Re: Tiny home story | Letter

Regarding the recent article, “A quest for easier tiny home living,” I’d like to correct and illuminate a couple points.

Our legal business name is Cascadia Homesteads, Inc., and we do not primarily build “sheds,” but small homes or accessory structures as movable temporary buildings. Our versatile list of products includes cabins, tiny homes, cedar saunas, timber greenhouses, etc. This fall we’ll be adding craftsman homes less than 1,500 square feet. Our niche is a modern rustic appeal as a green energy-efficient building. Locally the skidded cabin is the most popular and can be built up to twelve feet wide.

We started this new version of tiny homes in the San Juans in the spring of 2015, but I’ve been building small homes and working for inspiring contractors on Orcas for the past 11 years. I was one of the carpenters building pods for the Stem Project, which was the first fledgling tiny home company of the San Juans back in 2008. The photo used for the web version of the article is one of these pods and is an attractive 120 square-foot mini cabin.

To the main point, speaking of legal dwellings, we run into the real challenge of this entire conversation of affordable housing. Each parcel can have one main dwelling, and then one can apply for an ADU or guest house permit (up to 1,000 square feet); two dwellings total. Tiny homes less than 500 square feet really should be a third category of dwelling, and allow for more density in the rural environment. How can a 1,000 square-foot guest house be affordable for a seasonal worker? But, it can be an affordable two to three bedroom home for a single family.

We need a legal framework to allow for this third dwelling structure on a parcel, and new zoning for ecovillages, tiny home clusters, and rural clusters of every variety. Let’s balance our housing ecosystem for future resiliency and a healthy, strong local economy. It’s critical to find the will. If you’d like to manifest homes and various projects with us, be in touch:, 360-472-0022.

Issa Wild

Orcas Island