Tiny houses have captured the imagination of many, offering a minimalist lifestyle that’s both eco-friendly and cost-effective. South Dakota, known for its wide-open spaces and friendly communities, is no exception when it comes to the tiny house movement. If you’re considering a tiny home in South Dakota, you might be wondering where you can legally park your dream home on wheels or build a small foundation house. In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of tiny house living in South Dakota, focusing on the counties that allow these innovative dwellings.
What is a Tiny House?
Before we dive into the specifics of South Dakota, let’s understand what a tiny house is. A tiny house is a compact, fully functional dwelling that typically ranges from 100 to 400 square feet. These homes are designed to maximize space and minimize waste, offering everything one might need in a smaller, more manageable package. Tiny houses come in various styles, from rustic cabins on wheels to sleek modern designs, catering to different tastes and preferences.
Are Tiny Homes Legal in South Dakota?
The legality of tiny homes varies from state to state and even within different counties of a state. South Dakota, being a state with vast rural areas and a diverse housing landscape, has its own set of regulations regarding tiny houses. The first question aspiring tiny homeowners often ask is whether tiny homes are legal in South Dakota. If you want to know which counties in south dakota do not have building codes then check out my recent article South Dakota Counties With No Building Codes ( Bon Homme & Custer County ).
Counties in South Dakota That Allow Tiny Houses
Fortunately for tiny house enthusiasts, several counties in South Dakota are embracing the tiny house movement and allowing these homes within their jurisdictions. Let’s take a closer look at some of these counties:
Brookings County, located in the eastern part of the state, is one of the counties in South Dakota that permits tiny houses. With its welcoming communities and beautiful landscapes, Brookings County offers an ideal setting for tiny house living.
Minnehaha County, home to the city of Sioux Falls, is another county in South Dakota that allows tiny houses. This bustling area combines urban amenities with rural charm, making it an attractive choice for tiny house dwellers seeking a balance between city life and natural surroundings.
In the western part of South Dakota lies Pennington County, a region known for its scenic beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. Pennington County is open to tiny houses, providing an excellent option for individuals looking to live amidst nature without sacrificing modern conveniences.
Yankton County, located along the Missouri River, is a picturesque area that permits tiny houses. Its serene environment and friendly communities make it a popular choice for tiny house enthusiasts seeking a peaceful lifestyle.
Bon Homme County
Bon Homme County, nestled in the southeastern part of the state, is known for its agricultural heritage and scenic landscapes. This county allows tiny houses, offering a tranquil setting for those looking to embrace the tiny house movement. Before you go and live off the grid in this state, check out my recent article ( Top 7 ) Things To Know Before Living Off The Grid In South Dakota.
Marshall County, situated in the northeastern part of South Dakota, is a county that welcomes tiny houses. With its small towns and close-knit communities, Marshall County provides a warm and inviting atmosphere for tiny house residents.
Todd County, located in the southern part of the state, is open to tiny houses. This county offers a unique cultural experience, with a significant Native American population and rich traditions that add to the vibrant tapestry of the area.
Lawrence County, located in the Black Hills region, is known for its stunning natural beauty and historic sites. Tiny houses are permitted in Lawrence County, allowing residents to enjoy the charm of the Black Hills while living in a compact and sustainable home.
Perkins County, situated in the northwestern part of South Dakota, is another county that allows tiny houses. With its wide-open spaces and friendly communities, Perkins County provides an excellent opportunity for tiny house enthusiasts to create their dream homes. If you want to know more about the off grid laws in this state, then check out my recent article South Dakota Off Grid Laws ( Step By Step Guide ).
Union County, located in the southeastern corner of the state, is open to tiny houses. This county offers a peaceful rural setting, making it an attractive option for individuals seeking a simpler way of life in their tiny homes.
South Dakota’s Tiny Home Rules and Regulations
While these counties permit tiny houses, it’s essential to understand the rules and regulations that govern tiny house living in South Dakota. Regulations typically revolve around the type of tiny home – whether it’s on wheels, a foundation, a permanent structure, a temporary house, or a transitional structure.
Do You Need a Building Permit for a Tiny House in South Dakota?
In many counties, obtaining a building permit is a crucial step in the process of setting up a tiny house. This permit ensures that your tiny home complies with local building codes and safety standards. It’s advisable to check with the local authorities in your chosen county to determine the specific requirements for obtaining a building permit for your tiny house.
Tiny Homes on Wheels
Tiny homes on wheels are a popular choice for those who prefer a mobile lifestyle. These homes are built on trailer frames, allowing them to be towed to different locations. While some counties in South Dakota permit tiny homes on wheels, certain regulations might apply, such as the requirement for a designated parking space or adherence to size restrictions. It’s essential to research the regulations in your chosen county to ensure compliance.
Tiny Homes on a Foundation
Tiny homes on a foundation are permanent structures that are typically built on a concrete foundation. These homes offer stability and can be connected to utilities like water, electricity, and sewage systems. Many counties in South Dakota allow tiny homes on foundations, provided they meet the local building codes and zoning regulations. Ensuring your tiny home complies with these regulations is essential to avoid legal issues in the future.
Some tiny house enthusiasts opt for permanent structures, blending seamlessly into existing neighborhoods or rural areas. These homes must adhere to the same regulations as traditional houses, ensuring they meet the safety standards and aesthetic guidelines of the community. If you’re considering a permanent tiny house in South Dakota, it’s crucial to work closely with local authorities to obtain the necessary permits and approvals.
Tiny Temporary Houses
Tiny temporary houses are designed for short-term stays and are often used as vacation rentals or guest accommodations. While regulations for temporary structures may be less stringent, it’s still essential to comply with local zoning laws and obtain any required permits. Additionally, if you plan to rent out your tiny temporary house, you may need to adhere to specific licensing and tax requirements.
Transitional structures are tiny houses that serve as temporary housing solutions for individuals facing challenging life circumstances, such as homelessness or emergencies. These structures are often provided by charitable organizations and government agencies to support vulnerable populations. While transitional structures may have specific regulations, they play a crucial role in addressing housing needs in communities across South Dakota.
Can You Permanently Live in a Tiny House in South Dakota?
One of the most common questions prospective tiny homeowners have is whether they can permanently live in their tiny houses in South Dakota. The answer largely depends on the county’s regulations and the type of tiny house you have – whether it’s on wheels, a foundation, a permanent structure, a temporary house, or a transitional structure.
For those considering permanent tiny house living, it’s essential to research the specific rules and regulations of the chosen county. By understanding the legal requirements and working closely with local authorities, individuals can navigate the process of living in a tiny house in South Dakota successfully.