Project’s planning process to aid in the planning of future tiny home communities countywide
Commissioners unanimously approved the rezoning of a 2-acre property for future development as a tiny home community. The property is located on the east side of Mitchell Road, approximately 300 feet north of Edwards Avenue.
Josh Hofstede has been a leader in advocating for affordable housing in the County and is the owner of the property. The approval of Hofstede’s petition allows the former Residential (R-1A and R-1C) zoning designation to become a Combined Planned Development Project (CPDP), which includes Recreational (PDP(REC)) and Single Family (PDP(SF)) features, with specific Mobile Home (R-1-MH) uses to allow construction of Tiny Homes.
Tiny Homes are defined as single dwelling units having a footprint smaller than 400 square feet. In 2021, Appendix Q of Florida’s building code was amended to include definitions and provisions for these structures. Tiny homes have two main types: site-built tiny homes on foundations and tiny homes on wheels (THOWs). The code only applies to site-built homes and not THOWs, which are regulated by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles.
The preliminary plan is to develop the property to allow for an estimated 18 tiny homes and a central community facility. The development will feature a required amount of greenspace, which was not specified during the meeting.
Hofstede reported that in his research, constructing tiny homes on foundations is fairly cost-prohibitive, starting at around $110,000 for a 400-square-foot unit. However, he has located a builder that will construct 300-square-foot tiny homes on wheels for $30,000 to $35,000. These homes, although smaller, will include bathrooms and washer-dryer hookups.
Planning Director Michelle Miller commented that the planning process for this property will serve as a foundation for policies forthcoming that will regulate future communities. “We’re going to use this (property) as an example to work up some additional language to bring back to (the BOCC) for a holistic perspective on tiny home communities.”
Hofstede is waiting for the official go-ahead from the BOCC once the final ordinance language is in place and approved. “Moving forward, I didn’t want to do anything … unapproved. I want to make sure this is viable for the community as well. At the end of the day, I may look at it, and it may be totally cost-prohibitive, but I just want to make sure I have some support going forward.”
Hofstede is currently self-funding the project but is investigating available grants.