ISO information on "In-law units"

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tristanbgilb
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue May 07, 2013 8:40 pm

Re: ISO information on "In-law units"

Post by tristanbgilb » Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:54 pm

I am looking at Twisp ordinance, and the minimum size for an accessory dwelling on my lot zoned R-2 is 360 square feet.

Minimum primary dwelling unit size

R-1 950 square feet

R-2 500 square feet

R-3 360 square feet

Minimum accessory dwelling unit size

R-1 360 square feet

R-2 360 square feet

R-3 360 square feet

I would be looking at $10,000 for water/sewer and another $5,000 for electricity for my guess in hooking up the amenities to a city lot in Twisp. I wonder what kind of lifestyle a 360 square foot house would have to offer a person. Seems like it could be built for $100 square foot. I am not a builder but think it could be done and be pretty nice. I am wondering if $50,000 could buy me an accessory dwelling on my city R-2 lot.
Tristan Gilbert

tristanbgilb
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue May 07, 2013 8:40 pm

Re: ISO information on "In-law units"

Post by tristanbgilb » Fri Nov 25, 2022 7:46 am

codepublishing.com/WA/Twisp/#!/Twisp18/Twisp1825.html#18.25.040

Twisp Washington code is just easy to find and pretty easy to follow. The first step for me in thinking about an accessory dwelling is going to be to determine if my lot is conforming or non-conforming and what the Zone is. I am Zoned R-2 in Twisp WA.

This is the definition of R-2 zoning in Twisp WA.

"18.25.040 High-density residential single-family (R-2) district.

(1) Intent. The high-density residential single-family district is intended to reserve areas primarily for family living in single-family dwellings, characterized by privacy, an atmosphere conducive to sleep and repose, and living environments that promote the enjoyment of residential and neighborhood life. Duplexes, approved accessory dwelling units, and certain community and commercial uses that are compatible with residential uses and consistent with the character of single-family neighborhoods should be allowed."

Next The code for an accessory dwelling on my conforming 10000 sq ft lot is clearly allowed as such exceeding the 7500 sq ft minimum. There are lots for sale right now in Twisp that are zoned R-2 but are less than the 7500 sq ft minimum. These lots do not clearly allow for the accessory dwelling since they would be considered nonconforming.

"(b) Approved accessory dwelling units may be allowed in R-2 zoning districts. The following standards shall apply:

(i) Minimum lot size: 7,500 square feet.

(ii) In R-2 zoning districts, an accessory dwelling unit may be located in a separate accessory structure or incorporated with the principal dwelling.

(iii) Accessory dwelling units in R-2 zoning districts must be sited so that they will conform with all applicable regulations, including all setback requirements, if the parcel is divided."
Tristan Gilbert

alfrandell
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Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:38 pm

Re: ISO information on "In-law units"

Post by alfrandell » Fri Nov 25, 2022 9:31 am

good info, tristan.
with a double wide trailer at roughly 2000 square feet, the 960 sq ft is a reasonable minimum size for a family of 4.
i started with an 8 by 12 bedroom, and that was clearly not large enough for the winter here.
i added a truly tiny kitchen, a chicken house, a shop, a larger kitchen, and finally, a climbing gym, for a total of about 700 square feet. This is easily enough for a single person, so the 960 minimum would be an extra burden on a single person. If the single lived in the guest building, at 360 square feet, that would be correct.
500 sq ft was used as the minimum in Moab, Utah.
even that was a burden for single workers and even for single mothers.
A very high minimum, such as the 2000 square feet that i had originally suggested [with my tongue in my cheek], would set the bar higher, so that no workers could live here. Even children of locals could not establish their own households in the valley.
The area would bleed talent and strong backs, to become more of a place for rapidly increasing investment values.

I was proud to move to Carlton as a homeless person.
i built my ridiculous structures one at a time,
and amassed a set of high end carpentry and metal working tools.

my rock skis are more valuable than 'the horse that i rode in on'.
[a moldy 1976 travel trailer]
So, i sort of did come here destitute in 2015, and become somewhat wealthy!

