Etowah, Tennesee doesn't have happy news for the tiny home community.
The city is known for over 100 years as a friendly pit-stop with a unique business district and historical background rooted in the Nashville Railroad. Chris Ingram, Etowah's Director of Community Development, wants to keep the look of historic homes and keep home prices high. Because of this, tiny homes don't fit the mold of Etowah's aesthetic.
Ingram publically announced his reasoning for the decision, saying, “It seemed wise to study the issue for maintaining our neighborhoods and trying to keep a fairly consistent look to the extent that we decided it best to institute a minimum square foot requirement."
According to Etowah's News Channel 9, the zoning requirements for each residential area will vary, but are well above the size of tiny homes. According to zoning codes, houses in Residential Zone 1 need to be a minimum of 800 square feet. Houses built in areas 2 and 3 must be at least 600 square feet.
Though Vice Mayor David James initially agreed with Ingram, he's now expressing skepticism of the plan saying, “We have a lot of homes in Etowah that are in disrepair or burned out, or grown up in weeds....I'd rather see a very pretty [tiny house] than a
grown up lot."
Luckily, this doesn't seem to be a permanent ban on tiny homes, but a temporary decision. Jeremy Weaver, a tiny home builder, has been advocating for them in the area, citing that "progressive cities" have passed laws embracing tiny homes, such as Colorado Springs and Fresno.
“There are a lot of people these days that want a smaller house - under 800 square feet. A lot of people even want them under 500 square feet that want a really nice house, they just want it to be smaller,” said Weaver.
Until Etowah becomes more progressive, tiny home enthusiasts will have to wait. The news story can be seen in the video below: