Tiny Houses May Soon Be Coming to Vail

This article authored by: Catherine Hallberg

Tiny houses are homes less than 400sf which may or may not be movable. Due mainly to zoning regulations, you had to jump through a lot of hoops to own one. Now Pima County has released new permitting regulations for these homes.

Tiny homes with a permanent foundation will be permitted in any area where single-family homes are allowed. If they are built on a chassis with suspension and axles removed “they will be treated as factory-built buildings”. If they have a mobile chassis, they’ll be classified as trailers. Either of these last two configurations are subject to more restrictive zoning requirements.

Certain minimum standards found on building codes which were designed for easy egress and entry of rescue personnel during emergencies will be waived due to the ability exit more quickly from these diminutive residences.

Less costly to purchase and maintain, tiny homes create more affordable housing, freeing up funds spent on housing to be used for other purposes. The cost of this type of home depends on if you are building it yourself or hiring someone to do it for you. Like conventional homes, the more extras you build in, the pricier the finished product.

The Vail Unified School District may be bringing these petite dwellings to Vail in the near future. They’ve recently purchased land just West of St. Rita’s church for the purpose of creating a hub between the schools and the Vail community. This center will not only serve to preserve the old Post Office, but provide office space for businesses and  living quarters for teachers. The goal is to provide affordable housing, less commute time and promote a sense of community for these teachers. VUSD is working closely with the Greater Vail Area Chamber of Commerce to create a co-working space called the Vail Connection @GVACC. It will be interesting to follow the progress of this innovative plan.

In short, tiny houses are moving from fad to a viable living option. Check out this  website and see if it’s for you!


Catherine Hallberg

Rob and Catherine Hallberg are Associate Brokers with Long Realty, a Berkshire-Hathaway Affiliate and Southern Arizona’s largest Brokerage. Send Rob and Catherine an email  for a fast response to your questions; for an even faster response, Call (520) 407-8667.

See All Articles