Tiny home is the center of big county debate


VALLEY CENTER, Kan. (KSNW) – Just off 85th street near Valley Center there is a small home.

If you don’t look, you might miss it. The tiny home owned by Jordan Mullen is causing is no small issue.

Some nearby residents are against the home. On Thursday, both sides met at the Wichita-Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Commission meeting to discuss the issue.

“We have plans to develop it in the future.” says one nearby resident. “We have cleaned it up.”

One man who lives nearby thinks it could hurt his plans to develop in the future.

“People stop by and thank us for our efforts and this is how we get thank you’d back.”

But the real issue is there is no specific codes for tiny homes.

The resident says, “It is time to stop this nonsense of encouraging a backhanded approach to addressing gaps and holes in regulations that fail to address tiny house issues.”

Another added, “Miss Mullen is not camping or traveling and the land is not zoned commercial.”

The issue made board members think hard.

“The fact that is has wheels and it is not on a permanent foundation is the crux of the difference of what is going on here,” said a board member.

But Mullens’s family owns the land and feels they can do what they want.

“I can put a double wide there, and I can have 19 pigs there if I want to,” says Mullen’s aunt. “I am not going to.”

The board considered allowing the small home to stay on a one-time conditional use case that would expire in five years.

Mullen says, “I do not plan on being there more than three years.”

The opposing side felt there were too many grey areas but, ultimately, the board unanimously approved the conditional zone use.

”I just don’t see this as being detrimental to the neighbors.”

Mullen can now call the ‘RV’ her home.

Mullen says, “I am just once again very relieved. I am grateful for all the support I have gotten. It has just been nice, and I am excited to see what happens moving forward.”

The county was unprepared for the issue because the commissioners say they haven’t dealt with cases like these in the past. In the future, they plan to discuss plans for a possible zone ordinance specifically for tiny homes.

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