Local group wants tiny homes

Many tiny homes not allowed under current bylaws

(Tiny House Community BC/Facebook)

With the rising cost of housing, the ‘tiny house’ movement has gained momentum as a potential solution.

Denise Clowater, a member of Affordable Housing Alternatives, presented to Central Saanich council to spread the word.

Clowater said the purpose was to inform the general public about the variety of housing options available.

“We’re trying to find more open-minded options for the 21st century and the reality we’re living in,” said Clowater.

Tiny homes, as defined by the International Code Council, is a maximum of 400 square feet, can exist on a trailer or on a foundation, and are built in a similar method to larger homes. Unlike recreational vehicles or trailers, they are not built from plastics or vinyl.

Affordable Housing Alternatives believes that tiny homes are an affordable way to free up the rental pool since residents are meant to own them.

“I think we need to do some more research, do some more consideration, but there’s a general curiosity about it,” said Councillor Alicia Holman.

While Victoria has made it easier to build garden suites by standardizing the application process and reducing the fee to $200, Holman cautioned that the Official Community Plan of Victoria is different from that of Central Saanich, which necessitates a different solution. In particular, about 60 per cent of Central Saanich is in the Agricultural Land Reserve, and its Official Community Plan encourages development in the villages of Saanichton, Brentwood Bay, and the Keating Business District to limit urban sprawl.

Tiny homes, particularly ones on wheels, are not welcome in many municipalities as they do not meet variety of local bylaws. For example, some designs are not connected to local sewer or power services. Affordable Housing Alternatives is going to each municipality to ask for bylaw updates that consider smaller homes.

Clowater also said that the tiny homes could fit in a rural context, for example, if the residents want to do farm work. This fits into an existing pattern where tiny home residents have agreements with existing property owners and communicate openly.

“We’re all working really hard and being in a larger home sitting by ourselves watching Netflix. We’ve taken away the humanity of togetherness and community.”

Clowater is happy that Affordable Housing Alternatives was invited to be consulted in an upcoming Densification and Infill Study, which Councillor Carl Jensen said council is hoping to get to next year. However, Jensen said by email that timeline “will depend on any other priorities that Council puts in front of [district] staff.”

Just Posted

Maritime Museum makes bid to move back into Bastion Square

The museum pitched significant renovations to make its long-time home more accommodating

Six-storey, 102-unit residential complex proposed for main Esquimalt intersection

Praxis Architects Inc. wants to see the development at Lampson Road and Esquimalt Street

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

Grumpy Taxpayer$ invite the public to its 2019 annual general meeting

CRD chair Colin Plant serves as guest speaker at Nov. 27 meeting

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

B.C.’s largest catholic archdiocese names 9 clergymen in sex abuse report; probes ongoing

Vancouver Archdioces presides over 443,000 parishoners in B.C.

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

Eagles congregate around Salish Sea for one last feast before period of famine

Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society preparing to receive birds in need of care

Smudging in B.C. classroom did not affect Christian family’s faith, says school district lawyer

Lawyers make closing arguments in a Port Alberni case about the Indigenous cultural practice

Canadian Forces member charged with possessing magic mushrooms in Comox

Master Cpl. Joshua Alexander, with the 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron, facing two drug related charges

Most B.C. residents, including those hit by 2018 storms, not prepared for outages: report

Create an emergency kit, BC Hydro says, and report all outages or downed lines

Most Read