One week ago Clarkston became the first city in Georgia to approve a tiny house neighborhood. The Cottages on Vaughan is the brainchild of the MicroLife Institute nonprofit. Their mission is centered around enabling developments of walkable, sustainable “micro-hood” communities. And that will come to life is this one-of-a-kind tiny home pocket neighborhood, within walking distance to downtown Clarkston and many nearby amenities.
“This project will be a proof of concept for us. There is a lot of interest and movement towards tiny homes and cottage homes, but many developers are hesitant to enter the market. Our hope is that this project will encourage other municipalities and private developers to experiment with new, innovate development paradigms and learn from this great case study”
– Kim Bucciero, MicroLife Institute Co-Founder
Though the city passed a tiny home ordinance over a year ago, the development is just now moving forward due to an involved approvals process. In that time, the support for the community only grew. Importantly, an underlying goal of this demonstration project is transparency. MicroLife Institute wants the development process to serve as a case study for other cities. For example, they plan to share details of the design, budget, and total cost of construction.
Market-driven affordability is also a key goal. Above all, the developers do not want to create a luxury-priced community. Though, high-quality design and landscaping are of the utmost importance.
“The approval of this project represents a move towards achieving one of the top prioritized in our 2040 comprehensive plan –– increasing stability in our housing market by providing more homeownership opportunities. I hope that other cities will look at our tiny home ordinance and this development and see that it is possible to create a housing landscape that allows for home ownership to come in all shapes and sizes.”
– Jamie Carroll, Clarkston City Councilmember
The Cottages on Vaughan is being developed on a half-acre lot with permaculture principles. As a result, the layout features a common green space surrounded by eight tiny homes on permanent foundations, ranging from 250-492 square feet. A primary design inspiration behind the tiny house community is Ross Chapin’s vibrant pocket neighborhoods.
Similarly to his developments, MicroLife Institute seeks to create a cohesive and close-knit feel. Though, they will carefully utilize “layers of personal space” to artfully balance privacy and community spaces.
Further, the developers are working closing with Shades of Green Permaculture, a sustainable landscape design/build firm. Together they plan to craft a practical and beautiful edible landscape with organic food and herbal medicine.
“We are proud to partner with the MicroLife Institute on this innovative new approach to housing. We recognize that the past 50 years of urban sprawl has segregated communities, contributed to global warming, and exacerbated housing inequality. By experimenting and innovating with new development ordinances, we are able to allow a greater range of housing options.”
-City of Clarkston Mayor, Ted Terry
The Cottages on Vaughn is coming soon!
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by Alexis Stephens, Tiny House Blog contributor