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Zoning dispute imperils tiny homes construction, sparks lawsuit

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2021 | Real Estate Litigation |

When moving forward with construction in Georgia, zoning issues and adhering to the law are always concerns. This is true in commercial and residential projects. Even in situations where companies are trying to fulfill a need and help people, there will be scrutiny. With that scrutiny might come disputes and the potential for a legal filing. One recently filed case involves a company that sought to benefit those who need affordable housing, but has run into problems with the county as it pursues that endeavor.

Small home construction halted by interpretation of zoning laws

An attempt to build tiny homes in Calhoun by the county has sparked a lawsuit by the company seeking to do the construction. According to Tiny House Hand Up, there is a problem with affordable housing in the area. To remedy that, there were set to be 600 square foot homes built targeting people who earn $12 to $14 per hour. A petition was brought to local officials for approval, but the proposal was denied because of the state constitution saying homes are required to be 1,100 square feet. After being asked to consider an exception, the city council said no.

To pursue the lawsuit, Institute for Justice – a nonprofit – is filing a case for Tiny House Hand Up. Its tenets are that the zoning restrictions that are being cited are being misapplied since they are based on safety, health and welfare. The homes are said to be safe and do not violate any of those requirements. The main issue is the size and that the letter of the law is being applied with new home construction. Local homeowners expressed concern that their property values might be damaged by the tiny homes. Size is a fundamental factor in affordability. If constructed, the buying process would be the same as any property and need to go through the proper channels such as getting a mortgage.

It is important to have assistance with zoning issues

This situation is a case study as to how ideas and projects can be hindered by various laws as to what can and cannot be done. Even the best intentions can run into interference and challenges when laws are cited as to why a project cannot move forward. For people who are dealing with any type of problem that could escalate to real estate litigation, it is wise to have professional advice with how to proceed. Consulting with those who understand the law and when it can be called into question is key.