenge for anyone wanting to live in most urban communities along the Wasatch Front.

“When you deal with tiny homes there is a lot of gray area and that’s kind of the frustration with the tiny home community,” said Morgan Brim, who is the planning and development director for the small Utah County city of Vineyard.

He’s referring to city codes regarding the tiny homes , which aren’t really considered RVs or mobile homes, but in many cases, are not the same as traditional house – which makes it tough to find a legal place to put them.

“[Tiny homes] tend to be on the fringe of the local zoning laws,” Brim said.

The growing community of Vineyard is considering changes to the municipal code to allow tiny homes a place to set up in their city, but like other municipalities in northern Utah, officials are still deciding how, where, and how many tiny homes will be welcome.

“We’re not in favor of it, we’re not against it. We’re simply doing research on it,” Brim said.
Their examination of tiny homes comes at a critical time for people buying tiny houses, many of which are manufactured in Utah County at the booming business of Alpine Tiny Homes.

“Keeping up with the demand is the biggest challenge,” owner Boyd Riding said.

There’s a waiting list for an Alpine Tiny Home. Riding says most of his buyers are ditching their traditional homes and downsizing to just a few hundred square feet.

“The whole idea of a tiny house is to have less and to literally live simply, you don’t need all of the stuff in your home.”

The average tiny home buyer is debt free and well educated, Riding added.

“They’re the kind of neighbor you would probably want to have,” he said. They’re people like Leonard and Cidne O’Reilly, who recently retired and sold their Utah County home in hopes of leaving behind their stuff and moving into a tiny house.

Read more –

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

08/09 More house doesn’t mean more happy, tiny house owners say

Park City, UT tiny house

Park City, UT tiny house

LaRiviere, who has been working as a librarian, read about tiny houses and decided they were just the right size for her.

“Everything about it seemed to make sense to me. I walked into (a tiny house) and I thought, ‘I can do this. This is the right-sized life,'” she said…

LaRiviere and Johnson say they can live in their home precisely because it’s on a trailer. They say Summit County considers their house a recreational vehicle, and in the county they can recreate year-round.

Read more and see the video at

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.