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Code Changes to Allow Tiny Houses Sought for Atlanta

An Atlanta City Councilmember and local advocates are pushing for the city to join the ranks of cities that have allowed tiny houses as a solution to housing challenges.
July 30, 2015, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Max Blau examines the tiny house movement for signs of life in the South, where such buildings are still illegal.

"Aside from academic experiments, like the 135-square-foot 'SCADpads' built last year in a Midtown parking deck, developers aren’t allowed to build tiny homes inside the Atlanta city limits. Why not? The city’s code prohibits the construction of single-family homes smaller than 750 square feet. Some local governments have created restrictions on the minimum size of “dwellings” prior to the burgeoning tiny house movement. Looking elsewhere in the metro area, Gwinnett and Dekalb counties require single-family homes to be at least 1,000 square feet."

Blau reports, however, that Atlanta City Councilmember Kwanza Hall is seeking legislation that would allow tiny houses in eastside neighborhoods like Old Fourth Ward and Inman Park, which councilmember Hall represents. Councilmember points to the areas many "non-conforming lots" as ideal for tiny houses and micro-unit apartments. "He envisions a wide variety of different types of people such as college graduates, young professionals, homeless people, and empty nesters occupying the affordable homes," writes Blau.

The Atlanta City Council is expected to approve legislation next month, report Blau, that would enable planners to study code refinements that would pave the way for the new variety of housing.

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Published on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 in Atlanta Magazine
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