Friday, March 06, 2009

Are Minimum Home Size Zoning Codes Discriminatory by Walt Barrett

It's no secret that one of my divisions is building micro homes. We get a lot of mail from people that are very interested in these smaller homes, and one of their big complaints is that their city, or town has what are referred to as minimum home square footage standards, or other words to that effect. Now I can understand that no one wants a bunch of shacks, and yards littered with junk cars etc. in their neighborhood, and I totally agree with that. But those same zoning laws are designed to prevent property from being turned into junk yards and trash piles etc. They also require safe building standards to be followed including proper plumbing, wiring, ventilation, sanitation etc. and that is a very good thing too.
Now this is the part that gets troublesome. By limiting the minimum size of a home the zoning officials are discriminating against people with low incomes, singles, or couples with no children, elderly retirees on low incomes, and people that just want to live greener and save energy by living smaller. I have written to the local office of the American Civil Liberties Union for an opinion on this matter. Why should a person for example be told that they must build a 2000 square foot home when all they want is a 400 square foot home, or whatever size they want?
So I am going on the record as saying that those minimum square footage laws are discriminatory and elitist. Everyone is entitled to own a home, and if they abide by the building and sanitation standard they should be allowed to build it. There are many affordable pieces of land that these smaller homes can be built on and I think it is time that we make the necessary changes to allow it. I feel the same way about micro apartments.
Ask yourself who really has the most to gain by mandating that people build larger energy wasting homes?

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