September 20, 2018
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New regulations allow Bucksport its first ‘tiny house’

Courtesy of Lon Cameron
Courtesy of Lon Cameron
Eddie Bubier’s proposed tiny home will be similar to the one pictured here, but with a larger deck.
By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff
Updated:

Bucksport is about to get its first tiny house under new regulations adopted last month.

The town’s Planning Department approved late last week Eddie Bubier’s applications for plumbing and building permits for a 576-square-foot home that will be built on Mountainside Lane this fall.

The town altered its planning regulations to allow for tiny houses — structures usually no more than 400 square feet — in July. The Town Council voted to allow tiny houses on June 28, with the changing going into effect seven days later, Bucksport Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Hammond said.

The idea was to keep town codes in conformance with state regulations and accommodate a growing market, Hammond said.

[New tiny house building codes open doors for increased tiny living in Maine]

Before the change, “I have had many calls from people asking if they could build and the answer was, I am afraid not,” Hammond said. “But now they are.”

Bubier said he likes the idea of owning such a compact place.

“What tools I don’t have, I can borrow from work,” said Bubier, a Kenduskeag resident and 52-year-old union construction worker at Sullivan and Merritt Construction of Hermon. “It’s economical and I can afford to do it myself. I don’t have to hire a contractor and spend $100,000.”

Bubier’s permit applications were approved Friday, Hammond said.

[MDI’s ‘cottage colonies’ are the tiny houses of Vacationland]

State regulations define a tiny house as a dwelling less than 400 square feet, allowing sleeping lofts, permitting ladder access to lofts and approving skylights as points of emergency egress.

Bubier’s design includes a 12 x 18-foot loft, and a 5 x 20-foot deck. The deck isn’t included in the square foot measurement of the home.

Bucksport regulations allow tiny homes wherever single family dwellings are allowed. They need to be on a permanent foundation if lived on year-round. A town committee is also considering allowing tiny houses built on wheels, a standard that could include mobile homes, Hammond said.

Bubier said he plans to begin construction within a few weeks of receiving his permits. A slab area has already been cleared on the property.

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