WebStamp January 10, 2018

A Tiny House Movement

Before we begin a movement to get land-use bylaws changed in Calgary to accommodate affordable tiny house properties, we need to define what the movement is. In previous WebStamp articles, I talked about the many advantages and the positive impact tiny house communities can have in an urban environment. There are many examples of tiny house living currently in the city, such as apartments, condominiums, and mobile/modular home parks to name a few. The problem with these options is that one cannot be a landowner and either have to rent and/or pay maintenance fees. This Tiny House Movement is about allowing smaller residential lots for affordable homeownership for first-time buyers and low-income families.

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Current restrictive land-use bylaws hinder the development of tiny house living in many ways. Existing minimum lot size regulations are too large for affordable property ownership for many citizens.  The regulation where a property must have a residence with a foundation also prevents many of the smaller trailerable tiny houses from finding a permanent home in the city, especially unbuildable lots.

We began writing about a design concept of developing tiny house communities for urban living. By dividing an average city lot into smaller lots, the price of the property would be anywhere from a quarter to an eight of the price. This could allow someone to purchase a home with property for as little as $60,000. Compared to $120,000+ for a condo, or $320,000 to $450,000 for a house, makes tiny property lots an affordable option for many living in the city.

The city suggests the first thing to do is get community engagement about any project to alter a land-use bylaw for a giving property. WebStamp is taking the same approach to amend land-use regulations to accommodate the creation of innovative tiny house communities, and subdividing current city lots, to permanently alter property bylaws. This would also reduce expenses on the many fees one would have to pay, and the time, to make such radical bylaw change individually. Join the M.A.D. Movement, read our tiny house articles, and give us your input and ideas on how to amend current city bylaws.

We have looked at the many types of tiny homes available, their space requirements for parking and outdoor amenities and came up with minimum lot size measurements. These will be used for the amendment of the land-use bylaws to reflect the needs and lifestyle of today’s citizens and social wellbeing. Be sure to fill out the Tiny House Bylaw Movement Survey to help us convince city council to do the will of the people and allow people to live comfortably without spending the majority of their income on housing.  It is your move to make a difference towards affordable housing.  

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Marinus (René) Verschuren
Marinus (René) Verschuren
Founder of WebStamp
René has been involved in the publishing and printing industry since the 1970s. He has published and distributed a successful 24-page weekly news advertiser with a circulation of 4400 copies. Also for the last 20 years, he has been a printer, plotter, scanner and 3D printer technician and installer. Since High School, he also has worked as a janitor, cabinet maker, building construction, landscaper/designer, computer operator producing microfiche, graphic artist, and webmaster, among many other professions. This qualifies him as a Jack-of-All-Trades with plenty of knowledge in many subjects.
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