Tiny homes popular but not yet legal in most of Greater Victoria

Tiny House Showcase set for Aug. 27 in North Saanich

(Tiny House Community BC/Facebook)

Tim Collins

News staff

An event organized by the recently-formed Affordable Housing Alternatives advocacy group hopes to educate people about the benefits of tiny houses.

This despite the fact that, should you choose to build a tiny home of your own, you may find it difficult to find anywhere to park it. Zoning regulations prohibit this sort of structure from occupying land within any of the Saanich Peninsula communities, or for that matter, anywhere in Greater Victoria.

But the tiny house movement began more than a decade ago and it appears this particular approach to minimalist living isn’t destined to go away any time soon.

Karen Kehler, one of the groups founders and spokesperson, said the group plans to actively promote the concept of the tiny living spaces to politicians on the peninsula and beyond.

“As far as we know there’s currently no municipality that would allow a tiny home on wheels to be situated anywhere in the Greater Victoria area. They just aren’t accepted or understood,” said Kehler.

She explained that the attraction of a tiny home is first and foremost the cost.

“If you build it yourself, depending on the size and how fancy you want it, you could have one for as little as $30,000. Of course there are some bigger ones that, if you had a professional builder build it for you could run up to $100,000,” she said Kehler.

The homes being advocated by Kehler’s group are typically built on trailer frames ranging in length from 16 to 30 feet. The width of the dwellings is generally about 9 feet.

“The one I have is 320 square feet with another 100 square feet in a loft area,” said Kehler.

That home, which is currently under construction will be on display at the Tiny House Showcase being sponsored by Affordable Housing Alternatives on Sunday, August 27 from 1 pm to 4 pm at 9800 McDonald Park Road in North Saanich. The display will also include a completed home.

Kehler admits that she may have jumped the gun a bit in getting her tiny home built considering the current bylaw situation but insists that she will find a place to put the home when the time comes.

“I realize these homes aren’t for everyone, and I hope the by-laws change. It’s what we’re working for with our group. I’ve been a law-abiding person my whole life and I don’t want to have to hide just because of my choice of home.”

Saanich Councillor, Fred Haynes is sympathetic to Kehler’s concerns and said that municipalities need to be more creative and nimble in their approach if they are to respond to the crisis of housing affecting many communities.

“I’m one hundred per cent in support of the tiny home movement. In fact I believe those who say that decreasing the size of your house can increase the size of your life.

“Maybe we should be calling this the bigger life movement,” said Haynes.

editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Saanich police investigating sexual assault in broad daylight

Social media lit up with accusations incident took place at Regina Park tent city

Swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

Oak Bay man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Opposing views clash over removal of Royal Oak Golf Course from ALR

Golf course not ideal for farming, says report

Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Puppy yoga, horses, cars, water guns and more make up this weekend’s list of events to see

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Vancouver Whitecaps give up late goal in 2-2 draw with New York Red Bulls

Four of Vancouver’s next five games are at home

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

Most Read