Living Small
In In A Large
World. . .

Click here to edit subtitle

Living Small In A Large World. . .

Society advertises that in order for humanity to enjoy life, that their "Credit Score" is the Holy Grail which will allow them:
> Being Able To Live On Credit
> Being Able To Live In Debt
> Being Able TO Live Large!

> Documentary On "Living Small" - Link
> Documentary On "We The Tiny People House People" - Link
> Equation For Figuring Out If What You Are Paying For Housing
Is Sustainable - 

News For December 26, 2014

Tiny Houses Now Legal In Spur Texas!

by David Webster

December 12, 2014

Spur, Texas, is rolling out the howdy mat for owners of tiny homes looking for a place to pull off their axles and stretch their legs.

The sleepy West Texas town of 1,000 is believed to be the first place in the U.S. to allow homes smaller than 500 square feet anywhere within its boundaries after the city council passed a resolution permitting them last month. Local zoning laws, which typically require homes to be at least 500 square feet, effectively make tiny homes illegal in most cities and suburbs.

Jeremy Hensley was the first to take up the town's offer two weeks ago. He pulled into Spur towing his 120-square-foot tiny home on a trailer, intending to put the home on a permanent foundation on his own lot. Hensley spent his life paying rent on apartments in big cities, and he's always been a traveler, an adventurer and a minimalist. So when it came time to think about settling down, a tiny house that could be both permanent and mobile seemed like the perfect fit.

"As I got older I decided I needed to invest in living as opposed to existing," Hensley says. "So I decided to build a tiny house." Unfortunately for Hensley, he didn't realize when he began building his tiny home how difficult it would be to find a place to put it.

Thousands of tiny houses have popped up across the country in the past decade but are spread out — located in back yards, recreational vehicle parks and illegally on privately owned land. Now that the tiny house movement has gained popularity and the trend shows no sign of fading soon, advocates have turned to developing tiny house communities. They're trying to change zoning laws to make it easier for tiny home owners live legally in places like Spur. Its residents and city council members hope to bring life back to their small town by opening it up to neighbors in the RV-sized houses.

Tiny house enthusiasts have been working around zoning laws and insurance struggles for nearly two decades. To circumvent the laws, the homes are built on trailers usually about 8 feet by 20 feet, which allows cities and insurance companies to consider the homes as RVs. But that's not a perfect solution because many urban areas and cities don't allow camping on city lots, even in a backyard, and RV parks limit how long a person can stay.

These restrictions led to the development of Boneyard Studios, a showcase of three tiny homes in Washington, D.C., that model what an urban tiny home community could look like. Boneyard Studios is owned by Brian Levy, who bought the land and built several tiny homes on a residential lot surrounded by alleyways. No one can live in the homes due to district zoning laws.

An open house at Boneyard Studios in August drew hundreds of curious D.C., Virginia and Maryland residents who wanted to see what tiny-house living is like and find out about zoning restrictions.

"D.C. is undergoing a massive affordable housing crisis," Levy said. "This project was conceived to push the envelope in terms of what's possible. We need more affordable housing and this is to show how you could do it."

The Boneyard houses are situated on a regular size city lot surrounded by traditionally sized homes. They are staged to simulate what it would look like if someone were to actually live inside — pots, pans, food, clothes and bed covers included — and the yard is landscaped with an attractive garden and open area for people to gather. Levy says he wanted to replicate as much as possible what a tiny home community could look like..

Some metropolitan areas are more welcoming to tiny homes than the nation's capital.

> Portland, Ore., and Seattle are known as "tiny house friendly" urban areas, though zoning laws still prevent tiny homes on permanent foundations from being the primary unit on a lot. Many tiny homes are placed illegally, but they are left alone until someone objects.
> In Boise tiny homes are in a legal gray area, and unless someone complains, they're usually left alone. The trouble for many is simply the idea of living illegally.
Because of their size and low costs, tiny homes are also being constructed in urban areas such as Boise as a solution for the chronically homeless and in urban areas due to their space and cost savings.

The movement has become a deep interest of affordable-housing advocates. Many advocates, including Levy, hope that micro-homes will help solve the affordable housing crisis and provide an alternative to stigmatized trailer parks and low-income housing.

Hensley says some Americans' desires to downsize and leave cities for more affordable living won't go away. That's why, he says, tiny homes are here to stay, and small towns should do everything they can to welcome them.

"This is one way they can put life back into their community and put commerce back into their community," Hensley says. Owners of tiny homes "aren't people who are going to be spending money on their mortgage."

                                                                                <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

"Idaho is the 7th POOREST State in the United States Of America!"
.So, you'd think that our state and/or city and/or county officials would make it easy for those people who want to live within their means, to actually be able to do so!!

Living large is not always affordable nor is it always sustainable especially when in lower economic times. There are responsible people living in the United States who seek to live within their financial means and wanting to live life as their income allows them to. Too often it is someone making $80k a year who is not in touch with people on limited income and it is they who decides what people on limited income should do! Because of nationalized zoning laws or planning laws, a sustainable solution will never happen without a concentrated effort of many people "on the same page."

Can debt free living be a reality anywhere? Absolutely but the number one source that has to be on board is the reigning government such as:
> county commissioners or city councils,
> county or city planning officials,
> county or city zoning officials,
people who can understand that there are citizens who are wanting to live frugle lives as their choice, not always because they have to, but because they want to:
> leave a smaller foot print
> live within their financial means
> live free of debt.
This describes us. In 2007, we lived in a 3,000 square foot home with a view to die for. But, now 7 years later, we are wanting to downsize and live within our means at this time.

