Tiny Homes may be welcome near Colorado Springs soon

Denver developer working on “Bonsai Village” proposal
Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 11:40 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A Denver-based tiny home community developer is working to make “Going Tiny” an option in El Paso County.

If you think a tiny home is the same thing as a trailer or RV, Life Size Tiny Communities CEO Joe Callantine says you’re only slightly right.

“It’s more like your single family home or apartment or condo, than it is an RV ... most tiny homes today meet or exceed that type of certification.”

Life Size Tiny Communities has an early-stages proposal for Bonsai Village submitted to El Paso County, listing the address 9620 Chipeta Park Road, off highway 24. El Paso County leaders say, the project is in the “early assistance” phase, meaning the developer hasn’t technically applied yet.

Business Insider reports tiny homes became undeniably popular during the pandemic, likely because of their affordability.

Callantine says, “If you can turn around something in 3 months and pay $75 thousand, can you image how that could actually impact the marketplace in terms of supply? ... That supply and demand thing is completely out of wack right now.” He adds, integrating tiny homes has potential to be part of the solution to the “missing middle” housing market issue.

Land use permissions can take longer to obtain for tiny homes than for traditional housing because they’re still a relatively new concept with gaining industry standards.

Callantine says, he’s working through a long process with El Paso County’s zoning department. “Cities and counties don’t really have a check box for us to put a mark in, and let us be able to live in these types of structures. The rezoning piece is the catch ... that’s the longest piece of it.” He goes on, “There are people, lots of people out there, like me, who... I’ve got a home, I just need a legal place to put it.”

El Paso County spokesperson Lauren Tostenson said, “Tiny House Parks are an allowed use in El Paso County in the Recreational Vehicle Park Zoning District.”

Life Size Tiny Communities plans to establish the land for tiny home use, bringing in utilities infrastructure. From there, the system would be “BYOH”, or “bring your own home.” Callantine says there are about 20 “tiny builders” in Colorado. Bonsai Village is meant to have space for about 100 tiny homes and open in Fall 2022, although plans are still subject to change.

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