Tiny house festival set for June 7-9 at Cider Mill

Submitted Photo

The Jobe family of Gardner decided to downsize from an 8,000-square-foot house, so they turned a school bus into a rolling home named Dorothy. “She brings a sense of old time presence when the world was a simpler place,” Jonathan Jobe said. Dorothy will be open for tours during TinyFest Midwest, June 7-9, at the Louisburg Cider Mill.

LOUISBURG — Folks looking to downsize can learn more about tiny house living at TinyFest Midwest: Tiny House and Simple Living Festival this weekend, June 7-9, at the Louisburg Cider Mill.

The event begins with a Tiny House Symposium from 1 to 4 p.m. June 7, at the Cider Mill, which is located at 14730 Kansas Highway 68, about three miles west of Louisburg. The symposium is designed for city and county officials involved in residential planning and building code regulation, event organizer Renee McLaughlin said in a news release.

Speakers will focus on how communities wanting to embrace tiny living can do so by revisiting their land use, zoning, building codes and similar regulations, according to the release.

The symposium will be facilitated by Will Johnston, director of Atlanta-based organization MicroLife Institute. Officials from communities in Kansas and Missouri are set to attend, according to the release. Following the symposium, they will tour tiny houses set up for TinyFest Midwest, which starts that evening, she said.

On Saturday and Sunday, June 8-9, TinyFest Midwest will feature tiny houses, speakers and builders from across the U.S. as well as presentations and workshops, according to the release.

McLaughlin said topics about living tiny include sustainability, minimalism, creativity, healthy living and natural living.

The festival also will include music performances throughout the weekend and TinyFest Marketplace vendors, according to the release.

The festival offers an opportunity for people to tour tiny homes in a variety of sizes and styles, and to talk with builders, “DIYers” and those experiencing tiny house living.

“... learn how to minimize your clutter, your debt, your carbon footprint and maximize your life,” McLaughlin said.

County Planner Kenneth Cook said the standard minimum for a single family dwelling is 950 square feet in areas of the county zoned for Rural Residential (R-1), Countryside and Agricultural District.

“That’s not really that tiny,” Cook said.

Cook said he and Planning Director Teresa Reeves intend to be at TinyFest Midwest to learn more about the tiny house industry. TinyFest’s other festivals in 2019 are not as accessible in Oregon and the Los Angeles area.

“With (TinyFest Midwest) being right here in our county and easy to get to, we thought this was a good opportunity for both of us to attend,” Cook said.

He said the planning and zoning department has fielded inquiries from people interested in building tiny homes in the county.

“Our regulations don’t really allow for tiny homes now, but it might be something we take a look at in the future,” Cook said.

For more information about TinyFest Midwest and ticket prices, go to www.tinyfestmidwest.com.

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or doug.carder@miconews.com.

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