Today, an intriguing new video tour from faircompanies' Kirsten Dirksen in which she returns to small-obsessed Sonoma County, Calif., aka the "Land of Tiny House People."

However, it's not extreme petiteness that makes Stan Leopard's living arrangements so unique. Rather, it's the motivation that the father of two had in parting with his "standard" five-bedroom Mill Valley home and transitioning into a 974-square-foot live/work townhome (plus additional office space) in Sebastopol's Florence Lofts community: he wanted to live right next to to his ex-wife.

More specifically, Leopard wanted to eliminate his near-daily, two-hour round-trip drive into San Francisco for work while, most importantly, doing away with the weekly joint-custody commute experienced by his two children as they were shuffled between two different households in different towns. And so, he did something that many divorced couples would never dream of doing. He purchased a home directly next to his ex and cut a hole through a shared wall in the bathroom connecting the two units. As a result, the kids can travel from mom's house to dad's house without having to step foot outside.

And as for his daily work commute, Leopard now  saunters downstairs to his 593-square-foot home office instead of embarking on a carbon-intensive drive into the city. In fact, Leopard rarely finds the need to leave the Florence Lofts and make the five-minute walk to downtown Sebastopol as the mixed-use community also includes an organic coffee shop/eatery and a yoga studio. Ah, sweet, low-carbon convenience.

It's also worth pointing out that the LEED Gold-certified community also apparently boasts the largest gray water bio-remediation system in the country.

More on how Peter Leopard made downsizing work for himself — and his children — over at faircompanies.

Similar on MNN: Kids build the darndest things: Austin Hay's tiny house

Video screenshot: faircompanies/YouTube

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Dad cuts commute, joint-custody shuffle with downsized digs [Video]
A California man buys a live/work townhome next to his ex-wife and cuts a hole through the wall to ease his family's carbon-intensive joint custody situation.