Tiny homes changes face of development code


CREEDE—Residents of Creede gathered in the town hall meeting room for a public hearing regarding tiny homes on Tuesday, Dec. 5. The attending audience was there to learn about changes being proposed by the town board to the development code in order to allow the homes to be built on specific zones within town limits.

After passing the consent agenda, Mayor Jeffery Larson opened the public hearing and asked town Clerk Randi Snead to give an explanation of the changes being proposed.

In a document provided to the board and general public, it explained the reasons behind the changes being proposed, “Over the past year, the [Mineral County] Planning & Zoning Commission has been hard at work discussing the complex considerations regarding the ‘tiny home movement.’ The commission wanted to be permissive and flexible, given our affordable housing shortage; however, they also wanted to be practical and protective of the interests of our community.  The proposed result tries to achieve those goals. 

The ordinance itself is full of complicated language that is required to update our development code.  In layman's terms, the aim of this legislation is to permit the use of safe and inspected tiny homes and RVs for residential use in some areas.  These units must be registered by the department of motor vehicles, and if they are being used as a residence, they must obtain a certificate of occupancy from the Creede building inspector, which will ensure livability and appropriate inspections. They may only be used on vacant residential lots and are only allowed as a special review use in certain zones. They must be hooked up to city utilities, and they may not be used as an accessory dwelling structure on an occupied lot.  

As many of you know, we adopted a new Development Code in 2016 and have been keeping an eye out for further adjustments it

CREEDE—Residents of Creede gathered in the town hall meeting room for a public hearing regarding tiny homes on Tuesday, Dec. 5. The attending audience was there to learn about changes being proposed by the town board to the development code in order to allow the homes to be built on specific zones within town limits.

After passing the consent agenda, Mayor Jeffery Larson opened the public hearing and asked town Clerk Randi Snead to give an explanation of the changes being proposed.

In a document provided to the board and general public, it explained the reasons behind the changes being proposed, “Over the past year, the [Mineral County] Planning & Zoning Commission has been hard at work discussing the complex considerations regarding the ‘tiny home movement.’ The commission wanted to be permissive and flexible, given our affordable housing shortage; however, they also wanted to be practical and protective of the interests of our community.  The proposed result tries to achieve those goals. 

The ordinance itself is full of complicated language that is required to update our development code.  In layman's terms, the aim of this legislation is to permit the use of safe and inspected tiny homes and RVs for residential use in some areas.  These units must be registered by the department of motor vehicles, and if they are being used as a residence, they must obtain a certificate of occupancy from the Creede building inspector, which will ensure livability and appropriate inspections. They may only be used on vacant residential lots and are only allowed as a special review use in certain zones. They must be hooked up to city utilities, and they may not be used as an accessory dwelling structure on an occupied lot.  

As many of you know, we adopted a new Development Code in 2016 and have been keeping an eye out for further adjustments it needs to be appropriate in Creede. Through sorting tiny homes out, the commission ran up against the highly restrictive language in our development code regarding RV storage and all types of other outdoor storage on private property. 

It was ultimately decided that those regulations were altogether far too restrictive for Creede, as it would prevent everyone from having campers on their property and would require elaborate screening for other outdoor possessions. The commission is therefore proposing removal of some of those restrictions, thus the changes to parking regulations and removal of outdoor storage language.”

Audience member were then asked to speak on behalf of the proposed changes and the main consensus was that the changes were not appropriate for certain scenarios in Creede. One gentleman spoke up and asked if the changes being made would affect him as a resident of an RV that was parked on private residential land. Trustee Catherine Kim spoke on the subject stating that the changes had no affect either way on his situation, only that he was not in compliance under the current code and would remain out of compliance under the changed code.

Other members of the public voiced concern that the town is trying to restrict the use of RVs in town limits and storage of outdoor possessions on personal property, to which the board assured the concerned citizens that this was not so. “We are trying to make the regulations less restrictive in order to fit the needs of Creede and allow tiny homes to be built to help ease the affordable housing issue,” said Kim.

Mayor Larson spoke up after an hour of discussion on the matter, “It is very clear that the people are unhappy with the changes, and it would be an affront to them to pass this now. We need to reschedule a public work session and hash things out then.”

Board members asked Snead to place the discussion as a work session on the agenda for February. In the meantime, residents with suggestions or concerns can send them to the town hall in time for the board to take it under consideration before the scheduled work session. The board was very clear in the fact that they are trying to help ease the housing issue in Creede and are willing to look at the development code for as long as it takes to get the language correct. A motion was made to table the discussion and passed by the board.

 

needs to be appropriate in Creede. Through sorting tiny homes out, the commission ran up against the highly restrictive language in our development code regarding RV storage and all types of other outdoor storage on private property. 

It was ultimately decided that those regulations were altogether far too restrictive for Creede, as it would prevent everyone from having campers on their property and would require elaborate screening for other outdoor possessions. The commission is therefore proposing removal of some of those restrictions, thus the changes to parking regulations and removal of outdoor storage language.”

Audience member were then asked to speak on behalf of the proposed changes and the main consensus was that the changes were not appropriate for certain scenarios in Creede. One gentleman spoke up and asked if the changes being made would affect him as a resident of an RV that was parked on private residential land. Trustee Catherine Kim spoke on the subject stating that the changes had no affect either way on his situation, only that he was not in compliance under the current code and would remain out of compliance under the changed code.

Other members of the public voiced concern that the town is trying to restrict the use of RVs in town limits and storage of outdoor possessions on personal property, to which the board assured the concerned citizens that this was not so. “We are trying to make the regulations less restrictive in order to fit the needs of Creede and allow tiny homes to be built to help ease the affordable housing issue,” said Kim.

Mayor Larson spoke up after an hour of discussion on the matter, “It is very clear that the people are unhappy with the changes, and it would be an affront to them to pass this now. We need to reschedule a public work session and hash things out then.”

Board members asked Snead to place the discussion as a work session on the agenda for February. In the meantime, residents with suggestions or concerns can send them to the town hall in time for the board to take it under consideration before the scheduled work session. The board was very clear in the fact that they are trying to help ease the housing issue in Creede and are willing to look at the development code for as long as it takes to get the language correct. A motion was made to table the discussion and passed by the board.

 


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