Support grows for tiny homes in Champlain Township

by Christopher Smith - EAP
Support grows for tiny homes in Champlain Township
The average size of a tiny home is 225 square feet, eight times smaller than the average home. This makes them very suitable for single person or a couple’s dwellings, especially in places where space is at a premium. (Photo : Pexel)

According to the results of the public consultation, the residents of Champlain Township support the inclusion of tiny homes in the neighborhood.

During the regular meeting on September 28, Champlain Township council reviewed the results of a public consultation conducted on tiny homes. The consultation was launched on July 25 of this year and was meant to gather community input and share information about tiny homes. The survey and webpage were online for five weeks, during which time the township office received 148 survey responses in English and 85 survey responses in French.

The survey responses were generally favourable to the development of tiny homes in the township, with residents expressing the desire for allowing tiny homes as infill developments within existing neighborhoods. Tiny homes count as second dwelling units which can be installed on existing low-density residential properties. Amendments have been proposed which would allow for multiple tiny homes to be constructed on a property within a low-density residential area, which would allow council to retain oversight in the approval of tiny home communities, or “pocket neighborhoods”.

There was some hesitancy among residents who currently own properties that could accommodate tiny homes, indicating that they don’t yet need them for themselves and that they want to maintain their privacy. Despite this, surveys indicate that these reluctant homeowners do want to keep the right to develop a tiny home in the future, in case their family needs one.

“I think what the staff report hints at is that the zoning in place is pretty permissible in terms of tiny homes,” said Jennifer Laforest of the Planning Department. “There’s nothing that would prevent somebody who wanted to install tiny homes from applying and receiving approval because the policies are very supportive of adding residential infill in these areas. I think the challenge is that landowners with the capacity to infill are hesitant to do so because they want to maintain their privacy and their development opportunity for their own family. If council wanted to see these types of developments occur, it might have to request additional information in terms of grant funding, public awareness, and marketing. Trying to get more people interested in building tiny homes on their own property would be the biggest obstacle.”

No decision was required, and the report was filed for information purposes.

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