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Brainerd, MN Changes Zoning to Allow Smaller Homes

I wanted to thank Joe M. for the tip for this announcement that the city of Brainerd in Minnesota has changed its zoning code to allow for the construction of small homes.

This includes studio/efficiency apartments as little as 350 square feet and small houses as little as 500 square feet.

Although so far, since the change, no developers have approached the city with plans to build a small house. But I believe that will change soon enough.

Previously the minimum square footage requirement was 750 square feet. But in certain lots you’re now allowed to build smaller.

Related: Amazingly Functional 240 Sq. Ft. Micro Apartment in NYC

City Adjusts Zoning to Allow Small Houses


Read the original story/article here for more details.

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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!
{ 16 comments… add one }
  • ali johnson
    June 20, 2014, 1:36 pm

    Brainerd is in Minnesota. Minneapolis is a city, not a state!

    • Alex
      June 20, 2014, 5:42 pm

      Wow. My bad! Fixed it. Thank you!!

  • June 20, 2014, 5:38 pm

    Brainerd is in Minnesota, not Minneapolis. 🙂

    • Alex
      June 20, 2014, 6:13 pm

      Thanks Tracy, fixed it, wasn’t all there I guess LOL

  • david
    June 20, 2014, 5:53 pm

    Alex, like that My Bad thing. I’m in Australia and the other day I looked up minimum floor area, I also phoned a building inspector and there’s no minimum floor space here, you can build as small as you like.

    • Alex
      June 20, 2014, 6:12 pm

      LOL thanks for making me feel better David

  • david
    June 20, 2014, 6:47 pm

    I’m going to have to get used to the my bad thing, it’s been around a little bit i know, but Im going to have to just ease into it…practice saying it to myself walking around for a while..but the only thing is I smile whenever I say it. Not good…

  • Tim
    June 20, 2014, 8:09 pm

    This is great news. For now that is. I’m so glad to see a city come around to small housing units but I fear that the good of the small housing movement will be undone by greed. I fear that once it gets underway by developers that you will see hugh high rental prices per square foot. Eventually this will force people into super small units at super hugh prices and may leave them worse off than they are now. New York rental prices come to mind.
    Current owner builders can now accomplish their goals but I think that once this gets commercialized the greed for profit will take over. When government gets its foot into anything the cost goes up. It will then no longer be for the good of the people but just more government control and gouging. I really hope not but…..

    • Payton
      December 5, 2015, 7:50 pm

      Tim, I agree with everything you have said and it is so true and even if you have a builder help you build it, that, this might go to their heads. I try to trust that it won’t. I am disabled and I have a small house I want to build, but I will need a builder.

  • June 20, 2014, 9:08 pm

    Who exactly would you have to go to, to see what the minimum size a house would be in lets say a county near Park Rapids, MN. Living outside the city limits is cheaper, and better than living inside a city limits.

  • Rose
    June 20, 2014, 10:04 pm

    This IS exciting. Brainerd is my hometown, relatives and all. I grew up there, went to school, 1st – 12th and 3 years of College. I and my Sis currently live approx. 20 miles away, but looking to getting back. I would be one of the first to apply for that permit.

  • Cahow
    June 22, 2014, 3:55 pm

    Who knew BRAINERD would be a hot bed of future Tiny Houser’s? Bahahahahaaaaa! I lived in Brainerd for two solid years while going to Uni, back in the 80’s, and all I remember is the Holiday Inn bar and I think the Red Velvet Lounge, where we, “The Jail Bait Girls”, would have randy business men on convention, buy us Screwdrivers. LOL

    Honestly, I couldn’t tell you if Brainerd has become more or less progressive than it was; it was such a backwater town on the way to Eli and Thunder Bay that it was just a place for most people to pass through. Good for Brainerd if it’s become more hip; it needs more than fishing for the economy, that’s for sure.

  • Cahow
    June 22, 2014, 3:58 pm

    Wanted to add, “Now if Edina or Minnetonka did this, that would REALLY be cause to celebrate!”

    Alex, I’m going to make you a t-shirt featuring the “Great State of Minneapolis!” ~wink-wink~

  • David Cunningham
    July 12, 2014, 2:48 pm

    Hello, looking for help. I am disabled, three major back surgeries, and am looking for designs/contractors who specialize in “tiny home” designs in Minnesota. I would like to build a small home, trailer or standard in lower Minn. area for a easy to live with price tag. I currently live in Fla. and wish to downsize, and move close to family for an easy to live with price. As mentioned, limited funding due to disabilities. Can you help. any ideas? Thanks!!

    • Payton
      December 5, 2015, 8:03 pm

      David Cunningham, hi …… I sure hope you can find that help, as I am disabled also, and I have a house plan that I want to build . I just need to know what it would cost to do it. I need this so bad. I need to be close to medical help, and good DR”S.

  • January 16, 2016, 10:16 pm

    I am moving to MN within the year and very interested in a tiny house, where to get it built and if it can be parked in Ham Lake where my daughter lives..

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