Tiny homes on Leander’s horizon?

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Big things come in small packages. The city of Leander kept that in mind when they approved changes to the city’s building code to allow for the construction of tiny houses within particular boundaries.

 Leander is defining a tiny home as a facility that is between 140 and 700 square feet. The minimum square footage is said to be conducive for a sleeping area, kitchen, bathroom and living area 

“We got this from a code that’s being developed by the International Code Council [ICC] to be adopted later next year, and it will be a new tiny house section of the international code,” Assistant City Manager Tom Yantis said. “Quite a few communities are working on this.”

A new change to Leander’s house zoning code will give the council the ability to consider requests for tiny home construction in a single family urban manufactured housing district.

Under the city building codes, it would be necessary for these homes to have both a permanent foundation and to be connected to city facilities.

 “They can be built on concrete slab or pier and beam foundation,” Yantis said. “Anything within the code.”

Yantis said empty nesters and young adults might be a target audience for these homes.

“There are probably a lot of people looking to downsize that might be interested as well as younger, single adults looking for more affordable housing,” he said. 

Yantis said several different developers have approached the city to talk to them about opportunities to bring their tiny house communities to the area.

“Our ordinance says we would require some open community shared spaces,” he said.

Typically, these homes form a tiny house village with six or so units sharing a lot and shared community spaces to make up for some of the lost space.

“The average sized home has actually gone down for the first time ever this year,” Yantis said.

Whether this be linked to the escalating cost of homes, or the environmental aspect, these homes could be appearing in Leander soon. 

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