It is big news in the San Diego area that Janet Ashforth is developing a tiny house community. There are none known currently in South Carolina, but Horry County Council members have been meeting to establish changes to the county law with permanent regulations so they can become a reality there. In North Carolina, there are some in the nearby Flat Rock area. It is possible now for people to build a single tiny house on Horry County land if it adheres to building codes. The county Planning and Zoning Director, Janet Carter, wants to be sure tiny house communities are not a detriment to the county. She says, “They are quite different than your standard home construction. We want to make sure they fit in to the community and property values are maintained. The overall quality for life for our citizens is improved and not diminished by it.”
Developer Kerry Lindsey brought tiny houses to Highland Lake in Flat Rock. They have a total of seven planned phases with different options. There is the existing retreat centered community business with which the homes must fit in. He envisions “larger models clustered together around a common house to create a pocket neighborhood akin to a senior co-housing community.” Diversity is important with kid friendly areas and younger people who come to learn how to build a home and business. They have lots that can be leased for more affordability for young or old and fee simple lots up to a half acre with plenty of open space. There is also the Garden Hamlet section for people getting away for shorter times and leaving the homes in the retreat rental pool for investment income.
Classes in tiny home building and some cob are held on site where some tiny homes plus a double 400-square-foot model have been built. Their focus is on the next size up from the so many Tiny House builders already available, ranging in size from 350-square-foot tiny house models up to 850-square-foot compact cottages. They are not like an RV but many are still movable for flexibility. For more information on the community, retreats and workshops see the Highland Lake Cove website.
Ashforth’s Habitats Tiny Homes as seen in the attached video are planned to be 50 homes on five acres for a minimum price of $25,000 each. She put a bid on property for them, but one neighbor was opposed to putting that many homes on one lot in agricultural Hidden Meadow outside Escondido in San Diego County. Ashforth says she knows it will be a battle doing something new and different because people are afraid of change and will probably take a special use permit. She plans on doing water reclamation, growing food, and using solar power. View the series of eight floor plans on the website.
Other states like Indiana have tiny home communities. Two hours from Chicago in the northern Indiana woods, Lomax Tiny House Community is a gated 34-acre tiny house on wheels community created by carpenter and artist Michael Anthony. Along the Kankakee River for canoeing, kayaking, bird watching and fishing, it has quarter acre sites, wells, septic, electricity and hiking trails. Lot prices range from $14,500 to $28,500, or lots can be rented, and are in sections based on exteriors such as stone, wood and rustic. There is even a centrally located artist “studio with two kilns, a turning wheel, and a fully equipped woodworking shop.” A Property Owners Association handles operation and maintenance plus mowing and plowing for $285 a month, with deed restrictions to keep property values up. They also do lot/tiny home package pricing with financing.
The challenge is to get a developer in Greenville, South Carolina to do a Tiny House community to provide homes for those who need affordable housing without a big mortgage, those who want a smaller carbon footprint for planet earth, and those looking for a simpler lifestyle whether they are young, old or in between.