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March 16, 2018

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GREAT NEWS for Northern Michigan Tiny Home Owners- Briley Township, Montmorency County “Economy Efficient Dwelling” Zoning Ordinance Provision

October 4, 2016

Great Lakes Tiny Homes Zoning Intelligence-Volume 6: Briley Township, Montmorency County “Economy Efficient Dwelling” Zoning Ordinance Provision



In my continued research for tiny home friendly areas in Michigan, I discovered the first tiny house specific zoning ordinance in Northern Michigan! This Economy Efficient Dwelling provision allows for a tiny house to be constructed between 240 sq/ft – 500 sq/ft within R2 (General Residential), AG (Agricultural) and FR (Forestry & Recreational) zoned districts. AND it also allows for the Economy Efficient Dwelling to be lived in year-round while being the only and principle dwelling on the property. Unlike most other similar tiny house zoning provisions, this provision does not require another conventional dwelling (768 sq/ft or more) to also be located on the property. The tiny house (Economy Efficient Dwelling) can be the only dwelling on the property!!


The only down side I can see with this provision is that these EED’s must be built on an approved foundation that meets the State of Michigan residential building code, while also having the appropriate water, sewer, and electrical utility systems in place. Although currently traditional THOW’s are not allowed, if you presented plans for a mobile home style of anchorage/foundation system, you may be able to place your THOW within Briley Township.


After following up directly with Barry Braun, the Briley Township Zoning Administrator, he indicated that “he realizes that these micro homes are the up and coming thing. Briley Township has recognized this trend and was proactive in making affordable housing available to specific needs of property owners.“ Braun continues by adding “I am not aware of any other area in Northern Michigan lower peninsula that has enacted “Tiny House” ordinances. Please feel free to let your members know that Briley Township welcomes their interests as well.”


I am very excited to learn of a township in Michigan that is taking proactive measures to reform current and outdated zoning provisions. From my understanding, there are already 2 residents that have taken advantage of this new Economy Efficient Dwelling provision and are currently living tiny legally in Briley Township. I hope you find this information useful! 


Below is a link to the Briley Township zoning ordinance. I have also included the excerpt from page 4 where the Economy Efficient Dwelling definition is contained.


" Economy Efficient Dwelling defined as: A dwelling that is more than 240 sq ft and less than 500 sq ft with a minimum side elevation of no less than 12 ft and no more than 20 ft, minimum length of 20 feet and a maximum length of 30 ft built to all Michigan building and sanitary codes and qualifies for a certificate of occupancy.”


Briley Township Zoning Ordinance



About Aaron:


Aaron is the Michigan State Chapter Leader for the American Tiny House Association and is the Design and Construction Manager at Great Lakes Tiny Homes, LLC located in Michigan.  


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