Proposals for Municipalities

The following are some of the proposals we suggest municipalities look into. They are broken down into individual policies so that each municipality can choose which mix of policies fits best for their community. Not all of these will be applicable to your municipality.

1) Reducing the minimum lot size. Example 1: 2250sqft (30x75sqft). This is enough room for a 20x40 home with 5 ft perimeter walkway, and parking for 2 cars. Example 2: 1200sqft (20x60sqft). This is room for a 9x30 home with 5 ft perimeter, and parking for 1 car.

2) Reducing the minimum building size, or eliminating the minimum building size. Many people living in tiny homes live happily in less than 160sqft. In many countries, apartments can often be under 100sqft. Brand new condos/apartments in major Canadian cities are often offered with less than 500sqft.

3) Allowing for easier subdivision of lots. A property tax incentive could be instituted to encourage subdivision, with the newly subdivided lot's property taxes being more than sufficient to fund the tax incentive. Streamlining the rezoning process, especially in certain neighborhoods, would be beneficial. The absence of affordable building lots in general is a problem for affordable housing.

4) Allowing for smaller homes, tiny homes, carriage homes, container homes, to be added to existing lots.  One suggestion is to only approve them for family members, and to only allow their occupation while the family member/s are living there. A concern is that people will add extra dwellings to their property in order to rent them out. Rentals have the potential to increase real estate prices. Owners cost to hook up the equivalent of rv hookups to the main house's utilities for tiny/container homes. No cost to the city.

5) Increasing the number of dwellings allowed on larger properties. There are many acreages that are only allowed to have 1 or 2 dwellings because of zoning restrictions. Here is an example of how a family was able to create separate living spaces for their family on one lot:
Another option is to look at multiple dwellings on one lot, under a certain combined size (3000 sqft for example), as one dwelling.

6) Allowing for homes without foundations. Homes such as tiny homes and container homes do not fit into most municipal zoning plans. It could be argued that tiny homes and container homes could fit into the category of mobile homes, but it would help to update zoning to include considerations for other build types.