A Tiny House Is A Tiny House Is A Tiny House
and An ADU Is An ADU!
This post was inspired by a question on the Q/A forum that I answered from another AR member. The question here is to discern between a "TINY HOUSE" and an "ACCESSORY DWELLING UNIT" (ADU). Many folks are of the opinion that a Tiny House is the same as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU).
As I see it a Tiny House is a small home and/or custom made travel trailer with wheels and axles (top photo) that can be moved from one location to another. However, much like a Park Model (photo below) it is still an RV. Here's how RVIA defines an RV.
"The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) is the national trade association representing recreation vehicle (RV) manufacturers and their component parts suppliers who together build more than 98 percent of all RVs produced in the U.S."
"An RV is a vehicle designed as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel or season use. RVs may be motorized (motor homes) or tow-able (travel trailers, folding camping trailers and truck campers). Off-road vehicles are not included in the RV definition."
And yes it is true. RV's can come in some pretty unusual shapes and sizes. But it doesn't necessarily mean they're always street legal. Some RVers can get pretty creative but at the end of the day they still have to be street legal and be able to pass safely under overpasses, trees and electrical lines.
As many of us know by now an "ADU" by contrast is a permanent structure built on a permanent foundation be it "Factory built" i.e. "HUD Manufactured", "Modular", "Prefab" or "Site/Stick Built". (Photo below)
Or 2 story (bottom HUD Manufactured 2nd floor site built) "Hybrid"
I question whether or not RVIA has or would ever recognize them unless they were built to RVIA standards. I also wonder if RV & trailer parks would allow them unless they did meet RVIA standards. The question of safety comes to mind first and foremost. Would or could they be a threat to others in an RV or trailer park?
It is a fact that Park Models, RV's, Travel Trailers, etc. are not permitted as permanent structures in most Cali building and zoning jurisdictions. In fact a park model cannot be affixed (permanently installed) even in a Manufactured Home Community let alone on a private lot/parcel. So I don't expect to see "Tiny Houses" to be allowed anytime soon.
The question really is, is there a place for "Tiny Houses" and if so where?