ZONING & BUILDING CODES
pertain to what types of uses municipalities (cities and towns) allow, and where.
Often a city or town has several different zones and each zone has different rules. Zoning bylaws are decided by the zoning board of a city or town and can be amended to better fit the needs of the municipality. These boards have meetings that are open to the public, where its citizens can share their concerns, get clarification on what is allowed to be built, and request a change to the bylaws to improve their town or city.
provide a set of safety standards that new buildings must adhere to by law.
These standards ensure the safety of the people using the building. There are separate building codes for residential buildings (like houses and apartment buildings) and all other buildings (like shops, factories, schools, and workplaces). The Tiny House Appendix is set to become part of the Massachusetts state building code, which is based on the International Residential Code.
Can’t find zoning information?
If you can’t find any info on tiny houses in the town’s zoning but would like to know whether a tiny house on wheels or on a foundation would be legal to live in full-time, send a quick email to your town’s building inspector or zoning board (you can find their contact info on your town’s website).
Want to change the zoning bylaws?
If tiny houses are not currently included in the zoning bylaws, your zoning board will be able to advise you whether it’s worth pursuing a change to said bylaws. Generally, this process takes a while, and the board will guide you through it. You don’t have to be an expert to request a change, just an interested citizen! Be prepared with knowledge of how having tiny houses would help your town or city.
Looking to Park in Massachusetts?
Learn more on Zoning & Building Codes: