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Featured Letter: Here’s a housing solution — go tiny!

09/12/2016 6:00 AM |

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To the editor:

The tiny house movement has gone global but Greenport and other East End towns haven’t embraced this concept — yet. Tiny houses are typically under 500 square feet and are a perfect place for a single person, a recent college graduate or even a small family who wants to live on their own on the East End, finally.

It’s eye-opening to look at how you can live in a smaller place than you might think, while discarding stuff you just don’t really need. There are designers all over the country who build tiny houses and even deliver them, and the price is right — for as little as $25,000 you can have a tiny house built and, typically, put on wheels so you can move it around if needed.

The problem, in Greenport at least, for folks who would like to take advantage of land on their relatives’ property, is that you can’t — not with the way the law is written now. I know because I was considering selling my 600-square-foot house, paying off my mortgage and building a tiny cottage in my mom’s backyard. But when I called the village, I was told you can park a boat in a backyard, but not a house.

All over the country there are tiny-house developments. A developer could, say, buy a piece of property and then make it financially viable by building more tiny houses, rather than 2,000-square-foot houses. Less can be more. You can even try out tiny house living in getaways around the country before you take the plunge.

All in all, I think it’s worth considering. More locals, especially, could stay in and contribute to the area, and, if they wanted to, continue to save for a bigger house down the line.

I hope Mayor Hubbard and Supervisor Russell and all of the officials on the Greenport Village Board and Southold Town Board will take the time to learn more about the tiny house movement and float a trial project somewhere in the area. Offer the homes through a lottery and track the homeowners’ progress.

It’s thinking outside the box. What we’ve tried so far has had limited success. How about trying something new?

Think big. Go tiny!

Chrystle Fiedler, Greenport

Photo credit: flickr.com/Tammy Strobel

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