Tiny houses project proposed for Grayling aimed at redeveloping older parcels of property
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
Tiny houses could be coming to Grayling to fill a need in the housing market.
The City of Grayling’s Planning Commission, at its regular monthly meeting held on Tuesday, December 1, took input on a planned unit Tom Steffan is hoping to develop in the community.
Steffan, along with his business partner Fred Fabian, are planning on building a tiny houses project on the corner of Madsen and State Streets in Grayling.
Shannon Easter White, the owner and president of FUNchitecture, LLC, based in Flint, is assisting the developers with planning for the project.
She said the project provides affordable housing, will redevelop some older parcels of property in the community, and would accommodate people of all ages.
“It can be available to a variety of ages from young, to aging in place, and everyone in between,” White said.
The homes would be a variety of sizes from 16 feet by 30 feet and 20 feet by 27 feet.
The development would be built on two existing parcels. Twelve to 15 feet spaces would be between the homes.
The homes would come in a variety of styles like a cottage model to a more modern look.
“We have a vision that they wouldn’t look cookie cutter,” White said. “You could have a different variety of siding and shingles and each home could be customized as the owner wishes.”
Each home would have a parking drive large enough for two cars placed back to back. A side parking lot would also be on site if one of the home owners hosts a holiday gathering or hosts people over for an event.
A large green space is part of the plans to provide a recreational space and add to the enhancement of the development.
The homes could include a combination of an open kitchen area and living room or more commonly known a great room. Upper levels of the home could include a loft for an office space, storage space, or bedrooms.
Each unit would have a stackable washer and dryer, a hot water heater, and in wall unit heating cooling unit.
Stephan said he’s still studying if the homes would be for sale, for rent, for lease, or part of a home owner’s association.
Based on public input from the meeting, residents were more in favor of promoting home ownership rather than adding to the number of rental homes already located in Grayling. They said that would promote a sense of home ownership and community pride.
“As a single millennial, that would have been right up my alley,” said Matthew Shaw, who is developing Michigan Brew, a specialty coffee house and eatery in downtown Grayling.
Grayling Planning Commission member Radel Rosin said having separate driveways for the development was an added feature as opposed to having street parking or a large parking lot.
“I think that is a huge plus,” Rosin said.
Stephan said he would prefer to sell the homes, if prospective owners would obtain financing from lenders.
“If they are in town, they are going to spend their money in town, and will be part of the community,” he said.
Erich Podjaske, the zoning and economic development director for the City of Grayling, said Steffan needs to firm up plans on how the homes would be owned before the project would come back before city planners for a public hearing.
“All of that needs to 100 percent ironed out,” he said.