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Affordable tiny home village planned at San Luis Obispo adobe site

Posted at 6:54 PM, Apr 25, 2022

Affordable housing units could be coming to the site of a historic building in downtown San Luis Obispo.

The new affordable housing project would renovate the historic Rosa Burton Adobe on Dana Street while adding up to 20 tiny homes scattered among the trees.

"This project is unique because it is small houses that are detached for permanent living," said Anne Wyatt, Executive Director for Smart Share Housing Solutions.

The Waterman Peace Village would involve tiny homes built in an "L" formation behind and along one side of the adobe.

The units will be 200 to 250 square feet in size.

Since the property is on a floodplain, the units will be elevated three feet and interconnected through a raised walkway.

"We see people living here being people interested in sustainability and car-free living without a lot of parking and mostly singles," said Wyatt.

The adobe itself will house office space while serving as a gathering point for residents.

"Having this opportunity with an adobe on-site and the tiny houses around it, the adobe will serve as a wonderful gathering place for people who live here," said Project Team Outreach Coordinator Stephanie Teaford. "There will be meeting rooms, there and opportunities for people to really get to know each other."

The City of San Luis Obispo would lease the property to two local non-profits: The Peace Project and Smart Share Housing Solutions.

Organizers plan to build the tiny homes without cutting down any large trees on the property.

"The trees are among one of the most striking parts of this site," said Wyatt. "It also creates a challenge, how to get any density of housing in between them while minimizing impacts to trees."

The ultimate goal is to bring a historic adobe back to life while encouraging green living.

"Our goal is that it will be stabilized, kind of brought up to a usable space again so as people want to come by and see what an adobe was like built in this period, they'll have the opportunity," said Teaford.

As for what's next, organizers plan to submit a development application sometime in mid-May.

The goal, for now, is to raise a million dollars through grants and small donations.