Tiny Homes Legally Allowed in Fresno

Fresno is one of the first cities in the nation to approve zoning codes that will legally allow “Tiny Houses” as backyard cottages on residential lots.

Tiny Houses

Tiny houses are a fast growing trend across the nation. These little dwellings are often built to fit on a tow-able trailer, are typically between 100-400 square feet, including kitchen, bathroom, as well as living and sleeping quarters. Tiny homes are intended to promote a simpler lifestyle. Many tiny home residences are supporters of eco-friendly, efficient living- some units may be solely powered by solar panels with no need to connect to a city’s power supply.

Fresno’s Tiny Home Regulations

Fresno’s new zoning rules apply specifically to tiny homes on wheels. In most other cities, these dwellings are treated like RVs, putting limits on where and for how long they can be parked. In certain counties, they can be used as caregiver dwellings if located in the backyard of somebody who needs assistance. In Fresno, however, tiny homes may be used as “backyard cottages” without the requirement that the occupant be a caregiver.

Fresno’s legal definition of a Tiny House:
Tiny House. A structure intended for separate, independent living quarters for one household that meets these six conditions:

  1. Is licensed and registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles and meets ANSI 119.2 or 119.5 requirements (the legal requirements for RVs and park trailers);
  2. Is towable by a bumper hitch, frame-towing hitch, or fifth-wheel connection. Cannot (and is designed not to) move under its own power. When sited on a parcel per requirements of this Code, the wheels and undercarriage shall be skirted;
  3. Is no larger than allowed by California State Law for movement on public highways;
  4. Has at least 100 square feet of first floor interior living space;
  5. Is a detached self-contained unit which includes basic functional areas that support normal daily routines such as cooking, sleeping, and toiletry; and
  6. Is designed and built to look like a conventional building structure.

The full zoning code can be viewed at California Tiny House.

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