Contractor wants Tiny Homes re-zoned in Clark County

Tiny Homes fall inbetween mobile homes and permanent dwellings

Battle Ground contractor Derek Huegel displays one of his Tiny Homes, March 21, 2016 (KOIN)
Battle Ground contractor Derek Huegel displays one of his Tiny Homes, March 21, 2016 (KOIN)

BATTLE GROUND, Wash. (KOIN) — Contractor Derek Huegel wants to join the Tiny Homes movement, but some laws in Clark County technically make them illegal.

Huegel is hoping Washington state classifies his tiny homes, built on wheels, as mobile homes — which would let Clark County re-write its zoning code.

Battle Ground contractor Derek Huegel stands inside one of his Tiny Homes, March 21, 2016 (KOIN)
Battle Ground contractor Derek Huegel stands inside one of his Tiny Homes, March 21, 2016 (KOIN)

His 250-square foot home comes with a full bathroom, vaulted ceiling and kitchen big enough for a full-sized refrigerator. The 300-square foot home has even more, including Americans with Disability Act access.

“You can sit down while you’re taking a shower,” he told KOIN 6 News.

But since both tiny homes are on wheels, they fall somewhere between the state’s definition for permanent dwellings and recreational vehicles.

He’s hoping the state defines his buildings as mobile homes, approved by the Bureau of Labor and Industries.

“You’ve got the chassis, which kind of launches it into a mobile home,” Heugel said. “Or people might say it’s got a chassis. It’s now a park-model RV. Or people might say it’s a camper-trailer. I can do what I want.”

But even then, his Tiny Homes would still be illegal in unincorporated Clark County, where current code states mobile homes can’t be smaller than 864 square-feet.

Battle Ground contractor Derek Huegel displays one of his Tiny Homes, March 21, 2016 (KOIN)
Battle Ground contractor Derek Huegel displays one of his Tiny Homes, March 21, 2016 (KOIN)

That’s why he’s asking the county to lower or eliminate those size restrictions in the name of creating affordable housing.

Huegel said he had his “tool bag full of questions” and began talking with county officials.

“They’ve been very receptive,” he said.

Community development director Marty Snell told KOIN 6 News they’ll wait for the state to weigh in before moving forward to change the Clark County zoning code.

Heugel thinks that may happen in several months.

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