WARRENTON — Lisa and Vernon Lamping are planning a tiny home motel along Harbor Drive.
Tiny Tel would include seven tiny homes on raised foundations surrounding a communal fire pit on a lot the Lampings own near the southeast corner of Harbor Drive and King Avenue.
“It would be like a miniresort,” Lisa Lamping said.
The units, being made by Tiny Smart House in Albany, are 12 by 28 feet and include sleeping lofts, living rooms, kitchens and bathrooms. Four will include jacuzzis. One will be especially designed for disabled accessibility. Some will be pet-friendly. The units will be delivered early next year.
The couple had been trying to build townhouses on the lot, within a flood zone, but the idea didn’t pan out, Lisa Lamping said. They were introduced to Nathan Light Watson, owner of Tiny Smart House, by Kevin Cronin, Warrenton’s community development director.
Most of his work is residential and recreational in nature, Watson said, but tiny house hotels are popping up all over. He has worked on Tiny Tranquility, a tiny home and vintage RV park in Waldport, and The Hiatus tiny house neighborhood in Bend.
“I think it’s something Warrenton needs,” Watson said. “They don’t have anything but Shilo (Inn) for renters and the (Fort Stevens) State Park, which is always full.”
The Lampings’ project won’t add long-term rentals to the area’s mix of housing. But Watson has advocated for tiny homes as part of the solution to the region’s housing crunch.
Cronin has been trying to introduce policies that expand the mix of housing in Warrenton. “I think it’s a brilliant concept,” he said.
He noted a similar development called Sheltered Nook in Bay City, with six tiny homes arrayed around a central fire pit.
“You’re serving an untapped market,” Cronin said.
The Lampings recently closed down their company, Airport Crab Pot Co., and were looking for investments to help with their retirement. Tiny residential homes didn’t appeal to her, Lisa Lamping said, but the area’s higher-than-average occupancy rates presented an opportunity. Lisa Lamping is also involved with Clatsop News, a community news website.
“Our hope is to do this one and then do a partnership with the builder down in Depot Bay, and then three or four more down the coast,” she said.