A Tale of Zoning Happily Ever After


Groundbreaking Zoning Ordinace for Tiny House Communities

Documenting tiny house movemehistory in the making in Rockledge, Fl

Image from Tiny House Expedition, documenting tiny house movement history in the making in Rockledge, Fl.

Once upon a time in the small, forward-thinking city of Rockledge, Florida, some of the most progressive tiny housing zoning ordinances in the entire US of A were approved, in record time and with great ease. You see, the forward-thinking City Manager had an eye for viable solutions for the needs of his constituents and a knack for facilitating progress. A fair maiden, by the name of René Hardee approached him & the city planners one fine day with a few simple questions. The rest is history…

A little on the cheesy side? Maybe. But after a recent trip to Florida to witness tiny house movement history in the making, I realized maybe fairytales can come true. The city of Rockledge provides an astonishing example of how smooth the process of creating & approving brand-new zoning regulations can be. Of course every city’s approach to zoning is distinct, with many good reasons. The question is why do some cities make the process so complicated and drawn out? Particularly when presented with a viable idea that benefits residents and provides opportunity for economic development. Continue reading

A Girlfriend’s Perspective: Off the Grid Tiny House Livin’

The Girlfriend's perspective

I posted a video and short story a couple of weeks ago about Rob Greenfield and his life in his extremely tiny off-grid home in the city. You can view the post here. Rob sent me an update on some comments he gets on his blog and I thought I would share this post with you.

Because of my non-traditional life in an off the grid tiny house I often see comments like, “This guy obviously doesn’t have a girlfriend” or “He never gets laid” on my posts. Well let me tell you, I DO have girlfriend and she is AMAZING, and GORGEOUS, and we are SO IN LOVE! She lives a different life than I do in many ways but she loves to be a part of my not so average life. Here she shares her perspective of off the grid, tiny house livin’!
-Rob Greenfield

If you are spending time with Rob Greenfield, then you are probably spending time in nature. Rob thrives off of a simple and natural environment. I could say the opposite is also true for him, that in an artificially created environment, he is often quite uncomfortable.

I met Rob over 4 years ago and have enjoyed his company ever since. I am currently in a loving relationship with him. We both live in San Diego. I live in an apartment about five miles from Rob’s tiny home. Sometimes he stays at my place with me and often times I stay over at his home.

Continue reading the original post here.

The girlfriend

Yellow School Bus Home

yellow bus

by oPhelia and Julien

Our story begins with 2 city-dwellers and their little dog who love being in nature We spend most of our time off playing in the great outdoors: rock climbing, mountain biking, skiing etc. Two years ago, we made the leap and rented a cabin in the forest nestled in the mountains. After a year, we decided that we wanted something of our own. Unfortunately, we were not able to find land that we loved and that didn’t require us to sign over the rest of our active lives to a mortgage (we live in one of the most expensive real estate areas in North America). That’s when we got creative and this school bus home came to be.


We live in our school bus all year-round. It is currently parked on a bio-dynamic farm with cows, chickens, horses and plenty of forest along a river. After just one year of being in it, we have paid it off and the rent for the land is a quarter of the rent of living in the city. Our plan is to one day find land that we love and to drive our bus home there. At that point, we can continue to live in the bus as is… or expand it (adding an extension and/or a second floor)… or build an actual house and turn the bus into a B&B… or use the bus as a guesthouse… or even sell it… The possibilities are endless!

interior 1

School bus living reflects our values. We believe in living simply (i.e. not having too much ‘stuff’ and having a smaller footprint on the earth). We value our time and prefer to spend it doing the things that we love rather than spending countless hours at work to pay off a huge mortgage. We found a way to minimize our expenses without compromising having a beautiful home. We built it into the wood cabin that we dreamed of – the interior is lined with wood, from the floor to walls to ceiling. It is a super cozy space with all the modern luxuries: a gas stove (and oven), fridge, washer/dryer, shower/toilet, on-demand hot water, electric heaters.

interior 2

When we look out of our (many) windows, we see only trees and mountains. We are a short walk to the river and the lake, and a bike ride away from the Pacific Ocean. We have access to fresh eggs and milk from happy animals and a plethora of organic veggies from our farmer/gardener neighbours. If we drive one hour in one direction, we arrive in Vancouver – and have all that a big city has to offer. Half an hour in the other direction brings us to Whistler – a world famous ski resort and mountain town (2010 Winter Olympics). When we are not outside, we can be found on a yoga mat, at the library, talking about the meaning of life, or drinking wine. Our bus home allows us to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world in an affordable way that does not require us to compromise our values and way of life. Not to mention that it is just cool to live in a big yellow school bus! :)

We have documented the journey of school bus conversion (from bus seats to cozy cabin living) in our blog: teenytinyliving.blogspot.com

Our bus is also published in the book: Tiny Homes on the Move

oPhelia (Julien & Pico)

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