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zoning and mirco homes
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ExIsle



Joined: 24 Feb 2017
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:21 am 
Post subject: zoning and mirco homes
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Im my opinion, after transportation to the island the current zoning configuration is the second highest barrier to island economic growth. If people have their own cottage they will spend more time on the island. Time (hours) on island is the metric the island should be looking at to grow the economy and doing everything possible to maximize that.

I am wondering how we got to the zoned square footage specification in the first place. Iíve been researching square footage requirements and all I find are recommendations and not scientific studies. I have an architectural textbook from the 1930s that recommends 250 ft.≤ for each adult. Given that the square footage requirements appear be quite arbitrary. Why not not let the people who actually own the property build and design house they want within the framework of standard construction practices. Would it not be smarter just to specify function rather than square footage? I have seen this in several townships in Michigan and it appears to have good results. For example why not specify that the minimum house is have four linear feet of countertop in the kitchen and a bathtub or shower, toilet and sink in a separate bathroom room thatís it. Specify that the construction techniques are to comply with existing construction, electrical, plumbing and heating codes. Itís a cottage after all. Thatís all a lot of us want. I would rather have a small quality structure than to cut corners to meet some arbitrary square footage requirement that appears to be derived by the ďthatís what everyone else is doing ď standard. I have a plan for an efficient 320 ft.≤ cottage that is sustainable both maintenance wise and tax wise.

Looking at new tax code with its cap on deductibility of state/local income and property taxes it appears to me that it is going to provide a disincentive for people to build large houses as vacation properties on the island as they may not be able to duct the full amount of those taxes paid going forward. Yes they could rent it out to off set costs but thatís not what everyone wants to do. An alternative is needed to ensure that if desired a vacation home can be constructed that allows the owner to remain under the cap. The solution is to be able to build smaller.

It is time to innovate with an eye to affordability and sustainability.
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BobTidmore



Joined: 08 Sep 2003
Posts: 662
Location: Beaver Island

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:18 am 
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I don't know the history of St James and Beaver Island I was informed that some of the townships in Charlevoix County have structured the zoning for the size of homes specifically to prevent mobile homes, i.e. trailer parks.

Also I believe many of the "tiny homes" are mobile and that requires a park with a pump out. Again a good reason that the Karns property could work as it is near the St James line to the septic field.
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islandliving



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 285
Location: Beaver Island, Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:20 pm 
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If a tiny home remains mobile then Zoning laws do not apply. if you are allowed to park a travel trailer on your property then you can park a tiny home there. This should be allowable in ag zone for sure. Or any parcel ten acres. As long as you leave it mobile it can not be taxed. It is titled the same way as a vehicle. I have a ag parcel in East Jordan. I am allowed to put in a well and septic and leave my RV there indefinitely. This would also be the same with a tiny home. If their is nothing in your Zoning laws that restrict an RV or the time it can stay I would just put in the tiny home. No questions asked.

John McCafferty
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carolburton



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:40 pm 
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My advice for what it is worth...actually live in one and then tell me how much you love it! Add a friend too and see what its like never escaping from one another. Everyone who talks about this has not done it! I only know one guy who even comes close to qualifying. Can't count a motor home either it might just be too big for your tiny home. I lived in a camper, same thing folks as a tiny home, for 6 months. IT IS NOT the overwhelming joyful experience you might think. If you build it to live in and you have to spend all the $$ on elect, well, septic, plumbing what's the point of the tiny home? That is where all the expense is and the building part is cheap in comparison. Go solar? Then you need room to put that system and again not cheap if you want real power. The little bigger home of 600-700 sq ft required by zoning law, which is still very small, isn't the problem. Even on wheels with no hook ups you still need to pump and dump...pun intended. They are not everywhere for a real reason. They are not practical or realistic.
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burton
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islandliving



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 285
Location: Beaver Island, Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:53 pm 
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No property tax an a tiny home. Thatís a lot of vacation money!!!

John McCafferty
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carolburton



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:06 pm 
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You still have to have property to put it on? Taxes on a small home/cabin are minimal. I pay about $500 a year for my 10 acres and small cabin with a storage shed. I don't think that is too bad.

What we need to do John is change the laws on what a small business means that you run out of your home. If your not making a profit over a certain amount you shouldn't be penalized for doing a business service for the island with high commercial taxes. That would be a doozy now wouldn't it? More business means more people and more money to go around. Would bring more than tiny house people!
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burton
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islandliving



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
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Location: Beaver Island, Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:22 pm 
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I pay close to $500 on my vacant 10 near your West Side Property.

John McCafferty
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stardust



Joined: 09 Jul 2013
Posts: 128

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:38 pm 
Post subject: close quarters
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I agree with you Carol tight spaces and family are more like matches and gasoline. The people whom would the target demographic to do the tiny homes concept are weekenders and vacationers.

I agree with you on the home business tax's how in the hell do they expect anyone to get ahead
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carolburton



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:49 pm 
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When most people vacation and enough to build they want it comfortable. I have never heard anyone say they were going on vacation to cram into a place. Just my thought Smile

On the other topic of helping home business out...no one is to blame for the laws or rules as they are because the "they" is us. However, what if we BI were the first place to change that because it would help our community? Food for thought
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burton
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islandliving



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
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Location: Beaver Island, Michigan

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:37 pm 
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I disagree again. I am traveling around the country in a fifth wheel. Probably not as comfortable as a tiny home but very comfortable. In parks I have been in many people live in them for months. If you are vacationing in a place where you are spending most of your time outdoors in which most summer Beaver Island would because of itís beauty an many outdoor activities. I say leave the wheels on and spend that property tax money on your vacation. I have ten acres with a property tax of about $450.00 per year. A permanent structure would raise it dramatically. A tiny home none. Think about it??

John McCafferty
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carolburton



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:52 pm 
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John, You are right in that way. Leave it on wheels and buy a camper or equivalent. Let people have them. Right now I believe you would have to hide it from road view on Beaver Island. I think that is the zoning ordinances rule. However, the tiny house is not the same. It is a permanent fixture requiring the laws to be followed. If its just about the wheels then why don't we have more campers and trailers on peoples property? It seems feasible to do? Sounds like a savings. We don't have different laws about that?
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burton
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stardust



Joined: 09 Jul 2013
Posts: 128

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:55 pm 
Post subject: close quarters
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Two main selling points 1) A Place to store camping gear (tents sleeping bags bikes .... pop up a couple tents now you room for 10 2) Having Power and Water
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islandliving



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
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Location: Beaver Island, Michigan

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:04 pm 
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We do have different views of a Tiny home. If Beaver Island has a Zoning law with any camping restrictions on ten acres and up I am surprised. But if so I can understand why we have no people.

John McCafferty
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islandliving



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 285
Location: Beaver Island, Michigan

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:18 pm 
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We do have different views of a Tiny home. If Beaver Island has a Zoning law with any camping restrictions on ten acres and up I am surprised. But if so I can understand why we have no people.

John McCafferty
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islandliving



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 285
Location: Beaver Island, Michigan

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:11 pm 
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Is the ordanance on line, I would like to read the camping restrictions on Ag or forest land.

John McCafferty
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