I exit now, having sold 2 structures in the 7 years.
both of the structures had full solar roofs, and home sized solar energy systems, and that is the product that i have been developing.
Even though i did not find another property to take care of, i depart with 100 time the stuff that i came with, and with the product about 80% finished.
This is a huge personal win, so i have no complaints.

i hope that other workers can come here with very little, and become successful residents.
i wish that children born in the Methow could get old here, and that most of them chose to stay after trying life elsewhere.
So, please set the laws and minimum requirements to allow for the tire changer and the pizza flipper to live right here with the real estate agent and the programmer.
And please, do mind your own business. For sure, look for that pesky row of meth houses and shut down the meth production. But, do not set the bar so high that this becomes a valley of ancient millionaires and billionaires.
Alf Randell
electronic mail - alfrandell@gmail.com
sms text
509 341 4053

tristanbgilb
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue May 07, 2013 8:40 pm

Re: ISO information on "In-law units"

Post by tristanbgilb » Fri Nov 25, 2022 11:27 am

cms5.revize.com/revize/twispwa/services/building_planning/zoning/zoning_map_2013-JM_web.pdf

I am able to tell zoning of the different lots in Twisp by using the Twisp Planning Map. Different colors indicate the zones of the lots in town limits. My neighborhood is predominantly R-2 which means lots of 7500 sq ft or greater with a dwelling could be upgraded to having an accessory dwelling unit. Most of the 50-100 lots I estimate being in my neighborhood qualify for an accessory dwelling to be permitted on their lot. There are some houses that have accessory dwelling units, but most don't. I guess it would take a minimum of $50000 to have a 360 sq ft Tiny Home to be placed on these lots as an accessory dwelling. For a $50000 investment into a tiny home, I would want to rent it for about $800 each month to let the investment pay for itself. I wonder if this is feasible. I wonder if a 360 sq ft tiny house could be comfortable enough to rent for $800 in the Methow Valley's current housing and rental markets.
Tristan Gilbert

alfrandell
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Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:38 pm

Re: ISO information on "In-law units"

Post by alfrandell » Sat Nov 26, 2022 8:36 am

Thanks for thinking about this subject.
It will matter a lot how the county and the town decide to handle the lack of affordable housing.
Businesses that need workers will want a small percentage of less expensive rentals to be available all of the time. This means purposely building units that no one will build. No contractor will be ready to build low income housing here until the next bust cycle.
Developers who have land need carpenters and laborers, but they probably can afford to pay people from out of town by using the wildly inflated prices for the finished products that they create.
I can tell you that no low income housing is being created at wolf creek, even though there have been heavy equipment going all summer, and full lumber trucks arriving full and departing empty.
I can tell you what Portland did, because i went there to see in person.
First, they decriminalized homelessness.
The police stopped chasing them around, and bringing them to jail for the crime of having no place to sleep. The people of portland decided that it was up to them to house their poorest residents, and that it was not OK to simply criminalize them.
how to house them though?
well, they designated a place for legal tiny homes and gave the place to the homeless!
It is called dignity village, and i have visited this location.
My faith in humanity was increased when i toured dignity village.
I took a lot of photographs.
The homeless were not criminals after the heat changed their behavior toward them. They were able to construct their own homes, using materials that were obtained legally, and donated. They set up their own social structure, where new homeless could be assimilated by this community. Dignity village is a gated community, but not to keep out undesirables. The gates and the community security force enforce a strict code of conduct so that the portland police can tackle real crime, instead of pushing homeless people around.
How do homeless people in Portland relate to a housing shortage in a trophy home community?
Glad that you asked!
The other step that portland took was to set homeless people up in tiny homes in the back yards of more agreeable residents. The city would buy the home up front, and site it in the yard of the resident. The resident would then collect rent from the newly homed person. In a given amount of time, the host would come to own the tiny home, and could continue to rent it, or sell it, or whatever they desired. I saw the results of this program as well, and i can tell you that both the newly homed, and the hosts seemed to really love this program.
So, we can go different ways here.

pure capitalism can rule, and we can continue to use all funds to build much nicer public buildings, and other facilities for folks who are already well capitalized. The police can operate as private security, making sure that no poor folks enter the gated and semi gated communities, and protecting the property of residents that visit here once or twice a year on holidays.
Tiny homes would never be zoned in this case.
a large minimum would be set, so that folks in mansions would not have to look at a row of single wide trailers and beat up trucks. vigilant Enforcement would prevent the disorderly mess that a resident makes when they try to build their own structure.

