≡ Menu

Cape Coral, FL to Consider Allowing Permanent Tiny Houses!

News just broke that the city of Cape Coral, Florida is considering allowing tiny houses in certain areas.


According to Wink News, “city leaders spoke in favor of ‘tiny houses’ Monday during an informal Committee of the Whole meeting.”

Current zoning laws in Cape Coral require new homes built to a minimum of 1,100 square feet. Even though a final decision has yet to be made, the City Council members said they would be okay with the idea of allowing smaller homes to be built as long as 1) they are in a specific zoning area of the city, 2) they are built permanently on a foundation, 3) they built to be tolerant of hurricanes, and 4) that the homes are built to meet Florida’s building codes.

Tiny Homes Coming to Cape Coral, FL?

Screenshot via FOX4Now

Video: Tiny Homes Coming to Cape Coral, FL?


Wink News Video

What are YOUR Thoughts?

What do you think about this? Let us know in the comments!

Do you see more of this happening throughout the rest of the country?

I do! Especially since tiny homes on foundations are a better long-term solution for housing than a non-permanent structure (on wheels). I believe the future of the tiny house movement is moving in this direction in order to become a dependable and readily available long-term housing option/solution.

What are your thoughts?

Resources

You can share this using the e-mail and social media re-share buttons below. Thanks!

If you enjoyed this you’ll LOVE our Free Daily Tiny House Newsletter with even more! Thank you!

More Like This: Explore our Tiny House News Section

See The Latest: Go Back Home to See Our Latest Tiny Houses

The following two tabs change content below.

Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!




{ 26 comments… add one }
  • jerry May 26, 2017, 3:09 pm

    First they are desperate as the place got destroyed by Hurricane Charlie which hit me too though with much less force. Though took out lights for 3 days and had to run my home off my EVs.
    There are so, so many lots, 1,000s down there for just $2k that a self contained TH would be perfect for those who want to live cheaply especially if having income like SS.
    If you want a job there likely you need to make your own.
    Since much of the area is under 10′ ASL, they should make trailers or floatable homes the only choice below 5′ ASL.
    While I love foundation THs, this area is too low in most parts.
    Possibly some of the greatest salt or fresh water fishing in the world.
    Just 2kw of solar can supply all your power needs.

    • James D. May 27, 2017, 12:09 am

      Jerry, slab foundation isn’t the only option… There’s also raised foundation systems, like placed on pier foundation footings can allow them to be placed above any flood danger and is a solution used in other flood prone areas… Along with optional disposable ground floors, primarily used for a garage, that has break away walls to allow the flood water or even a tsunami to flow past the house…

      • jerry May 27, 2017, 5:13 am

        Yes I’m familiar with that method which is required by law in many low places the floor has to be above 10′ ASL by code.
        This is not good as need stairs soon I’ll likely be unable to climb them, can’t stand them personally and unlikely to stand a hurricane like Charlie.
        As a Florida boy I’ve been through likely 12 hurricanes in my life and I want either a floating house or a movable one.
        Note one can just get outside of town or any of many small towns from lower Sarasota to Everglades City you can always find cheap land you can put any kind of TH on.
        Here in Tampa I build 148sq’ THs as needs no permits.
        In much of Florida, coastal places old laws make it legal to live in boats on shore.
        Permit a full size house but only build a fraction of it.
        My lot contained a mobile home which was bad so I wiped 50% of it off and ‘repaired’ it with a TH. ;^)
        My TH are modules that you can build, live in one then grows as your needs do.

