Summary of Proposed Codes for Coconino County, AZ

bahp2Here is my summary and analysis of the proposed zoning and coding rules regarding Tiny Houses in Coconino County, AZ:

Summary:

  • If a tiny house is built on land or built on trailers where “the suspension/axle components have been permanently removed and the chassis permanently attached” to the ground, they are permitted in zones allowing detached single family dwellings, multi-family, or Accessory Dwelling Units if it meets those respective zoning laws as well as the Community Development regulations for Tiny Houses (i.e. passed inspection).
  • If still on trailer, they are allowed:
    • In a mobile home park, if they are attached to the land (but they are considered semi-permanent) and meets Community Development regulations for Tiny Houses (i.e. passed inspection).
    • In an RV park, if: 1.) licensed as Travel Vehicles (under state’s DOT rules for RVs); 2.) registered with the DMV; 3.) are non-permanent housing; 4.) documentation provided to Coconino County Community Development showing trailer can support the weight of your THOW; and 5.) are self-contained in terms of wastewater. (NOTE: If DOT does not inspect and certified your THOW, then the County can get involved and require your THOW meets their building codes – which are more restrictive.)
  • Requirements:
    • Tiny House = 200 – 400 sq. feet and on approved trailer or fixed land
    • The ceiling height for rooms need to be 6’4”, so you can’t have normal lofts.
    • Insulation needs to be at least R-15.
    • A minimum of 60 amp electric panel required.
  • If the county regulations are too restrictive for your THOWs, then you could only legally reside in the county at an RV park, if your THOW is certified by the Arizona Department of Transportation and registered with the DMV.

Analysis:

  • There is a problem with the proposed rules.  It says, “A Certificate of Occupancy will only be issued for tiny houses set on permanent foundations.”  It needs to be written clearer.  Earlier, they state that the county will issue a Certificate of Occupancy with the wheels still on the tiny house as long as the trailer is approved to carry the load, and the THOW is licensed with the DOT, registered with the DMV, and located in an RV park.   The only way these rules are not contradictory is if a permanent foundation is simply that which is what the tiny house is situated on.  As soon as the tiny house moves, that which it rested upon is no longer considered a permanent foundation under the code. This though makes the term “permanent foundation” a misnomer – confusing to what is commonly understood by the use of that term.  It would be clearer in my view if they would define permanent foundation as something other than what is underneath a tiny house in an RV park, or just mention the exception for RVs when stating, “A Certificate of Occupancy will only be issued for tiny houses set on permanent foundations.”
    • Hopefully, someone will be able to go to the meeting and address this contradictory language.
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