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Want to live in a tiny house? Clovis has plans for Old Town alleys

Clovis has big plans for tiny houses in the Old Town area.

In the city’s long-term plan for downtown, city planners envision tiny houses dotting alleys in the rear portions of underused, sometimes unsightly, lots to refresh the landscape with mother-in-law homes, student housing or rentals.

When downtown was developed more than 50 years ago, homes were built on long, narrow lots that fronted the street and extended to alleys. The second residences, 400 square feet or smaller in size, are required to face alleys.

Dwight Kroll, the city’s planning director, said the idea is to turn alleys into walkable, attractive living spaces.

“A small house can sit on residential alleys in Old Town and clean up neighborhoods and get additional value out of properties,” he said.


Clovis has selected an emblem for its tiny house program.
City of Clovis Handout

The city worked with Clovis-based CWB Designs to create plans for three tiny home models that property owners can use for free. The three housing concepts can shortcut the sometimes cumbersome permitting process because the designs are pre-approved by the city. Property owners using those designs can cut their costs by about $8,150, Kroll said.

“You can choose any one of those elevations but you have to build it to the plan,” Kroll said. “We have some design control, but you can have your own plan and we will approve it if it meets the parameters.”