PUEBLO COUNTY – Commissioners may soon make a decision about allowing tiny homes in Pueblo County. The board is currently looking for feedback from the community through their social media pages.
The term tiny home refers to residences that are smaller than 500 square feet. Part of the appeal of that small size is the smaller cost: fewer building materials are required and the home requires less energy to heat or cool.
Pueblo County Planning Director Joan Armstrong said that a steady stream of people began asking about where they can put a tiny home starting in late 2017.
“It’s usually the planner of the day who’d be taking the call,” Armstrong said. “People would call or come in looking for tiny home placement.”
She explained that the planner usually had to deliver the same bad news: tiny homes are just too small to be considered a residence in Pueblo County.
“The definition of residence has a requirement of a wall being no less than 20 feet for the width of a wall, so a tiny would not comply with the residence definition.”
Her department spent the past few months studying regulations passed in surrounding communities about how to properly regulate tiny homes. A draft proposal for Commissioner would eliminate the 20-foot wall requirement.
However, to be considered a residence, Armstrong explained that the home must be set on a foundation that is professionally engineered and approved by regional building.
Also, utility hook-ups are mandatory. Composting toilets and water storage tanks will not meet the standard.
“The main thing is to have them as a permanent structure like any residence,” Armstrong explained.
Many tiny homes are built on wheels. If that case, Armstrong said the County rules would require the home to follow Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) standards.
Those a tiny homes can’t be considered permanent residences. They must only be used as temporary living quarters.
These new rules have been approved by the Pueblo County Planning Commission and were referred to the Board of County Commissioners for adoption. The board may take its time because some commissioners want to see how real estate values could be impacted.
In the meantime, the commissioner would like to hear from the Pueblo community about this change. You can post a message about it on their social media pages or send the commissioners an email.