WOODLAND PARK – A village of 53 “slightly-bigger-than-tiny” homes could soon be moving into Woodland Park at the end of Tamarac Parkway.
The move by M3XP2 LLC is being made to fill an apparent demand for those wanting a change in lifestyle, “Where they can devote time and money to other things rather than supporting and sustaining a house,” said Pete Labarre, developer of the project.
Labarre hopes to close on the Tamarac plot in February before formally applying for the project in the next 3-4 weeks.
“As of yet, the city of Woodland Park has not received an application regarding this project,” stated Sally Riley, director of the city’s planning department.
The small home community, Labarre insists, would also provide affordable and obtainable housing for some.
“What we’re finding is that there are people who want starter homes, they want transitional homes, they want retirement homes and they’re not finding an opportunity to buy,” he commented.
According to Zillow, the average house price currently in Woodland Park is nearly $350,000.
However, these proposed houses, which will have foundations as opposed to being mobile, are sized at more than 500 square feet apiece, will start at a price of $115,000 with an extra $600-$700 tacked on each month to lease the property the house sits on.
“What we’re doing is providing an alternative to folks that want an alternative.”
According to the city, having alternatives, or options for various prices in the housing market, “Is always a positive for our community,” finished Riley.
Others, some residents in relatively close neighborhoods, are skeptical.
“It most definitely would provide more affordable housing opportunities, but at what cost for us? I don’t want to see our house prices go down,” stated one nearby resident.
While more than 30 people have already signed up for the village, Teller County’s Habitat for Humanity is of the opinion that the lifestyle is not for everyone; they say it’s especially not for families.
“What I don’t want to see is people getting caught up in seeing this as their solution for affordable housing,” stated Jamie Caperton, director of the organization.
When advising people looking for obtainable housing, Habitat does not recommend leasing property.
The group is also working with the same house creator as LaBarre, hoping to bring families a different option into the Woodland Park area in about a year, “And putting them into homes well over 1000 square feet,” she finished.
Back to this set of houses, “It’s just another approach to providing houses to people,” commented LaBarre.
Since there’s no rezoning that needs to be done, which sunk a previous tiny home project, and if the review is approved, homes would begin arriving at the community in July or August.