Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Check Out This New Foray into the Tiny Home Movement
Can’t you imagine yourself in one of these adorable homes?
Monday, April 1, 2019


It looks as if someone might have the answer to Ketchum’s affordable housing problem after decades of debate.

Inspired by the burgeoning interest in tiny homes and homes made out of shipping containers, one developer believes the answer might lie in dumpster dwellings. As proof, he rolled out 10 Clear Creek Residences overnight.

Those who draw back their curtains today may just find one of these attractive dwellings outside their door. Or, you can take a tour of homes.

This view offers a good look at the mailbox.

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” commented Nile Barisorry, the out-of-the-box thinker of Dump-Stir-It-Up Enterprises.

The small modular employee units—basically, refurbished dumpsters--come in various sizes: Two-yard, four-yard, six-yard and eight-yard. They hardly look like cookie cutter homes.

They can be built on the premises and can be embellished with flower boxes, which should keep Sue Bridgman, Atkinsons’ Markets and other florists busy filling. Mailboxes can be attached and Xeriscape-friendly Astroturf can be set underneath, providing a green touch even in winter.

Some of the homes even have fireplaces, as evidenced by the smoke coming out of their chimneys.

This shows what a Live/Park community might look like for areas like the Wood River YMCA parking lot.

Many of the roofs slant enough that it’s likely snow will slide off them. If not, it should be easy enough to pay the 10-year-old ten bucks to shovel without having to shell out a thousand bucks for a crew of mountain goats that aren’t afraid of clambering around roofs many more feet off the ground.

Best of all, the units are mobile giving them ultimate flexibility. Conceivably, a homeowner could even put one on a trailer, taking home with them on road trips or vacations, making them an enticing, economically viable alternative to staying in a hotel.

Second homeowners would no longer have to pack up each time they move from Sun Valley to their second home.

The units may just tap into the zeitgeist of millennial home buying and lifestyle preferences, which show an increasing demand for simplicity, flexibility and downsizing.

It’s not inconceivable that the roofs would offer prime spots to install solar panels.

“I have to say that at first I was a bit skeptical,” said a young man in his 20s who was given an opportunity to test pilot one of the homes while they were in the manufacturing process.

“But now I love it. Zero rent and a 10-second commute to work frees up money and time. I even sold my car so now my only monthly expenditures are food, beer and skiing. The ski bum lifestyle is back, thanks to this new Live/Work program.”

A Ketchum employer said he would be willing to spring for a few of the retrofitted homes to retain his employees.

“What with Airbnb and people moving to town who already have jobs that allow them to work remotely, there just isn’t the rental inventory of affordable housing that we need to support Ketchum’s retail establishments,” he said. “Given that these cost only $3 a month to rent, this is the most affordable solution I’ve seen so far.”

Business owners could take a lesson from these adorable homes, disguising their more plain Jane dumpsters in order to attract tourists to their place of business, much like the Tour of Labs did a decade ago.

 “It feels as if we are on the cusp of a significant and defining moment in our valley’s history,” said another.

Assuredly, there are questions surrounding something like this that pushes the boundaries of local and state laws, just as Uber, Airbnb and other startups in the sharing economy did. The ground-breaking housing model is sure to test the limits of building codes.

But Barisorry hopes city officials will see value in the units, which range from economy-sized personal pods to the deluxe 25-square-foot spacious double wide with porta-potty.

As a show of good faith, he’s even come up with blueprints for a Live/Park model inspired by the recent debate over whether to build affordable housing on the Wood River YMCA parking lot. His blueprint: small dwellings with a minimum of three to four parking spaces per unit, allowing for one resident parking spot and two to three spots for city parking.

Sun Valley-area residents are encouraged to visit Clear Creek Residences on the Tour of Homes today. It wasn’t known at press time which Realtors, if any, will be on hand to show them.

But prospective home buyers are invited to take a personal tour at The Elephant’s Perch, Grumpy’s, Sturtevants, Starbucks, Warfield, Johnny G’s Sub Shack, Rickshaw Restaurant, the Board Bin, The Casino and Java—all in Ketchum.


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