The tiny house movement in Colorado is booming. Despite limited legal parking opportunities for tiny homes on wheels. But that is changing in a big way, thanks to community developers and local advocates. Their efforts have been aided by all the positive press about the last few years’ exuberant festivals, from the first Tiny House Jamboree to the annual Colorado Tiny House Festival and the People’s Tiny House Festival. Several smaller events and the gorgeous WeeCasa hotel have added to the growing tiny buzz. The roster of Colorado-based tiny home builders is ever-growing—there are over 24 to choose from! DIY building options are plentiful, as well. The Denver metro is home to TrailerMade Trailers, Einstyne Tiny Homes (tiny house shell specialists) and DIY build sites are available from Tiny Home Connection and Colorado Custom Coachworks.
Late last year, El Paso County approved the first tiny house on wheels zoning ordinance in the state. They now allow them in unincorporated areas. Tiny houses must be constructed to ANSI RV standards, and are allowed in RV parks for full-time living, on single lots and as accessory dwellings. El Paso County is a prime location for many tiny dwellers. It’s home to Colorado Springs, the 2nd largest city in Colorado, near the southern Rocky Mountains. This ground-breaking progress is continuing a ripple effect of legal acceptance of tiny houses of all kinds, across the state.
Over the past month, I have had the chance to visit the first legal tiny home community in the state, Peak View Park, and the newest, Tiny House Leadville—keep scrolling to learn more. We parked our tiny house at each for a week, met the neighbors and explored the area. If you love mountain living, you will love these communities. Both are in hybrid RV/THOW parks, and are both beautiful places to call home. I am also eagerly following a new community development on the horizon, Escalante Village. It’s being created on a raw piece of land in a burgeoning small city. The approval process is not yet complete, but looks promosing. If approved, it will go a long way in helping many other developers across Colorado, currently in the early stages of development, especially with zoning discussions with their respective municipalities.
To follow along and help advocate for more legal acceptance of tiny houses in Colorado, you can join the Colorado State Chapter of the American Tiny House Association. Now led by Emily Gerde, an enthusiastic advocate, tiny house dweller and author of the Minimalist Living for a Maximum Life.
I am so honored to be a representative for the American Tiny House Association. Before joining, I felt isolated and like I was the only one out there working to legalize Tiny Homes. Being a member, I now have a large community of people around the country working toward the same goal. We are able to compare notes, share successes, suggest improvements and educate the public on the future of the tiny house movement. I will continue to gather data, speak with local municipalities, hold meetings and share resources as we work together for the common goal of simple, sustainable, affordable and abundant living. Join me on this amazing adventure at the AmericanTinyHouseAssociation.org.
Emily Gerde, ATHA Colorado State Chapter Leader
Colorado’s Tiny Home Communities, the First and the Newest:
Peak View Park
Woodland Park, CO
Just 25 minutes northwest of Colorado Springs is the beautiful small mountain city of Woodland Park, CO, home to Peak View Park. It is a park model and tiny house on wheels community for full-time living. Additionally, it offers a handful of short-term rentals for anyone interested in trying out tiny living or just vacationing in the mountains. Owners, Matt Fredell and Pete LaBarre, purchased the previously run-down property five years ago, and have completely overhauled the park to create an aesthetically pleasing mountain village feel. They worked with Teller County officials to utilize historic zoning classification for the property to legally allow for long-term residences. The Park now has over 50 wooded, hillside sites. Though close together, they don’t feel cramped. The majority have room for a deck and side yard or garden, and many sites have clear views of Pikes Peak. Residents bring in their own tiny house on wheels or work with the Peak View’s park model manufacturer to order their tiny home. From there, residents pay a monthly lot rent, about $500-600/month. There is no HOA but are some basic rules to help maintain the park aesthetic. There are only a few spots left, but fortunately, the owners are now working on additional communities including a tiny home on foundation neighborhood in Woodland Park.
Watch this video for an up-close look at Peak View Park:
Tiny House Leadville
Right in the heart of charming, historic downtown Leadville, the nation’s highest city, sits the new Tiny House Leadville. Owner Jeremy Ricci, also the owner of Tiny House Siesta, is transforming the old RV Corral into a tiny house resort community with short-term rentals and long-term parking. The city was eager to grant their blessing to Ricci to upgrade the aesthetic of the park and attract both visitors and new residents. It has 33 spots, all with breathtaking mountain views. There are now four tiny houses available for vacation rentals, including the lovely 2018 Ness City High School tiny house. Within walking distance are restaurants, bars, shops, and the beautiful Mineral Belt Trail— an 11.6-mile loop trail around the city which goes through conifer forests and provides a look at Leadville’s rich mining history. And within just a short drive are trails and lakes galore. The local ski resort is only 10 minutes away and within 30 minutes to 1 hour are three larger ski resorts. Basically, this is the outdoor enthusiasts’ dream location.
Watch for an inside look at this new mountain tiny home community:
An exciting, in-development community to watch: Escalante Village
Escalante Village just made a giant step towards reality this week when the City of Durango’s Planning Commission gave approval to our Preliminary Plan. They also stated that they had enough comfort with the plan to allow the City Council and City Staff to make the decision on final approval without further review by the Planning Commission. This will shorten the approval process for our project.
If Escalante Village is approved, it will be the 2nd fully legal urban moveable tiny house community not in an RV park. It will be located in the beautiful small southwestern city of Durango, on the edge of the mountains and the New Mexico border. The developers’ goal is open in Spring of 2019. There will be 24 total spots, 6 for long-term rentals and 18 available for lot lease. Reservation applications are now available. Important note: your tiny home must be approved by the City of Durango Building Department and will require an architectural design approval by the development.