ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — Asheville City Council on Tuesday rejected a proposal to allow tiny homes in a section of East Asheville. The proposal was to change the zoning in a section of the highway business district.
“We need you to write the rules,” Drew Crawford said at Tuesday’s council meeting.
Crawford, owner of DIYtiny, submitted the proposal because he said Asheville needs tiny homes.
“The bottom line answer is affordable housing. When you don’t have to have as much space, it can be less expensive. Yes, it’s a higher per-square-foot number but a lower overall cost,” Crawford said.
He wants to build a tiny home community off Tunnel Road. He said one tiny home would cost $80,000 to $100,000.
Several community members spoke out in support.
“Going into a tiny house would allow us to put money back into the local economy and really support the reasons and the company and the culture and all those things that we moved here for,” one woman said.
Council members didn’t support the plan in front of them.
“I don’t agree with the one tonight,” Councilman Keith Young said.
However, council members want to pursue the idea for the future.
“It is a model that we just don’t have, and, in my view, we haven’t explored it enough to set it aside as something we don’t want,” Councilwoman Julie Mayfield said.
The city’s issue is that the tiny homes are built on wheels, which officials said disqualifies them from being considered as dwelling units. They said it goes against state building codes and housing standards.
Several counties near Asheville allow tiny homes.
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“Have to go south to Henderson County to find your tiny home communities. That is the proof that we really do have North Carolina pathways. We’re just not utilizing them here,” Crawford said.
Mayfield suggested those don’t meet the city of Asheville’s standards.
“They have pulled the wheels up so they are considered under well. It all seems a bit skating the line regulated by the DMV as a manufactured home,” Mayfield said.
Council members encouraged Crawford to continue to work with the city to figure out how to make tiny homes work in the city.
Read more on the subject: Tiny Homes Banned in U.S. at Increasing Rate as Govt Criminalizes Sustainable Living