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In Atlanta, (legal) tiny houses could soon be big news

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City could be one of first in Southeast to allow construction of diminutive domiciles

Big news could be brewing for those hoping to live small in the City of Atlanta.

According to 11 Alive, the city is exploring the possibility of allowing the construction of tiny freestanding homes, which are currently forbidden under city code.

That the city council is even considering such dwellings is significant for the tiny house debate, which has come to the forefront as interest in the residences has risen in recent years.

Recommendations from the city’s planning department encourage the city council to allow for the construction of freestanding homes of less than 750 square feet, provided they are constructed on lots zoned for duplexes.

Will Johnston, a major proponent of tiny houses in Atlanta, has been pushing the measure for years and drumming up interest from Decatur to East Point.

The primary attraction to tiny housing—and one that will resonate in increasingly expensive intown neighborhoods—is the cost.

Johnston notes that tiny houses could be built in complexes, similar to condos, and cost buyers just $40,000 each.

An Atlanta City Council vote on the matter should occur in May.

UPDATE: The measure coming to the Council would allow for the construction of tiny houses on lots currently zoned R-5— which allows for accessory dwelling units—and doesn’t increase the number of units allowed to be constructed.

Rather, it allows for the size of the second unit on a site to be less than 750 square feet, making it easier and more economically viable to fit a second residents on lots where it is already allowed. Additionally, the measure would allow for parking requirements for tiny houses to be calculated at a “lodging” ratio, reducing required parking for new small residences.

Neighborhoods with dense R-5 zoning include Grant Park, Inman Park, the residential portion of Midtown, and Home Park.