An urban tiny house pocket neighborhood is a dream come true for many in the movement. Not everyone can be a digital nomad. That’s why proximity to jobs is still necessary for many tiny home dwellers. Most existing tiny house communities are rural or located in hybrid RV parks, not everyone’s cup of tea.
The planned Lake Dallas Tiny Home Village offers a desirable opportunity for those looking for an urban living experience, with the benefits of a small town. It’s just outside of the major Dallas metroplex.
The village itself will be within walking distance to the quaint Lake Dallas downtown, two parks, a tennis court, and the library. It’s also only a short bike ride to lovely Lewisville Lake and marina. Christian and I stopped by the property this fall to meet with the developer Terry Lantrip of Urban Retro. He is a longtime, small developer with a deep love for Lake Dallas. He has worked for several years to revitalize the town through renovation projects and innovative residential developments. The future home of the newly approved village is situated in an old neighborhood composed of small homes and a small local business. We were pleasantly surprised by the large size of the lot and number of trees. The lot neighbors a charming historic house; Terry will renovate this to serve as his office and community clubhouse, as part of phase two. He showed us drawings of the proposed layout of the pocket neighborhood— very much in the style of Ross Chapin developments. The individual tiny house lots will be nestled around a shared green space. Each lot will be 800-900 square feet, which will allow for ample garden and yard space for each tiny house. Parking will be on the perimeter of the village to preserve overall community cohesion and aesthetic.
What makes this community development truly groundbreaking is that is intended only for moveable tiny houses, aka tiny houses on wheels— the first of its kind in the nation. It is not an old RV park; it is a brand-new planned unit development within a residential neighborhood. This is the first development which will use the trailblazing Tiny House Appendix Q for the International Residential Code; adopted for this specific use and amended to allow for moveable tiny houses. All tiny houses in the community must comply with this building standard, be tied down, and utilize fire-resistant skirting. The zoning ordinance defines the development as a “Tiny House Park” intended for miniature, transportable housing— moveable tiny houses, 100-400 square feet.
For more details, read the proposal and approved zoning ordinance here (pgs. 51-67).
This historic victory is thanks to a collaboration between the developer Terry Lantrip and dedicated tiny houses advocates, led by Jet Regan. BA Norrgard and many others from the very active DFW Tiny House Enthusiasts Meetup group showed up in support of this ordinance, time and time again. Planning commissioners and city council members took note and were impressed by the strong level of support. Dedicated, respectful advocates really do make an impact. Read more about this process on Jet’s blog, The Bookend Tiny House.
The first phase of Lake Dallas Tiny Home Village will have 13 tiny house lots. It will feature a laundromat, community garden, individual electric meters and lot rent will include water, sewer, and trash service. An FAQ is available here.
Now is the time to add your name to the potential resident list! The anticipated opening date is June 2018. You can follow Lake Dallas Tiny House Village progress on Facebook.
-Alexis Stephens, Tiny House Blog Contributor
My partner, Christian and I are traveling tiny house dwellers. Together we’ve been on the road two years for our documentary and community outreach project, Tiny House Expedition. We live, breathe, dream the tiny home community every day. This is our life and our true passion project. We are very grateful to be able to experience this inspiring movement in such an intimate way and to be able to share our exploration with all of you.