Or, we could do something like portland.
we could agree that pure capitalism can not be left to decide the fate of actual human beings. Human beings are more important than dollars. We can, at the very least, allow residents to house others in a portable building that they build or buy. Better yet, we could assist the process financially, as the city of Portland has done. This is not a poor community, and already has a world class trail system and other valuable infrastructure.
It will be run by lawyers and developers, or by a group of humanistic decision makers.

The developers will continue with the public buildings and parks, leaving the housing market to find it's own balance. From their perspective, nothing is broken, and nothing needs to be changed. New laws will criminalize sleeping in your car after a shift of work in the main part of the valley, and there will be code enforcers driving around all the time to make sure that no one is trying to build something illegally.

If the developers are replaced with ........... lets call them hippies for now, spending on public libraries and parks would be replaced with investment in worker housing. I do not suggest that we would seek new residents under bridges in Portland! Not at all. We would help new workers [and local children that have come of age] to settle in someone's yard and in donated plots like dignity village. We would hire competent mental health and substance abuse workers instead of more shooters and code enforcers. I have tried to set up a tiny home factory, where the minimum shelter needed to pass a winter here may be constructed at a tiny fraction of the cost of a permanent permitted structure. In fact, the building that i use each cost about 1/3 as much as the pick up truck that a worker uses each day to commute to their mansion project.

I know that i am just shouting into the wind, and that money will once again talk very loudly.
Alf Randell
electronic mail - alfrandell@gmail.com
sms text
509 341 4053

tristanbgilb
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue May 07, 2013 8:40 pm

Re: ISO information on "In-law units"

Post by tristanbgilb » Sat Nov 26, 2022 9:38 am

I found some tiny house plans on etsy.com that kind of have me excited about my project. This tiny house has a total of 384 sq ft indoor living space with an 80 sq ft front porch. What I like in particular about this house plan is that the house is built on a full foundation rather than just piers or a slab. I have an old cabin on the Twisp River and the pier foundation has been problematic over the years in stability as well as financing.

16' x 24' Aspen Cabin Architectural Plans - Small 385SF Budget House Blueprints
$95.00

For this project I am required to keep my accessory dwelling under 800 sq ft. So far so good.
Tristan Gilbert

tristanbgilb
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue May 07, 2013 8:40 pm

Re: ISO information on "In-law units"

Post by tristanbgilb » Mon Nov 28, 2022 9:24 am

WEARETHESTONES wrote:
> I am looking to understand the codes and parameters set up for adding an
> in-law residential unit to my main residential structure in Okanogan
> County. Can someone point me to the right location for such information?
> Personal experiences with said codes are welcome and encouraged.
> Thanks!
> MF~

Back to the subject of Building an accessory dwelling in Okanogan County less specific than Twisp within Okanogan County. Once would expect Zoning to be less strict in the county rather than a town within that county. The county zoning is a lot more vast but is online here within the codes.

www.codepublishing.com/WA/OkanoganCounty/

When I go down to zoning there is a lot to go through. I haven't found the specific zoning description that my Twisp River Cabin lies on. It is river front, so I think the minimum from word of mouth, for a conforming lot is 5 acres. I have been told it is 20 acres off the Twisp River for a conforming lot. My lot is non-conforming and on the FEMA 100-year flood plain. Until 2046 and the designation can be reassessed without large expenses of my own, I am mostly stuck in the footprint of the existing cabin. Even then, a mother-in-law house, or accessory dwelling would not be feasible to me since my lot is non-conforming even after being removed from flood plain designation. My lot is too small to conform at only 2 acres when a 5-acre minimum would be required for a conforming lot.
Tristan Gilbert

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