        • James D. May 27, 2017, 1:57 pm

          Pillar foundations can also be set to let the house float and rise with the water level… But I get your point, stairs are not for everyone and dealing with hurricanes can get old fast… While there are nicer areas to live…

  • Linton Wells May 26, 2017, 3:54 pm

    At Amish Cabin Company, http://www.amishcabincompany.com, we agree with this post completely: “Do you see more of this happening throughout the rest of the country? I do! Especially since tiny homes on foundations are a better long-term solution for housing than a non-permanent structure (on wheels). I believe the future of the tiny house movement is moving in this direction in order to become a dependable and readily available long-term housing option/solution.” This is exactly why Amish Cabin Company focuses on small modular cabins, built to residential codes, delivered assembled, and placed on permanent crawlspace or basement foundation. These cabins have no wheels/axles/chassis and are deeded real estate on permanent foundation on your land. Engineer designed with energy efficiency calculations and foam insulation with blower door testing. Solar power partner available for grid-tied or off-grid. Our website shows all pricing and options for 5 different cabin styles.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 29, 2017, 2:38 pm

      Hi Linton: If you’d like us to feature your homes, just send us an email at help@tinyhousetalk.com with pictures and details of your favorite house or maybe your most popular model 🙂

  • Aydene May 26, 2017, 4:09 pm

    Tiny houses is a misnomer. They should be considered with the same regulations as a mobile home, up to a point, but a step beyond due to the construction of the unit. A community of Mobile wooden structures has greater curb appeal and is more condussive to a settled community than is a trailer court. Beyond that,

    • James D. May 26, 2017, 10:50 pm

      Aydene, Tiny Houses is only a misnomer if referring to something that isn’t built like a house and not intended to be lived in like a house…

      Neither being small or movable by itself changes whether or not it is valid or not to call something a house as long as it is actually built like a house and not just clad to look like one… Floating houses, for example, can be mobile but that doesn’t change that they are houses… While conversely you can put a shed on a foundation, but it won’t magically turn it into a house…

      Besides, the discussion here is about Tiny Houses on traditional stationary foundations and not those on wheels or floating platform…

      The Cape Coral, FL county basically removed their minimum size requirement of what can be legally built there to allow any size structure as long as it meets all their other requirements like meeting Florida building code and isn’t a mobile structure…

      The question of movable houses is still a separate one that has yet to be determined but those on traditional slab or pier foundations can be considered in every way the same as traditional houses with the only difference being the minimum size allowed…

      There is a argument to be made that mobile houses can be beneficial in certain scenarios… A flood and hurricane prone area being a prime example… Forest fire prone areas being another, among other examples…

      Curb appeal can be variable in certain cases as well but the broader question is how it will all fit into the existing system…

      Since things like property taxes help support local resources for things like maintaining roads to emergency services for fire fighters, etc.

      While not everyone who wants to live in a Tiny House necessarily needs or wants to be mobile… Thus the focus on legalizing tiny houses on traditional foundations first… It’ll be much longer before we see anything definite regarding movable houses but it is likely we’ll see a system developed that’s more flexible than what we have now…

      • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 29, 2017, 2:44 pm

        I do agree that one of the best ways to make tiny homes “legal” is to first get rid of the minimum sizing requirements. I think people largely started building tiny houses on wheels because of all the laws saying a foundation home had to be a certain size. So if you can easily get a permit for a 300 sq. ft. house, I think more people will start wanting to do that 🙂 But of course, there are people who want the freedom of movement, and that’s when the wheels really make sense.

      • Kim Pratt May 31, 2017, 11:49 pm

        Why not year round rv parks, not should for rv’s but tiny houses, if they can be towed, why not pull out when the hurricanes come in, then come back when they leave (hurricanes), that way they are out of danger during the storms. The same goes for those who live the rv life style of traveling and taking a break here and there. It is not like living up north where you have constant snow storms.

        • James D. June 1, 2017, 12:26 am

          Typically, RV parks are not always in ideal locations, may be over crowded with RV’s, and may not let anyone stay longer than 30 days…

          Not all RV parks allow all RV’s or Tiny Houses as well…

          There are a few full time RV parks and parks that will accept anything on wheels but they’re not everywhere and not all are equally affordable to rent space from…

          Along with issues like whether or not they support and supply utilities and whether or not the tiny house can make due with RV style connections or need more residential grade connections.

          Like if you need more than 30A connection then that may be a issue at some places that don’t support 50A…

          While it’s actually harder to achieve legal full time living with RV’s because by definition they are recreational vehicles that are only intended for temporary accommodations for camping, etc.

