Clayton Blog

Cities Embracing Tiny Dwellings in a Variety of Ways

As the tiny home movement continues to grow, more and more cities are making ways for tiny dwellings to be integrated into communities. Find out how different cities, towns and counties across the U.S. have adopted varying zoning and installation regulations for tiny houses.


Some governing bodies allow tiny residences only as an accessory dwelling to an established home.


Other cities, like Spur, Texas, allow all sorts of tiny dwellings as long as they are permanently affixed to land, connected to city utilities and pass the Spur permit process. Here’s a look at how the tiny home movement is evolving all over America.


Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta has begun planning The Eco Cottages at East Point, a community for small homes in the Atlanta metro area.


Tiny living thought leaders and city leaders in the Atlanta area have been working to diversify housing options in Atlanta and make tiny living available to more people. Several of these leaders are launching micro living communities in Atlanta and the surrounding areas.


Pocket neighborhoods, like The Eco Cottages at East Point, are a strategic idea for integrating a simplified lifestyle into larger urban ideas. It is a community development strategy that Rockledge, Florida, has already approved.


Rockledge, Florida

In 2015, the city of Rockledge approved tiny dwellings and small homes under certain conditions. This included allowing tiny houses to be built within a re-development mixed use district or in a planned unit development in a pocket neighborhood setting. A re-development mixed use district is defined by local urban planners to have mixed-use zoning that allows for different types of residential, commercial and public use development. A pocket neighborhood is a planned community that often surrounds a shared public space like a courtyard.


The ordinance in Rockledge also has housing requirements that include minimum gross floor area based on the number of occupants, minimum space for a sleeping area, minimum ceiling height and minimum width.


Additionally the ordinance has specific requirements for planned pocket neighborhoods of tiny houses which included minimum lot areas, common open space, yard setbacks and community maintenance.


Pleasant Grove, Utah

In Pleasant Grove, Utah, tiny homes are allowed as an accessory dwelling unit if the dwelling has its own parking behind an existing structure. It must also sit on a permanent foundation and be connected to utilities.


Challenges Remaining



As cities across the U.S. try to figure out how to handle the influx of tiny dwellings, a large challenge city leaders and community developers face is defining what a tiny home is.


Michael Codron, community development director of the city of San Luis Obispo said that “tiny home” is a general term that he believes can apply to many different housing types depending on how a tiny dwelling is built and used as either a temporary residence or a permanent living solution.


Embracing the Challenge

The challenge of classifying what is and is not a tiny home is a factor in why Clayton is one of the leaders in tiny home building and innovation, especially as we notice that many cities create allowances for tiny dwellings that are designed to be safe, permanent residences. Our solution is to offer beautiful, small modular homes that are a solution to permanent long-term, tiny living.


At Clayton, we want to help city leaders and home buyers distinguish the purpose and use of different tiny dwellings. There are indeed differences between THOWs, Park Model RVs (PMRVs) and tiny homes like Clayton’s Designer Series tiny homes. THOWs and PMRVs are built as temporary living solutions while Clayton tiny homes are built as small modular houses for people looking for a simpler lifestyle.


Solutions Found in Johnson City, Tennessee

We find that building our Designer Series tiny homes as small modular homes is an excellent, growing solution for making tiny living more accessible. Near Johnson City, Tennessee, a tiny homeowner purchased a small modular cabin from a different home builder and did not face challenging restrictions with the modular cabin. They just had to find land and prepare the land for the home.  


Advantage of Building Modular



The advantage of building tiny homes as small modular homes is that it allows builders to make sure that the tiny homes meet varying building requirements all over the country. When builders construct modular homes, each home is built to all applicable state and local building codes for the home’s destination.


At Clayton, we extensively research how to build our tiny homes to comply with all applicable building and zoning regulations. We take the precautions necessary to make sure our Designer Series tiny homes are compliant for locations where they are available to home buyers and are safe for a lifetime of enjoyment.


As Clayton’s Vice President of Engineering, Mark Ezzo, explains, building tiny homes as modular homes ensures quality as well because each tiny home floor plan must be approved by the state, local jurisdiction, or state-authorized third party before the home is built.


We continue to work with state and local governments to make sure that a luxurious, simplified lifestyle is available to home buyers across the country. As Clayton Designer Series tiny homes become available across the country and more cities embrace the microliving movement, the next question is...which tiny home best fits your style?


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Topics Tiny Homes