Church, City Settle 'Tiny House' Dispute

Church, City Settle 'Tiny House' Dispute Click to Enlarge Photo: KNSI News

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI) - A St. Cloud church and the City of St. Cloud have settled a dispute over the church's use of a 'tiny house' for a homeless person.

St. John's Episcopal Church filed a complaint against the city in federal court in August of 2016, after the city denied a conditional use permit for the 132-square-foot house on wheels next to the church off of Cooper Avenue South.

Attorney Bob Feigh with Gray Plant and Mooty, which is representing the church pro bono, says the city has now approved a conditional use permit after the church agreed to replace the 'tiny house' with a 384-square-foot structure that is compliant with building codes and has a foundation and water and sewer hookups.

"We see this as a win-win-win situation," Feigh said.

"A win for the church, the homeless and the city and community at large."

He says the church has secured $50,000 in financing for the new 384-square-foot house, which will be built with donated labor from St. Cloud Technical & Community College.

Feigh says the church will allow a homeless person to live in the structure as they work on getting back on their feet.

A groundbreaking for the new structure will be held on Tuesday morning.

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis says the city is happy to have reached a settlement that meets with health, public safety and building codes.

He says 'tiny houses' are not allowed in the city.

He says, while some residents have expressed a desire to have one (a tiny house), many others have pushed back strongly against them.

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