STEILACOOM, Wash. – Peter and Shannon Johnson wanted to live in a 200 square-foot home to save money. They didn’t know they’d be breaking the law.
The Johnsons, and their 17-month-old son Hart, have been living in their homemade home since 2015.
They’ve enjoyed saving money, by sharing a piece of property with Peter’s sister. He said it’s also forced the family to spend more quality time together in and outside of the home.
But Tuesday the Johnsons found out they may have to move out by the end of the year.
“We’re pretty sad about the idea,” said Peter.
The Pierce County town’s council denied an appeal argued by the Johnsons Tuesday night.
Town Administrator Paul Loveless said Steilacoom’s municipal code prohibits permanent living in RVs, and the town considers the Johnsons' home, which is built on a trailer, an RV.
The Johnsons don’t think the code is that specific, but they’re not sure if they will challenge the decision in court.
They don’t like thinking about moving out of the home.
“This feels completely like home to us,” said Peter. “As much as anyone’s home is to them. It’s going to be a strange day when it’s not.”