Oregon Tiny House Laws To Know Before You Buy Or Build

Tiny House Laws in Oregon are a must to know if you have plans about buying or building a Tiny Home in this amazing state.

Oregon is situated in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States. The state has been home to several indigenous nations for thousands of years. It is also a tiny house-friendly state. It is the ninth largest and 27th most populous state in the United States. Oregon is blessed with lots of natural resources. Its different landscapes provide ideal environments for many types of farming and livestock activities.

Tourism is a strong industry in Oregon. This state has several natural resources like mountains, rivers, forests, waterfalls, beaches, and lakes. It also houses the Oregon Caves, the Painted Hills, Crater Lake National Park, Multnomah Falls, the Deschutes River, Mount Bachelor, and Mount Hood. These tourist centers attract visitors yearly.

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Counties In Oregon That Allow Tiny Houses

Tiny houses are becoming popular in Oregon but the rules and regulations that apply to owning or building tiny houses vary in each county.

Some popular counties that adopt tiny home-friendly communities include:

  • Monroe
  • Portland
  • Eugene
  • Lakeview

To know if your county allows tiny homes, ensure you look at the zoning map for your property. Check if your property is categorized and if having an accessory dwelling unit is lawful. Most tiny houses fall under this category, as long as they adhere to the building requirements.

Oregon does not permit individuals to live in tiny homes on wheels. They are one of the few states to give a statement on this. However, the Recreational Vehicle Association has no way of doing inspections and regulating codes yet.

What’s the Minimum Size for Tiny Houses in Oregon?

Still on Oregon Tiny House laws, there is no minimum size for a tiny house, but the state has a maximum size.

According to the International Residential Code and the State Building Codes Division (BCD), a tiny house is considered to have 400 square feet or less, it doesn’t include any loft areas where you may sleep.

Also, the Oregon Small Home Specialty Code (OSHSC) specifies that a small house is a single-family residence that is not more than 400 square feet in size. There is no minimum size specified by the applicable regulations. This is the state-recognized construction standard for tiny houses. Any tiny house in Oregon that is more than 400 square feet will not be regarded as a tiny house.

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Where Can You Place Your Tiny House in Oregon?

This is one of the major things to consider when thinking about building or buying a tiny house. You have to know where you want to place your tiny house. It is advised that you research about the place you want to stay as well as if it allows permanent or temporary tiny houses.

You will need to go through the zoning map of the particular you want to reside in or visit the zoning department. Zoning laws vary in different counties and cities.

Apart from the zoning laws, you will also have to comply with the building codes. You may want to look at some residential areas where their zoning laws allow accessory dwelling units, meaning you can place your tiny house in the backyard of another building but it must comply with the building codes for a permanent tiny house in the area.

Do not build in an area where you are not sure if tiny houses are allowed. You may end up being evicted or made to pay fines if you decide not to leave the area. That’s why it is very good to do your research well before residing in an area or you join tiny house communities.

Tiny home communities exist in some cities in Oregon. Small portions of land are sold to people who want to build their tiny homes. You can see them in Eugene and Lakeview.

For temporary tiny house dwellers, you can reside in the RV park. Here, your tiny home should not be more than 400 Square feet too. This home is constructed on a chassis for easy movement. There are no state-level regulations as regards RVs, so they must follow the national standards.

Laws for Tiny Houses in Oregon

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Here, tiny houses are categorized into three:

  • Permanent tiny homes
  • Temporary tiny homes
  • Transitional structures

Permanent Tiny Homes Regulations

A permanent tiny home is a building that is attached to an approved foundation. Safety and energy efficiency are its priorities at the cost of its mobility.

This tiny home must be built according to federal standards or Oregon’s building code. The regulations for tiny homes in this state are well established.

These are some of the building codes:

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Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC)

Some provisions of this code are:

  • Tiny houses under 600 square feet can have one sleeping loft, with a ladder used as loft access.
  • Every tiny home that has a sleeping loft must have an automatic fire sprinkler system.
  • The local building inspection program must prove permits, plan reviews, and inspection requirements for every tiny home in the state.
  • Builders, electricians, and plumbers who will work on the tiny house must be licensed by the state.

Oregon Small Home Specialty Code (OSHSC)

This code permits single-family tiny homes up to 400 square feet to be built according to the ORSC code, with sleeping lofts accessible by ladders, as long as the building has an approved fire protection system.

This code is also subject to the same permits, plan review, and inspection requirements as the ORSC tiny homes.

Temporary Tiny Homes Regulations

A temporary tiny home is a structure that is attached to a chassis or frame, which may have wheels or may not. They are not usually attached to land except in mobile RV parks but they prioritize mobility.

From January 1, 2020, Oregon no longer regulates the building of temporary dwellings. You have to check with your municipality to make sure that your tiny home can be situated legally.

A temporary tiny home built for movement on public highways and roads is subject to the rules of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. This includes standards like lights, brakes, wheels or tires, rear impact guards, and VINs.

Temporary tiny homes that are not built for regular movement can also be transported but you have to get a trip permit or an over-dimension permit.
Oregon also specifies that the width of mobile tiny homes should not be wider than eight and one-half feet (8.5 feet).

Transitional Tiny Homes Regulations

The transitional tiny home is a temporary camp that municipalities can use as a shelter for homeless people and for those who didn’t qualify for low-income housing. These homes usually include yurts, cabins, fabric structures, and more.

Transitional tiny homes are built and regulated at the municipal/ local government level.

Oregon Tiny House laws: Conclusion

I hope this post was helpful and you have been able to learn more about Oregon Tiny House laws.

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