MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - You've seen tiny houses on networks like HGTV and the DIY network, they've become somewhat of a national phenomenon. And now, they may be headed straight to Myrtle Beach.
The owner of two lots on Yaupon Drive, just two blocks from the beach, by 9th Avenue South, wants to develop a small tiny house community.
His plans call for 11 houses, and each one would be a mere 312 square feet. They would include a porch and an upstairs loft where a full size bed would fit. The renderings given to the City of Myrtle Beach planning department don't include a washer and dryer.
The developer is asking the city to rezone the property so that he can sell each tiny home along with the tiny of parcel of land it sits on. The city planning division is working with the developer because of how he wants to divide his land for the 11 312 square foot homes. Anyone can build a tiny home on their own lot of land.
"From a regulatory point of view, the city doesn't say how big your house can be," explains Kelly Mezzapelle, a planner for the City of Myrtle Beach. "If you want a tiny house, you can have a tiny house. What we regulate is the size of the lots. So, you can't have a tiny lot under the current regulations. Those regulations would have to be changed if you wanted to have a lot and put a bunch of tiny houses on it, subdivide it and sell each individual lot to each individual property owner."
There is the option for the developer to maintain ownership of his land and sell the houses individually, running it like an HOA community. "This is our first tiny house project that has come before us," according to Mezzapelle. "That's why we don't really have... I don't want to say we don't have a provision in the code, because you can build a tiny house anywhere you want as long as the lot meets the minimum lot size."
The idea is promising. The developer lives in Myrtle Beach, he says the land has been in his family since the 1960's. He got the idea from watching tiny house shows on HGTV, and he's been working on this proposal for six months. "Is an interesting idea. It's a creative, fun idea," Mezzapelle says. "And in this particular case it's in an area that really needs a boost." The lot is right beside 9th Avenue South, south of Family Kingdom- an area in which the city has really pushed for revitalization and encouraged development.
The city wants to continue working with him to make the idea come to life. "If a project like this could work, then it could open up all kinds of possibilities down there," Mezzapelle says. "I feel confident there is a way to do it."
As for whether we may see more developed here in the future, "Whenever somebody wants to try something new, everybody waits for the fist guy to do it," Mezzapelle says. "To see if he will succeed or fail. If these things sell like hot cakes, we'll probably start seeing them everywhere. And if they don't, then this will be the end of it."
The zoning change proposal will go before the planning commission next week. If it is passed, it will move on to city council, where it will have to pass two additional readings. Mezzapelle says there will probably be a lot of discussion about changing the zoning because of the problems foreseen. It may end up being continued.