          So some locations may be limited by local zoning rules that limit RV usage to no more than 30 days a year…

          Being mobile has its pros and cons and the RV style life is not always an easy one.

          It is however something some are already doing… While there are efforts to establish tiny house villages, communities, parks, etc. and areas that are free from restrictions…

          They can be remote and may not always be easy to find or reach but there are options for those wishing to be mobile and travel either rarely or often…

          Some being developed are also trying to make it so you can become a member of one community but can then move to any of the other communities within a network that can cover multiple states… Kinda like having gym membership with a national gym type deal…

          There’s also the option of owning or renting land where there aren’t any restrictions to tiny house living… and you can just travel between them… Like how some people have vacation homes as well as their main home… But with a Tiny House the same home can go to each location instead…

  • David May 26, 2017, 4:46 pm

    Let’s face it most people only use/live in 500-750 sq. Ft. That could be overkill. People need to get over the ” look where I live ” mentality!!! They would be happier and live less stressful lives!!! If you really must make a show of it, then build a 35′-40′ tiny home and spend $150 k+ on it. You’ll still be living small but with more luxury. Then you’ll have more to spend on more important nonsense. I could live in 300-350 sq.ft., but I’d spend $350.-$400 a sq.ft. on it. That’s more than most homes built these days. I would think it would be a plus for neighborhoods with lesser quality homes. Be happy and free in your tiny homes or in slavery to your mansion!!!

    • James D. May 27, 2017, 1:46 pm

      Good point David, it’s easier to build a tiny house to high standards and have things you may not otherwise be able to afford in a bigger house as doing the same thing to a big house could push costs into the millions…

      Along with other benefits like freeing up more land space to be usable for something other than just the house foundation… and of course being able to afford more land for your property…

      • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 29, 2017, 2:45 pm

        I agree 🙂 Sometimes being able to afford quality because you aren’t going just for quantity is a huge plus!

  • Dana Turner May 26, 2017, 5:05 pm

    Cape Coral already has a glut of empty homes.

  • Carol Perry May 26, 2017, 5:32 pm

    I just love the tiny houses! I think it would be great to have them in your town! People have to realize how cute they are! They are perfect for all walks of life! Kids just starting out in life most likely can’t afford that huge down payment let alone the mortgage! Seniors are at a point in life they want to down size. Then you have people that are homeless & have practically nothing & this would be a perfect fit for them! At least they would not be living on the street vulnerable to the elements outside along with being safe from someone hurting them. Then you have The Men & The Women in the Service these tiny homes would be good for them as well! With all the features these cute little places have to offer! What’s so nice they are custom made & brand new! The prices are affordable! 🌹🌷🌹

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 29, 2017, 2:46 pm

      I agree Carol! There are so many people who can benefit from tiny living 🙂 Less to clean (that’s my favorite part!).

  • Evening Iris May 26, 2017, 9:24 pm

    They really aren’t allowing Tiny Houses; they are allowing a variance to their 1,100 sq ft code that is already in place. They are saying that any new housing has to be built on a foundation; well, that effectively lets out Tiny Houses on Wheels (THOW). They should allow THOW’s because if there is another hurricane, people can be evacuated with their homes to safer areas out of the path of the storm. And then people can return home once the storm is over. Less damage and less clean up. When they require foundations, this is catering to the builders and taxes, not the needs of the people who want to live in THOW’s. Better that they should just require RVIA certification and lattice work or skirts over the tires to give the appearance of foundation if they wish a certain look. I’m glad to see that they are willing to allocate a certain area for THOW’s, but they should also allow them elsewhere for extended families, health aides, and to help supplement family incomes.

    • James D. May 28, 2017, 3:19 am

      Tiny houses aren’t limited to just those on wheels… and there are foundations like pier footings that can be detached and the house moved like a container home or modular/manufactured house…

      But I agree they’re still not getting with the program on accepting Tiny Houses…

      Part of the problem is people have been brainwashed into thinking of houses as investments rather than in terms of homes that are suppose to help us live well and fit our lifestyle….

