We're not sure if tiny houses will be a perfect fit for Auburn, but the city shouldn't put up any barriers to prevent them from even being considered.
Two agencies addressed the Auburn City Council this week about their hopes to build tiny houses to help address the problem of homelessness. "Tiny houses" are just what they sound like — homes between 200 and 400 square feet that are economical to build, maintain and heat.
One group wants to put a cluster of small homes on what is now vacant land near Walmart; another is still looking at suitable parcels in other parts of the city.
The meeting at city hall is a great example of the process working the way it should. Public hearings are the time when people can bring questions or problems to their representatives, and those officials can take that information and use it to make more informed decisions about public policy.
In this case, the city is being asked to amend its draft zoning revision so as not to block the tiny homes initiatives. We join those agencies in that request.
Many people are doing a commendable job of working to address the long-established problem of chronic homelessness in this community. Advocates say that many people in need of homes are veterans of the United States armed forces. Others have difficulty living in traditional home or apartment settings because of traumatic brain injuries.
Each of these proposed projects — and any that come in the future — will still need to be weighed on their own merits, of course, with consideration to impacts on affected neighborhoods. But as the city continues to tweak its zoning regulations, it should take tiny houses into consideration and make sure that any new rules won't be put in place to block tiny houses from being considered.
The Citizen editorial board includes publisher Rob Forcey, executive editor Jeremy Boyer and managing editor Mike Dowd.