Welcome to Tiny Homes, an idea that is more popular with minimalists than with neighborhood associations and zoning boards. We'll point out the fun parts. Usually you'll have to check out the logistics and legalities. This time teamwork worked, and a village was born in Olympia.
Seattle is debating tiny homes, tiny apartments, and the perennial small space advocates known as live-aboards. Some folks talk. Some folks act. Down in Olympia, people saw the demand, organized, and created a village, Quixote Village. Thirty tiny homes, all 144 square feet, were built on a couple of acres last winter. The best measure of the popularity of the idea is the waiting list to get in. How many developers can say they filled every unit before the place opened?
Quixote Village is a bit different. It wasn't hipsters or minimalists but homeless people that were the inspiration. A roof of any size is a luxury that can best be appreciated by those who've lived without one. By building a village, the issues of siting and zoning were resolved once, not thirty times. Living close to each other means it makes sense to have a common building that all can share for some of the activities that don't fit in a tiny house.
The Village has been occupied for months, but less than a year. It is working, and is drawing a lot of attention from around the country. New ideas can be talked about without resolution because new ideas have lots of risks and doubts. Necessity, however, convinces someone to finally commit; and then everyone looks to them for answers, lessons, and insights. People have to live somewhere. Which Seattle neighborhood is going to catch up to Olympia's lead?
· Quixote Village [QV]
· Small World, Big Idea [NYT]
· Proposing Micro-housing Restrictions [CS]
· All Tiny Homes coverage [CS]
Written by Tom Trimbath