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.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Greens introduce all-women slate for Victoria, Saanich and Oak Bay ridings

School trustee Nicole Duncan assumes Oak Bay-Gordon Head candidacy

No ‘harmonious solution’ dogs on beaches in Saanich, community-led study finds

Cadboro Bay Residents’ Association present findings to council Sept. 28

Worklink march in Langford supports Orange Shirt Day

Ahousaht Prayer Song sets the tone

Wetland property next to Saanich home donated for parkland through will

Brian Patriquin gained a love of nature and the environment spending time at Cedar Hill property

VicPD explains why calls for service can’t be compared to years before 2019

Department launches Open VicPD, new platform in aim to be transparent

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Most Read