By Exsar Arguello
Planning is underway for the creation of tiny homes in Hays County by the Tiny Dwelling Co., a project aimed at bringing affordable housing to the Kyle area.
Tiny homes, a nationwide phenomenon that has taken cities by storm, is a movement focused on the creation of homes in a small space, typically ranging from 400 to 600 square feet.
With rising rents in cities across the United States, tiny homes offer a unique living alternative by utilizing small spaces and low rent and financing costs.
Tiny Dwelling Co. Developer James Stinson is working with a team to bring this new wave of living to Hays County. A tiny homes community located 10 miles south of Austin by Constellation ATX was the inspiration for the development.
The plot of land, which has been purchased by the company with room for an estimated 100 homes, is located outside of Kyle city limits west of Interstate 35.
“We felt like Kyle was a great place to try this platform out as the first test market in the United States,” Stinson said. “Our intent with this suburban community is to provide affordable housing in a clean, chemical free unit that doesn’t break the bank but gives people the opportunity to have some stability in life.”
The Tiny Dwelling Co. is currently working with a lender to allow people to finance the tiny homes through a 30- to 35-year mortgage. This gives Hays County citizens the opportunity to finance a brand new unit.
“Plans will be finalized in April of 2018 and it’s a project that is coming to fruition,” Stinson said. “The project is planned to include a clubhouse, pool, and all of the other amenities you would get in a larger apartment complex. This includes some kind of hike-and bike-trail and a dog park.”
Stinson said the project is focused on a lifestyle centered around a community of people. The clubhouse could potentially hold parties and events, giving the tiny homes project versatility and added functionality for its residents.
However, since the publication of an article by Culturemap Austin on the project, Kyle politicians and development leaders are hoping the developers of this project can speak with city officials in order to ensure development reaches an acceptable standard.
“Tiny homes are a unique product offering that has benefits and deterrents,” said Travis Mitchell, mayor of Kyle. “I am personally a fan of tiny homes, and I want to see this done right for our city and community.”
Mitchell said he has not spoken to developers, but hopes a conversation will begin in the city regarding the project.
The issue really depends on if the developers decide to build in the city limits or in the extra territorial jurisdiction (ETJ), said Howard Koontz, Kyle community development director.
“Our requirements for building is that homes outside of our city limits need to be on at least an acre plot of land,” Koontz said. “If they are in the city, they will be required to install wastewater infrastructure as the city doesn’t provide that service.”
Koontz said he hopes the developers speak with city officials before extended planning begins so expectations can be met accordingly.
With the success of the project in Austin, the company is looking outward in Hays County, targeting commuters who work in the city and the surrounding areas.