The last time I ran for Dayton City Commission I had a section of my platform about building Tiny Houses in Dayton. It wasn’t discussed by anyone on the campaign trail. No one cared. Dayton just voted for more of the same. Next weekend, the “Tiny House Jamboree” is coming to the Hook Estate– great, we can look, but it’s still not legal to build one in Dayton.
Last year I wrote:
Do zoning and building codes really protect our property values- or keep us safe? Or are they just another way for government to stick its nose where it doesn’t belong? Is the reason for big houses- because the construction, home building, banking and insurance industries don’t want you to build your own house for cash?
One of the biggest problems in our real estate market is the practice of valuation. Your house isn’t worth what you say it is- even if someone else wants to buy it for that amount- unless they have cash. All others must rely on “Comps” or “Comparables” and this makes tiny houses a bad option for a neighbor. Your house is worth $120,000, the tiny house next door is $20,000- that hurts your property value, so zoning laws “protect us” from diversity. Of course, if someone wants to build a million dollar home next door- you’re all for it (discrimination is alive and well).
The reality is that Dayton is losing population, losing value, and losing taxable property at an appalling rate. Our geniuses in charge think the solution is to build new versions of the same thing and people will come. As I said in the above referenced post- this is insanity.
The more I think about successfully implementing tiny houses in Dayton- I think they need to be built in mini-communities, on three lot parcels. In the center would be a shared space, community room, with a small workshop, storage for garden tools, laundry, mud-room, and mini-gym. It would have a solar roof, and also serve as the geothermal hub for the 8 tiny houses that would surround it in a semi-circle.
These little communities would be valued collectively- and billed collectively for taxes, trash, water- and would have one shared fast pipe internet connection.
By regulation, one home would be reserved for transitioning the homeless, veterans, and recovering addicta in order to qualify for the “collective” tax/trash/water billing. If you don’t want to “adopt” a low-income household- you pay full boat for each unit.
If you want examples of this type of community- Dayton still has a few “Mutual Homes” arrangements- left over from idealists of another time. Read more about it on Jeff Dwellen’s amazing Daytonolgy post: Dayton’s Socialist Suburb
I’m happy the Tiny House movement is gaining traction in Dayton. It took from 2009 to 2015 for Dayton to launch bike share after I brought the idea to the table, so maybe by 2019 we’ll start to see Tiny Houses.