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Collin Bass and his dog Lucca in front of their tiny house in Flagstaff, AZ.

Collin Bass and his dog Lucca in front of their tiny house in Flagstaff, AZ.

Collin Bass started building his tiny home south of Lake Mary in January 2015 and has been living in and working on the structure since then, he said.

The home that includes a lofted bed, a woodburning stove and substantial storage, is completely off the grid and uses just a fraction of the energy and water consumed by a regular home, Bass said. His plan is to also add big, screened-in decks and a greenhouse nearby.

The size of the home itself simply forces him to spend most of his time outdoors, which is where he is happiest anyways, Bass said.

“I decided that we waste a lot, we waste trash, we waste space, we waste food. The only thing I could think to do is to be minimalist, to minimize my stamp,” he said.

Bass is among a growing number of residents in Coconino County interested in living small.

Sustainable Building Program Manager Amanda Acheson said she is contacted about once a day by someone interested in building or buying a tiny home, generally defined as a house measuring less than 400 square feet. Responding to that rising demand, the county is crafting a new internal policy that establishes building, zoning and wastewater requirements specifically for these smaller structures.

Still in draft form, the county expects to roll out a final version of the policy in October, Acheson said.

The aim isn’t to layer on more regulation but to create a system that makes it legal to have a tiny home in Coconino County, she said. Tiny homes also align with the county’s development and housing goals, providing an avenue for more affordable and flexible housing that is also resource efficient and environmentally sustainable, Acheson said….

The county will hold an open house on its tiny house policy before adopting the final version. It’s scheduled for Oct. 18 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., at a location still to be determined. For more information contact the Coconino County Community Development Department at (928) 679-8850.

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