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Tiny homes on fixed foundations could soon be coming to Boulder.

City Council on Tuesday on first reading approved updates to local rules that will incorporate the 2018 International Residential Code into the city, with amendments the Planning Board requested to exempt tiny homes from meeting all Boulder “livability standards.” Those standards are rules for the specifications of affordable housing units in the city, such as square footage, kitchen design and closet and storage areas.

It is the first International Residential Code edition to provide guidelines for tiny homes, according to a city memo.

The provisions in (the tiny home codes) are less restrictive than provisions for other single-family homes regulated by the IRC, according to a staff memo.

City staff has found that tiny homes, which could range from less than 300 to 475 square feet, with those under 300 considered “micro-units,” and those between 301 and 475 square feet considered efficiency units, would not conflict with the livability standards.

“Tiny homes could meet the standards in these categories as easily as any apartment or condo of a similar size,” the memo stated.

Tiny homes have gained popularity in pockets of Colorado and the U.S. as an affordable housing option.

The Planning Board also requested that tiny homes on fixed foundations be required to be served by fixed utilities.

The item is set to come back for Council discussion on Dec. 17.

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