‘No anarchists or nudists’ welcome in Texas ‘Tiny House’ community
Two years ago, residents signed a proclamation declaring Spur to be “America’s first ‘tiny’ house friendly town.” Nearly all building restrictions were removed in the hope of reversing a population decline and attracting “eco-conscious, do-it-yourself builders who like to live in very small houses,” reported the Wall Street Journal.
Dickens County commissioner Charlie Morris said the recent influx of new inhabitants has brought residents that are “educated, professional, and seem like they really have something to bring to the community,” but then added, “What we don’t want are anarchists or nudists.”
Charles Richter, developer of the Richter scale, was an avid nudist. So was Benjamin Franklin.— Weird History (@weird_hist) May 21, 2015
Updated restrictions were introduced in March to block the construction of dwellings that might be found in Black Rock City during Burning Man.
The town’s loose building codes, low prices, and ultra-high-speed fiber internet have allowed residents to work from home rather than farm for a living.
The new restrictions specify that all tiny houses have to be connected to the power grid, water supply, and sewer system – and they can’t be on wheels.
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“I was very forthcoming about what I wanted to build, and they said it was fine – and then they didn’t,” Benjamin Garcia told WSJ in describing his scuttled plans to build a home from earth in Spur.
Garcia decided not to fight the restrictions, but found a work around by teaming up with two others and purchasing a 15-acre plot four miles from Spur, just outside the jurisdiction of the building restrictions.
Most tiny houses in Spur have an area of around 300 square feet, about one-third the size of a swimming pool, although the classification can apply to dwellings with areas of up to 900 square feet.
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The tiny house movement emerged out of a desire to find affordable housing and live in more eco-friendly dwellings. Such communities already exist in nudist/anarchist-friendly cities such as Austin, Portland, and Washington, with more planned in San Francisco and Madison, Wisconsin.