The Online Community for Tiny Living and the Tiny House Summit
This is an email that I received from the State of Oregon Building Dept:
Thank you for your response. The Division is in the process of concluding its investigation regarding Small Home Oregon LLC (Small Home) and the “tiny home” industry.” Ms. Simmons is in possession of your file and requires some additional information before wrapping things up. You previously indicated that Small Home designs “small homes, tiny homes on wheels, and garden cottages” and sells those designs to individuals. The Division needs the names and contact information (including addresses) of the individuals to whom Small Homes has sold “tiny home” designs. By “tiny home” I mean the Division’s definition of “tiny home” which I provided in a previous e-mail and includes “any structure under 300 square feet that is designed or intended for use as a residential structure and that provides living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation. This definition includes, but is not limited to, structures that are designed to travel or be pulled by a motor vehicle on roads and highways.”
Please provide this information at your earliest opportunity, in any event within the next two weeks. The Division is hopeful that we can conclude this investigation through the informal exchange of information. You may contact myself or Ms. Simmons as needed. Thank you and have a good day.
Contested Case Representative
Building Codes Division
... end of email....
I was subsequently sent a registered letter with a subpoena requiring me to send them all my files including plans, contracts, client lists and contact information including location of their tiny homes. My attorney said it would cost more to fight than it was worth so I sent a letter to my clients warning them about this demand by the state and then sent the state all the information they demanded.
Watch out! The heavy hand of the State Building Dept. on it's way and they aren't interested in respecting your rights.
Walt Quade smallhomeoregon.com 503-201-6635 firstname.lastname@example.org
This is important for people to understand and beware of, WAlt, thank you for sharing on our site. Hopefully peole will be able to navigate appropriately if they come up against this issue within their own small business ventures.
Wow, this feels like such a violation... I guess I don't know the backstory, but the appearance from this correspondence is that just purchasing designs for a tiny house allows them to demand those names and information? I'm flabbergasted.
I told them on three occasions that I thought their requests were unreasonable.
Everyone I contacted thought their requests were unreasonable but when you are looking at the state with unlimited legal services, you lose.
They wouldn't even till me what they were going to do with the files.
This certainly doesn't qualify as transparency in government... :(