We got a tip last week that Cook County, Minnesota is tiny house friendly, but I wanted to double-check before spreading a rumor.
I contacted Bill Lane, the Planning and Zoning Administrator for Cook County, and he straightened out the details and specifics for those of you interested in going tiny in Minnesota. It’s certainly not a free-for-all, but they are more receptive than many counties!
In short: You’ll need to build on a foundation (or remove the wheels) and comply with zoning and building regulations (and pay taxes!), but it can be done.
Take a look at some pictures of Grand Marais, named one of the coolest US small towns by CNN, and then read what Bill told us below!
Cook County, MN Allows Foundation Tiny Homes
Tiny House Talk: Can you have a tiny house in Cook County?
Bill Lane: Yes and no on the topic. Cook County has a couple of thresholds we apply to tiny homes and yes, tiny homes on wheels. First, as inhabitable structures, they warrant both land use and septic permits and as such, must meet all zone district requirements including road, property and resource setbacks.
Second, we would treat wheeled tiny homes as recreational vehicles and require an RV permit unless…the owner agreed to remove the wheels and otherwise make the structure permanent…including a foundation and/or cribbing along with skirting around the bottom of the unit.
Loss of mobility would result in the tiny home being designated as a primary or secondary residence on the property (only two habitable structures are allowed in residential districts). Finally, we would ask for a written statement from the owner verifying the use be permanent throughout their property ownership.
So there you have it! Get in touch with Bill if you have more questions at [email protected].
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Natalie C. McKee
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