One of our recent tiny house parking spots was in beautiful Durango. It is located in southwestern Colorado where the high desert meets the mountains. This bustling little city is known as mountain biking and kayaking haven. It now becoming known as a tiny house friendly city, offering multiple legal parking options within city limits and possibly more to come. We explore all that Durango has to offer in episode 8 of Today’s Tiny House Parking Spot.
Christian and I came specifically to talk to the people behind the newly approved Escalante Village for the third installment of Living Tiny Legally. Developer Bob Lieb is creating a tiny house on wheels community within the city limits with long-term tiny house rentals and parking spots. Within walking distance from the village are convenient amenities like a coffee shop, grocery store, and more shopping. The property is right off the beautiful Animas River Trail that takes walkers and bike riders directly into downtown and beyond. You can see the tiny houses available for rent in the video above and in this past Tiny House Blog post, along with the village mock-up. Escalante Village is now accepting rental applications. They plan to open in late Spring 2019.
Tiny house dwellers can also find parking spots in the nearby Island Cove Mobile Home Park. Located just outside downtown Durango. It is newly renovated, and now features “Tiny Town,” a THOW only section. There are several tiny houses there now, many built by the talented builders Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses. They are a 100% custom builder that is fond of salvaged materials and organic shapes, like curvy roof lines. Their style is exemplified in RMTH CEO Greg Parham’s personal tiny house. Greg and his lovely wife Stephanie originally moved into together in a much smaller tiny home, Greg’s first build. They quickly learned what worked and what didn’t. In their new build, they fixed the problem issues and combined their distinct rustic and French country styles. The result: their dream tiny home. It directly inspired by the San Juan mountains and the 4 corners region, where they live. The curvy roofline and angular back loft back give it a ship look. Their tiny was built on a 24’ trailer, but the unique loft bump out gives them an extra 5’ of usable space. It features many to-die-for design features, like a manual elevator bed, and stunning reclaimed materials like local barn wood. The happy couple is now putting in some serious sweat equity to fix up an old run-down property to turn into their dream tiny homestead and building shop. One day, they may offer THOW parking spots, too. More about that here.
During our visit to Durango, we connected with a few local tiny house dwellers, enjoyed the bike trails and explored the stunning landscape. One of the benefits of our tiny house travels is the ability to scout places to call home for an extended period in the future. Though there are so many places that we have enjoyed, we do have a short list of our favorite cities. Durango has definitely made the short list. It’s a small city with a lot going on, from cultural events, places to go out to diverse outdoor activities. The Animas River that runs through the heart of town offers kayaking, paddle boarding, and tubing opportunities. There is a wide selection of biking/hiking trails and hot springs. The Purgatory Ski Resort is about 25 minutes away. Additionally, the fascinating ancient Mesa Verde National Park is only 40 minutes away.
Watch the above episode of Today’s Tiny House Parking Spot to see all that Durango has to offer!
We met up with tiny house dwellers, Claire and Seth and their brand-new baby boy, Asa. You can find them on Instagram as @coloregontinyhome. This summer they were evicted from a Durango backyard, before the approval of Escalante Village. Fortunately, they found a new property out in the tiny house friendly, La Plata County, where Durango is located. We learned that after working approve Escalante Village as a planned unit development, the Durango Planning Department is now actively looking into adding movable tiny houses as accessory dwellings, as a way to address their housing shortage. Though there are tiny house folks currently living in backyards within the city, they are still at risk of eviction, if a complaint is received. Like what happened to a Colorado University college student in Boulder. See my post from last Friday to learn more about how the student was able to get a temporary permit to return to his tiny house while the city works on tiny house specific zoning.