Small-living Advocate Jay Shafer Plans a Tiny House Village

Small-living Advocate Jay Shafer Plans a Tiny House Village

Small-living advocate Jay Shafer wowed the world and fueled the Tiny House movement with his frugally small, 89-square foot home on wheels.  Now, the founder of Tumbleweed Tiny House Co. is hoping to provide a sense of community for people who live in tiny homes, with a new village proposed for development in Northern  California.

Shafer, who has moved on to a new venture called Four Lights Tiny House Co., is hoping to use zoning intended for RV’s to accommodate a tiny house community.  He said he’s been talking with zoning officials in Sonoma County about the village concept, and they’ve been receptive.

In some parts of the country, zoning for small homes has been a trouble spot.  Minimum dwelling size requirements and other rules have made tiny homes illegal in many places — but Shafer hopes the ‘RV’ designation will provide a way around the problem.  The park setting will also provide shared features, including a common house, private gardens, outdoor space and private storage units — all great resources for people with limited indoor space.

“In many ways, tiny houses work best in concert with other tiny houses and shared amenities,” Shafer said on his website.  “This village will be structured as something like a co-op.  Folks will own their own portable house and the small parcel it sits on, and they’ll pay a set amount per month to maintain the common facilities.”

Shafer said that while the village will use RV zoning — also known as a trailer park — it will look and feel more like the concept drawings above, which depict a more luxury feel.

At the current pace, Shafer estimates the village project will be completed sometime in 2015.  Currently, it is slated to include 40-70 small homes of up to 400 square feet each, or about 16-22 homes per acre.  Residents of the community will agree to a set of rules addressing things like noise and behavior in the common areas.

“I have no doubt that this will be the most beautiful ‘trailer park’ in the world,” Shafer said.


(Rendering courtesy of Four Lights Tiny House Co.)

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  1. Jamie K
    Jamie K May 23, 2013 at 10:08 pm .

    Love it. Wish I could move to No. California! :)

  2. Melissa
    Melissa May 23, 2013 at 11:27 pm .

    This is incredible. I would love to see a street of this in Philadelphia.

    1. G Caplan
      G Caplan May 24, 2013 at 7:10 am .

      Melissa, I have two side by side empty lots in south Philly if you are interested, email me

      1. Melissa
        Melissa May 24, 2013 at 8:59 pm .

        G Caplan, I rent in South Philly and would love to, but I couldn’t afford to be a homeowner anytime soon. (Bad student loan debt) ,but I would rent a tiny house from someone!

  3. jodi kautz
    jodi kautz May 23, 2013 at 11:50 pm .

    Sign me up. my husband and I were already thinking of moving to that area

  4. Lynda Wagner
    Lynda Wagner May 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm .

    Hurry up Jay….I am ready to move asap. At 73 I want to live in my dream house
    in N.California.

  5. Sabine
    Sabine May 28, 2013 at 10:49 pm .

    Anything like this happening in Western Canada?

    1. Vicky White
      Vicky White June 20, 2013 at 11:10 am .

      I’d love something like this in BC! I’m in!

    2. Deb
      Deb July 15, 2013 at 3:19 am .

      I would certainly be interested in something like this in BC as well. Right now I live on Vancouver Island and the idea of a tiny home community feels right.

  6. wolverina23Janice Howell
    wolverina23Janice Howell June 7, 2013 at 4:41 am .

    Please Please Please tell me how I can get connected with this project as this is where I used to live and want to re-locate there living in my own tiny house dwelling.

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  8. Jennie Perkins
    Jennie Perkins April 17, 2014 at 6:58 pm .

    I am in the process of starting all the paper work and researching weather I should bulit my trailer house or have someone built it for me, But before that takes place I am still wondering and researching as to where I am going to put my tiny house. So I look forward to see if you Jay will impelement this proposal for us tiny home owners. And if you do where will it be located at? I live near the bay area ( San Rafael) California. Hoping that you will have one near me??

  9. Janice Howell
    Janice Howell April 23, 2014 at 9:05 pm .

    I have lived in Sonoma County during the 70’s and 80’s, but now I am back in my county of birth, Santa Barbara County. Although it is nice here, I am anxious to relocate back to Sonoma County. I am a single senior and very interested to be part of the new Tiny Living Community. I hope I will receive all updates concerning this so I can be sure to have a place in it.. Thanks!

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