One of the first questions I always hear from people who are wanting to build a tiny house is, “Where do I put it after I build it?” Lots of folks are asking that question, and lots of people are talking about starting a tiny house community. Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Lemon Cove Village south of Fresno and north of Bakersfield – a tiny house (only) community that is actually underway!
This little gem is opening in January 2015 and it has space for 55 tiny houses. It is at the base of Sequoia National Park, 4 miles from Lake Kaweah. It’s beautiful – I have to admit that when I got out of my car I was sort of blown away by how serene it was.
I arrived on Tuesday afternoon, and Dirk Dole (the owner) and his son Grayson walked me around the 11 acres. It’s still under development – roads being put in (composite granite, not paved) and house spaces being leveled along with tree trimming and landscaping.
The individual spaces have a mixture of utility services and you can choose a site that has what you need: Water/electric/sewer, water & electric, or water only. It is my understanding that water is included, but electrical will have individual meters.
Shade trees are plentiful in the area as are lemon (surprise) and olive trees. My dog ate several olives off the ground before I realized what was happening… lol She was pretty happy running free around the property as I snapped photos. There will be benches and a few hammocks scattered around for tenant use, a small playground, a basketball hoop, a community garden (possibly with a compost bin), a fenced dog park and of course a fire pit.
This was an old RV park that had been neglected and there is an existing A-frame building on the property that will host tenant amenities. The photo on the left is the back side of the building, that faces the lease spaces. The (dark – sorry!) photo on the right is the front of the building that you see as you pull in from the road.
Isn’t that a great deck on the second floor? That opens up into what will likely a hotel-type room that can be rented out on a per-night or short term basis. Down below on the first floor will be a common area with couches and chairs for hanging out and watching movies, a kitchen, a coin-operated laundry area, a flex-space for yoga or crafts, a lending library for books and movies, restrooms with showers and a small reception/information desk. There will also be storage area for your overflow items that you can’t decide if you are going to part with! High-speed internet will also be provided.
As you walk down and around the hill from the building, you come to the pool. Yes, an in-ground swimming pool! I didn’t take any photos since it is still being renovated, but it’s going to be a great place to hang out in the summer, with a shaded area as well as an open space for tanning in chaise lounge chairs, and outdoor showers. Nice.
Another frequent question I hear is where to do construction? The owner is considering leasing space to a small group for a group build of 2-3 tiny houses. If it comes to be, he would supply secure tool storage and electrical service. At this point the construction area isn’t covered, but with all the improvements that are being done already, never say never! Dirk offered that perhaps someone could rent out the upstairs room while they build their tiny house on-site, or that they could have a reduced space lease for an RV tied to the construction period.
Dirk is looking for an on-site community manager, so if you already have a tiny house and nowhere to park it, this could be a deal for you. If you are interested in living in this community, you can reserve your space now! With an on-site manager the community will be safe & secure. Rates are from $450 to $595 a month and that includes the parking space and all of the listed amenities. Quite a deal!
I am helping Lemon Grove host a sneak peak tiny house community open house the weekend of November 21st. I park my tiny house on-site, and open it for tour. Dirk and I will alternate giving brief presentations all weekend – he about the community, and me about my tiny house lifestyle. Daniel Bell will also be on hand on Saturday to give a brief presentation. Daniel is a general contractowillr, teaches high school construction technology, has taught numerous workshops with Jay Shafer (that’s where I met him), has built several tiny houses – and helped me frame my house.
Here is a tentative schedule of our weekend offerings:
Friday Nov 21st
4 p.m. Open house & information sessions by Lemon Cove and BA
6 p.m. Tiny house chat around the campfire – bring your acoustic instruments & your tent (small fee)
Saturday Nov 22nd
Hourly (10, 12, 2, 4, 6 pm) information sessions by Lemon Cove Village and B.A.
7 p.m. Screening of the movie TINY, A Story About Living Small
Sunday Nov 23rd
10 a.m. Final chance to talk with B.A. Norrgard before she launches her tiny house road trip to Texas & another opportunity for Lemon Cove Village questions.
I’m very excited about this Village opening in January! I hope that you will join us at the open house weekend in late November. The event flyer is here. For details as they develop, watch the Lemon Cove Village website and this blog as well as A Bed Over My Head on Facebook!