Are Tiny Homes Legal in Oregon?

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Tiny House Made Easy™

Tiny homes have garnered significant attention in recent years as more individuals adopt minimalistic and sustainable living practices. In Oregon, the legality of tiny homes depends on their categorization and the county’s zoning regulations. This article will dive into the specifics of Oregon’s tiny house laws and offer resources for further information.

Differences between Tiny Houses on Wheels and Tiny Houses on Foundations

There are two primary types of tiny homes: those built on foundations and those built on wheels. In Oregon, the laws and regulations may differ depending on the type of tiny house.

Tiny Houses on Foundations:
Tiny houses built on a permanent foundation typically fall under the category of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), which are additional living spaces on the property of a primary residence. Each municipality and county in Oregon may have its specific zoning and building requirements for ADUs.

Tiny Houses on Wheels:
Tiny houses on wheels (THOWs) are often classified as Recreational Vehicles (RVs) or park model RVs. Some Oregon counties only allow these types of tiny homes in designated RV parks or as temporary dwellings on a property. Oregon’s laws governing THOWs may vary by the county, so it’s essential to research your area’s regulations.

Tiny House Regulations in Oregon

Oregon has made efforts to accommodate tiny houses within its building codes and regulations. The state has adopted the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC), Appendix Q, which contains specific provisions for tiny homes. This appendix sets safety standards and guidelines for tiny houses on a foundation with a floor area less than 400 square feet.

Not all Oregon counties have adopted Appendix Q, so it’s crucial to check with local authorities to determine the specific rules and regulations in your area.

General Requirements for Tiny House Legality

While regulations may vary by location, there are general requirements that all tiny homes must meet to be considered legal in Oregon.

  1. Minimum size: Tiny homes on foundations must have a minimum floor area of 70 square feet for at least one habitable room, not including the kitchen(s), hallways, closets, or bathrooms.
  2. Ceiling height: At least half of the usable floor area must have a ceiling height of 6 feet 8 inches or more.
  3. Loft access: If the tiny home has a loft, there must be a proper access, such as stairs or a ladder, with specific dimensions and design elements.
  4. Egress windows: Sleeping areas need to have proper egress windows that meet specific guidelines for escape and rescue openings.

Zoning and Building Codes in Oregon Counties

The flexibility of tiny house regulations largely depends on the local zoning ordinances and building codes. Some counties accommodate tiny homes better than others. It’s crucial to research the rules and requirements in your specific county.

Multnomah County, for example, has made strides to incorporate tiny houses on foundations as ADUs under its zoning regulations. On the other hand, some counties may have strict zoning requirements or setbacks that make it more challenging for tiny homes to be legally established.

Resources

For more information on the zoning rules and building codes in your area, consult the following resources:

  1. Check your county’s official website for planning, zoning, and building departments.
  2. Consult the Tiny Home Legal page for more information on Oregon’s laws and resources explaining the differences between tiny houses and how they relate to minimalism and sustainability.
  3. Research relevant Oregon state-specific organizations and advocacy groups focused on tiny houses and sustainable living.

In conclusion, determining if tiny homes are legal in Oregon depends on whether they are on foundations or wheels and which county or municipality the tiny house is located in. Always consult with local authorities and professionals to ensure your tiny house meets legal requirements.