Access-A-Hut's Blog

August 30, 2009

Question posted to Denver’s New Code

Filed under: Zoning and laws — by accessahut @ 3:54 pm

Hi,

We are a disabled couple and are planning our future now. We want to stay together and we want to have our cat, Cipher, and our dog, Kate, with us. But we both have severe health issues and we will probably need caretakers. We do not want to move into an institution!

The most reasonable solution for us is to build a tiny house (8 feet by 20 feet). If we are healthy, we can live independantly and not have much to take care of, so we can keep the property looking good. If we are not healthy, we could move into a caretaker’s backyard as an “accessory dwelling unit.” This way, we could have a caretaker and still maintain our privacy and dignity. By having a movable home, we pay once to customize for our particular disabilities and do not have to re-renovate a place each time we move. This way, we can customize a house to last us for the rest of our lives.

This house will be built to serve us for our lifetimes–and for many generations to come. See a potential picture at http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/. We would like this home to be portable (e.g., welded onto a flat trailer or building a foundation but allowing the home to be relocated). This would provide the planning flexibility we need in case we need to move to a caretaker or … This tiny house would be a real house–not a flimsy RV. We would spend our time crafting it and use the best materials (we can afford the best because we are going to be so small).

Further, we would have only 100 pounds or so of landfill waste instead of the 7 tons of waste for an average house, and we would produce about 900 pounds of greenhouse gases during a winter instead of the 18 tons for an average house (see statistics in Shafer, J. The Small House Book, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company 2009). We are committed to help create a sustainable Denver and believe that this house–and others like it–can pave the way to lower energy use and better air quality in Denver.

We need a house that:
Is easy to take care of
Has a low to zero carbon footprint (to contribute to sustainable living)
Has easy access for a caretaker to provide medical equipment and needs.

See our thoughts so far at https://accessahut.wordpress.com/

QUESTIONS:

1) What is an accessory dwelling unit and what is the minimum size for one? Would a log cabin or tiny house such as Tumbleweed or Tortoise shell homes (http://www.tortoiseshellhome.com) qualify?

2) Where would we be able to build our tiny home in Denver?

3) What does Denver’s new code provide for others in our situation who, for whatever reason, choose to live in a beautiful, well crafted tiny home? (The tiny home movement is gaining momentum as it provides an easier way of life that is sustainable and leads to lower energy use and tiny carbon footprints).

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