The main factor in making this all a reality is that it does take "caring" officials with a heart in order to help provide solutions for all their constituents, not just the rich!

The problem lies in that most county building and zoning laws go by standardized laws which are not always sustainable for all citizens. While counties use these standardized laws, commissioners can make changes if they want to.
> They can help people to live within their means,
> They can make it easier for people to get out of debt
> They can help people to live comfortably and not be in subsidized living.

A county who only listens to the people with $$$, or a county that only thinks of creating programs that funnel people into specific categories that they set up to describe the majority, this is a county that tends to block out the minority people who may have goals that are better set to help themselves to live within their means instead of being in debt, which might not be what the the majority of the people do who live deep in debt want to achieve.

The exception is Texas to some degree, and then the cities of Houston or Victoria who have NO PLANNING & ZONING Laws that regulate what a land-owner can and can not build on their property. 

When people in charge do not provide solutions that benefits all classes of people, they can be doing a great dis-service to their citizens, especially to those who want to live according to their income, people who want to "Live Small In A Large World!"

Counties & Cities will normally balk at relaxing laws in order to better benefit more of their citizens. Yet it is starting to happen outside of Texas. One only has to look at the first steps that Brainard MN did which is the first step in helping people who want to live smaller, to acturally be able to do so as it does set a precedent in that it shows that counties can work to help all it's citizens, people like us who want to live within our means.

What Will It Take To Change Laws That Help All Citizens?

It takes a grass-roots group or groups of people:
> Groups wanting their voice to be heard...
> People wanting to be able to live debt free...
> People wanting to be able to live within their income...
> People wanting to "Live Small In A Large World" as their primary

> People wanting to work together to make it happen!

Why The Handicap Decal On Our Busss?

We are a family of a husband and a wife, where the wife has a health issue that requires a wheel-chair much of the time. This project supports handicap people. 

1st. She started having Post-polio Symptoms in 2009
2nd. We got her a cane, to help her get around.
3rd. We borrowed a wheelchair for a limited time. (05/2013 - 04/2014)
4th. We then were able to purchase a wheel chair. It was needed full time so that I could get her to where she needed to go if it was for any length of time. (04/2014)
5th. We purchased a used school bus with a handicap wheel chair lift so to provide a more comfortable traveling experience for her. We did this because sitting up in one position for longer than 30mins or so is painful for her. Sylvia got her state designation of having a handicap (05/2014).

6th. We took possession of the school bus in 05/2015.

7th. In  July 2015, Liberty Machine in Middleton ID mounted a recliner behind the driver's seat so that Sylvia can travel in comfort. This is her 4th recliner (1 in her office, 1 in the living room, 1 in the family room looking out the sliding glass doors to the park behind the house). Sylvia's comfort is best achieved when in a reclined position. Oh, the bus recliner has a seat-belt which makes it for safe riding.

8th. In September 2015, the bus went to Brown Bus Company in Nampa ID to get several things tweaked.

9th. On October 12, 2015, the interior of the bus will be painted. The color Sylvia chose was "Cool Cucumber" (Valspar). Something like a sea mist color.

How To Live Smaller In A Large World

Therefore, we are researching how to better utilize smaller carbon options for people. We like the "Going Green" aspect of living more affordable. We thought of having a W/D in the bus, so that if we wanted to stay out for an extended time, we could do it more easily. And we found some neat smart ones like this one. In most small solutions, one has to have a combination w/d but one has to think on energy savings also. 

When we first started this website, we had been actively thinking of downsizing. But, in the summer of 2015, we were offered living facilities that have been the best that we've ever had in that it is perfect for Sylvia with her health issues. While we won't be living in a Tiny Home, we will still be working proactively to help change people's perceptions of those who want to live within their means.

Where To Start...

When people are seeking smaller living solutions, it means that they have to work with county commissioners to better understand the plight of people who have financial burdens, a group of people who could pay their way if they were able to reduce their living expenses to a reasonable base. This would have to be a base that is good for those on limited income, which just may not be the same for most of the people who are in the general public majority category. When commissioners understand that not all people are flush and can only afford homes within their ability to sustain them, then we will be getting some place. 

We want people with positive outlook on life, not those who are aggressive and disruptive as this group has to be a positive influence to achieve sustainable growth while living according to their economic means, and not being forced to go into large debt in order to survive.

About The Blog Which Is Yet To Be Activated, There Are Guidelines

The blog topics are for specific people.
What this blog is for:
> people who are now "Builders" of their tiny home or RV Conversion.
> it is also for those with their finished wheeled tiny house and want additional information as to how to work on getting the local
governments to allow it to be parked in the area governed.
> it is for people who are occupants of their tiny home or RV.

What this blog is not for:
> It is not for people who are planning for something in the future.

You have to be able to physically be able to show your wheeled project for others to see & comment about in order to be a member here.

There is a delay in your post being published. Why? Because if the post does not relate to the subject, or if the post does include what you are planning to do but have yet to start, posts like this are not accepted.

This website and blog are specifically for people who:
 > have already purchased their wheeled unit that will house their tiny home that may yet have to be built,
> or it is being built or 

> it has been built/purchased but they have no place to park it.

> it is for those of you who are at the time, seeking a place to live with your Tiny Home. . .