Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Barnes: Time to consider tiny homes

I was glad to learn that the county supervisors and the planning department are having a discussion about tiny homes. Thank you, Moke Simon, for bringing this idea forward.

Tiny homes have always been around but the concept seems to be gaining popularity as a way to simplify and have a smaller footprint on the earth.

They come in various sizes and configurations, some are on wheels and some are built to be set up on a permanent foundation. They are usually not substandard dwellings but use space creatively and are often works of art.

The “Katrina Cottages” that were designed to house victims of hurricane Katrina are stick-built small homes that can be put on a regular foundation. Examples of these can be found online. The small cottages would blend well with Lake County's rural resort communities.

Tiny houses also work in an RV-park setting. An excellent example of what can be done along this line is the community called “Whales Head,” which is located just north of Brookings, Oregon, overlooking the ocean.

The development is on a hillside with terraced lots so that each tiny home comes with its own magnificent view. The units are pre-built modulars and can be configured to the owners'
preferences. The potential in Lake County for similar developments exist all around the Lake.

I think it's time to do away with the 720 square foot minimum size requirement. It really doesn't have anything to do with livability. It also puts more constraints on how people can use their lots and limits the availability of affordable housing options.
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We need some creative solutions to the housing crisis that exists in Lake County for a number of reasons including the disastrous fires, but also because Lake County is mostly a lower income retirement community and people come here not only for the natural beauty but to find a place they can afford to live.

Lastly, but needing consideration, are the homeless. I understand that North Coast Opportunities has a group of dedicated volunteers working on the “Cornerstone Villages” concept to provide transitional housing to people in need of some type of basic shelter until they can find more permanent living space. They had a model set up at the fair last fall but I don't know what the current status of moving forward with this idea is.

It certainly should be included in the discussion of Lake County allowing tiny houses.

Judy Barnes lives in Clearlake Oaks, Calif.

26 Jul 2017;
07:30AM - 05:30PM
Preschool Summer Program
26 Jul 2017;
06:00PM - 08:00PM
Rock of Faith Church Bible study
27 Jul 2017;
07:30AM - 05:30PM
Preschool Summer Program
27 Jul 2017;
06:00PM -
Clearlake City Council
28 Jul 2017;
07:30AM - 05:30PM
Preschool Summer Program
28 Jul 2017;
10:00AM - 02:00PM
American Red Cross Volunteer Recruitment Fair
29 Jul 2017;
08:00AM - 10:00AM
Learn to Row -Clear Lake Scullers
29 Jul 2017;
08:00AM - 12:00PM
Land Trust guided walk
29 Jul 2017;
10:00AM - 04:00PM
Path to Citizenship Day
30 Jul 2017;
10:00AM - 01:00PM
Rock of Faith Church
July 2017
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