The Lake Ozark Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended a rezoning change on School Road that could lead to a cluster of tiny homes to help alleviate an affordable housing crisis in the lake area.

The Lake Ozark Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended a rezoning change on School Road that could lead to a cluster of tiny homes to help alleviate an affordable housing crisis in the lake area.

The P&Z voted unanimously to recommend to the board of aldermen that two parcels of land (about 1.2 acres) be rezoned from R-1 (Low-Density Residential) to C-2 (General Commercial) to allow for the construction of tiny homes. This would be an extension of the existing C-2 district.

LCMC Enterprises of Lake Ozark, with Matt Wright as principal owner, is the applicant and developer.

A public hearing was held before the vote, and only one person addressed the commission. The city sent notices to property owners within 185 feet of the proposed development and published a notice in The Lake Sun. 

Amy Barnes, a next door neighbor to the proposed development, was the only person to address the commission. Her questions involved potential parking issues, property values and establishing a barrier between the tiny homes cluster and her property.

“I have no problem with this coming in here. I’ve been proactive in talking with Matt, but my questions revolve around those issues like parking and so forth,” she said. “I’m not opposed to him building, I have requested, though, that there be some type of barrier between us.”

She noted that even though she doesn’t own the property she’s been maintaining the area to make sure it remains well kept.

“The road isn’t big enough and not maintained very well and putting 12 more cars in and out will affect that,” she cautioned.

Harrison Fry, assistant city administrator and community development director, told Barnes that already approved guidelines for tiny homes require two parking spaces per home and allow only three residents per home. He doesn’t anticipate any parking congestion in the area and noted that city ordinances allow for fencing or some type of landscaping as a barrier between the properties.

Fry noted in his staff recommendation that the staff received several inquiries and comments after the notices were mailed. One individual who does not live near the project, was strongly opposed. Others wanted verification that the developer did not plan any commercial development and that the homes would not become low-income based housing.

Fry said the developer has indicated neither is his intention.

Gerry Murawski, P&Z member and mayor, told Barnes, fellow commission members and about a half dozen individuals in the audience that property values in communities that host tiny homes have actually increased.

In addition, tiny homes would help address an affordable housing issue in the lake area.

“One of the biggest needs we have in Lake Ozark and at the lake is for workforce housing. Most of the workers can’t afford anything down here when the average rent is $1,200. Things like tiny houses will help bring people in and at the least will help your neighborhood,” Murawski said.

What now?

The board of aldermen is expected to consider the P&Z recommendation at its next meeting Tuesday, Oct. 13.

If the board of aldermen accepts the recommendation for rezoning, the developer will then apply to the P&Z for a Special Use Permit and submit copies of a proposed site plan.

Notice of a public hearing will be sent to neighboring property owners and published in a newspaper as with the rezoning request, and then the Planning and Zoning Commission will host a public hearing. The P&Z will recommend for or against approval to the board of aldermen, which will then make its decision to approve or not approve.  

If approved, the developer would be able to apply for a building permit. 

Wright said if all goes well, he hopes to begin preliminary site preparation in December.