It Takes a Tiny Village – Small House Community

Posted June 2nd, 2009 by Gregory Johnson and filed in Issue 6: Community

About five years ago, when I assisted Jay Shafer with the design and construction of my tiny home, the Mobile Hermitage, I intentionally designed the home with community in mind. It was because I leveraged my interdependence with the surrounding community and resources that I was able to make the house so tiny.

Community interdependence is the cornerstone and foundation of the movement toward simpler, smaller, and more sustainable living.

Sometimes referred to as New Urbanism, the principle is to have efficiency in the practical overlap and shared utilization of services and resources. An excellent example of this is The Cottage Company and their holistic approach to right sized communities.

The short-lived trend toward bloated and oversized homes was, in fact, a symptom of a pandemic societal illness of isolationsim and selfishness. This is similar to the phenomenon where illness, imbalance, and/or behavioral disorders can lead to obesity. Our homes were becoming obese because of an inability to interact interdependently and cooperatively with each other.

The Cottage Company is developing what they call smart communities. Through innovative land use codes, a higher quality of living is acheived.

5 Responses to “It Takes a Tiny Village – Small House Community”

  1. Amy TurnbullNo Gravatar says:

    I have been researching The Cottage Company projects and am inspired by what they have achieved. I called and spoke to Linda Pruitt who took the time to explain why they are so effective: it’s the total planning concept and the idea of community. There have been some copycats but they have not achieved the success that The Cottage Company has. In fact, these copycats, according to Linda, caused one city to repeal their zoning allowance in favor of cottage communities.

    I’ll be making the move to small living in a couple of years. It is my hope to be able to find a community like The Cottage Company. Unfortunately, their homes are out of my price range. But a lot can happen in 2 years. Maybe Jay will create a community of tiny houses in the style of The Cottage Company!

  2. demianNo Gravatar says:

    I own land in Yachats, Oregon on the coast. I just got approval to subdivide into 76 tiny lots. The zoning is commercial so I can do live work. I envision a highly sustainable live/work sort of artisan village with very small homes. I am looking for existing models that fit this vision. Can you point me in any direction?


  3. patiNo Gravatar says:

    How can we find out more about your community. I would love to live in Yachats in a tinly house community.

  4. sofieNo Gravatar says:

    Demian, I am looking for a lot near the ocean on which to build a tiny house of my own design. I’m a retired building designer of 25 years (custom homes) and was thrilled to learn that I am not alone in “my concept” of a tiny home. I can be reached at (916) 283-1104 and would really appreciate a call. Thanks!

  5. Leslie ManningNo Gravatar says:


    How are you coming along with your “small community”.

    I am considering retirement in 5 years and am planning on a small house purchase.

    Have you gotten closer to a little community?

    Regards, Leslie