      So the actual living part takes a back seat to treating them as investments and anything people think can hurt that investment they will be against and it’s almost impossible to convince them that they’re wrong.

      For the life of a modern house people can spend multiple times what it originally cost to build by the time they pay off the mortgage and have paid decades of repair, renovations, updates, insurance, maintenance, cleaning, heating & cooling, utilities, and taxes… and that’s before factoring in the cost and time of their lives…

      While at most a house may appreciate at a low 1% annual rate, which isn’t guaranteed…

      Low yield stocks or bonds can get you a better profit with a 6%-7% appreciation and are much more likely to be sure of getting that appreciation… without all the costs that home ownership involves for pure profit versus a net loss with a house… Yet people keep on thinking of house ownership like they’re guaranteed saving money at the bank and watching the money pile grow when it’s really the opposite…

      Though, it’s probably because a lot of people don’t bother adding up all the costs and only look at the initial cost versus final sale price… Yeah, the house can sell for more than its original price but that’s ignoring that you probably spent enough to have bought two to three other houses by the time it was all said and done…

      But everything from government to Home Owner Associations are thinking in terms of property values and thus it’s one of the biggest blocks to tiny houses and other alternatives, allowing people to live the way they may want, and pretty much all alternatives from Earthships to container houses…

      Along with the other associated reasons of taxation, financial institutions, insurance companies, and pretty much everyone who profits from home owners to the detriment of our rights…

      Back in November, a Minnesota man was sent to jail for a few months because he dared put a wind turbine on his property, for example… He basically just wanted to lower his carbon footprint and it never occurred to him his neighbors would complain about that but they did and when they took him to court he had to take it down… Problem being he had laid the foundation for it too close to his house and in order to comply with the court order he had to remove all of it, including the foundation, but that would essentially destroy his house in the process…

      He tried to compromise and remove most of it and hide the rest but the court declared him in violation of the order and thus he went to jail…

      There are many such examples and while there has been progress to legalizing tiny houses in many states, we have a long way to go before people regain the right to really live as they want and should be allowed to…

      • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 29, 2017, 2:49 pm

        Yes I think it’s hard to not allow THOWs at all in a hurricane-prone area. To me it seems like an excellent solution because, as you said, folks can evacuate!

  • keepyourpower May 27, 2017, 12:05 am

    One of the reasons of having a THOW, is so you do not have to pay taxes in your locale. And if a hurricane were coming…just pull up stakes, and leave with your home!
    Until these municipalities get with it…if I had a THOW, I would stay in a campground, or find a place that would allow THOWs all year long. I found one in NC…near Asheville. Also, there is one being built in TN, near Incredible Tiny Homes. I would like to move to TX, and found out Spur, TX is accepting Tiny Homes…but I doubt any on wheels. Maybe so.
    Austin allows them, from what I read.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 29, 2017, 2:51 pm

      There are great reasons for THOWs, for sure. I do like the idea though that a family could purchase land and built a 300 sq. ft. home they could afford and they add onto it as they pleased, instead of needing to sell their THOW once their kids are too big or things get too tight for them. If the size restrictions in towns disappear, that could be more possible!

  • Steve in Micco May 27, 2017, 8:04 pm

    Watching the newsclip from Cape Coral, I am reminded of how far we veered from private property rights in this country. As a libertarian at heart, seems to me that unless you are constructing a nuclear reactor on your lot, it’s nobody’s business what you build.

    Currently, my county here in Florida, Brevard will “allow” you to build a minimum house size of 750 s.f. …… very thoughtful of “selfless do-gooders”, politicians and nameless bureaucrats to determine my needs for me.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 29, 2017, 2:52 pm

      Haha I can have that same kind of freedom-loving spirit myself, Steve!

  • jamie June 1, 2017, 8:53 am

    Where are the TH going to be placed in cape coral ?

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee June 1, 2017, 2:33 pm

      Not sure! I don’t think there are any official plans yet.

Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post: