Category Archives: Wisconsin

10/27 Ordinance would allow for tiny houses for veterans

tiny house under construction for Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin

tiny house under construction for Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin

In front of a crowded room on Wednesday, the Racine Plan Commission recommended that the city create an ordinance to allow for a tiny-house village for veterans.

Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin is planning on placing 15 tiny houses on 1624 Yout St. as temporary housing for homeless veterans. The organization is seeking a rezoning and a conditional use permit to operate a transitional living facility at the location.

The commission recommended the City Council create an ordinance and set a public hearing in November.

“We’re preparing an ordinance because nothing like this has ever been done before,” Mayor John Dickert said. “This is a very laser-focused ordinance … this is a very specific, veteran-specific ordinance.”

Jeff Gustin, co-founder of Veterans Outreach, said he’s thrilled with the outcome.

“Our working relationship with the city has grown,” Gustin said. “We’re all on the same page and we all have the best interest of our veterans in need.”

Read more –

08/10: Town of Ripon: Tiny house must go now. Request for extension denied.

the Smith family in front of their tiny house

the Smith family in front of their tiny house

The owner of a property on which Ripon’s only “tiny house” sits will be fined for allowing it to be there.

The town of Ripon Board voted 2-1 Monday evening to assess Rick Erdmann, owner of N7815 Highway 44-49, a base fine of $500 plus $50 a day for every day the tiny house remains on the property, starting with Tuesday.

Erdmann had been noticed in late June that the tiny house was in violation of town zoning codes, and had to be moved by Aug. 1, lest a fine be levied.

As of Monday, according to the board, the “tiny house” remained on the Erdmann’s property, leading to the Town Board’s discussion.

The tiny house in question is the residence of Jessica and the Rev. Adam Smith, as well as two children.

Built on a 32-foot trailer bed, the home is approximately 400 square feet — at the upper end of the “tiny home” standard of 200 to 400 square feet.

Source –

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

Tiny house on wheels defined as Portable Shelter by city of Madison, WI

The City of Madison came up with a new definition for tiny houses on wheels. Rather than RVs, they are “Portable Shelters” in the OM Village project in Madison, WI.

2. Definitions
One challenge is how to fit a “tiny house” into our existing regulatory structure. Staff agreed that going forward “tiny houses” should be defined as “portable shelters”, and that the “residential cooperative village” should be defined as “portable shelter communities”, with the following definitions:

Portable Shelter. Any movable living quarters, no more than 150 square feet in area, used as an individual’s permanent place of habitation. For purposes of this definition, a permanent place of habitation is established when an individual lives in a portable shelter for four (4) consecutive months.

Portable Shelter Community. Any site, lot, parcel, or tract of land designed maintained, intended or used for the purpose of supplying a location or accommodations for more than three (3) portable shelters and shall include all buildings included or intended for use as part of the Portable Shelter Community.

Read the full document: Memo_May_5,_2014

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.