The First Tiny House strata in Canada is Officially approved in Okotoks
Here at EcoHome we love Tiny Houses, which is probably why we have a full section devoted to Tiny Houses here!
So, imagine how thrilled we were to hear that one of Canada's first official Tiny Houses full developments recently got official planning approval on May 27 2019 in the Alberta community of Okotoks as part of The Homestead Project.
This large Tiny House village will be equipped with all the usual sustainable home and community requirements; solar panels, personal gardens and a community garden to reduce residents’ environmental footprint. The specially designed energy-efficient Tiny Homes should also reduce water consumption, gas and electrical usage, as the homes are only about 350 to 550 square feet each.
42 Tiny Houses is only phase one of three!
What's even better is that this development of 42 tiny homes is only for phase one, which includes 3.48 acres for community green space in a public/private partnership, for the eventual development of a three phase project covering a total 10 hectare Eco-Village.
At the regular meeting, Council approved the next steps for the Homestead Project, starting with Phase One.
“This is the next step in the long-term vision for these Town-owned lands that further promotes Okotoks as an environmental leader and increases the potential for economic investment in our town,” said Mayor Bill Robertson. “Setting aside 2.8 acres for an ecovillage is an opportunity to work collaboratively with external stakeholders who are funding a significant portion of this innovative project.”
The Town of Okotoks will also collaborate with Realize Communities to host design committees with key stakeholders for the ecovillage development, including the regional sustainable design community, utilities, ecovillage design experts, and post-secondary institutions. During these committees, which are focused design workshops, participants will explore opportunities for innovation in environmental design excellence and fostering social and cultural connectivity.
But aren't there other Tiny Home ecovillages?
Yes, there are other Tiny Home villages being developed, but usually as a private venture and often without much official support - as they risk being seen as "Marginal".
One of the larger and more attractive examples established in 2015 is Bluegrass Meadows Micro Village which is located approximately 10 minutes from downtown Terrace, BC Canada. This tiny home community is located on a property combining forest with meadows, nestled between the Kalum River and the Nisga’a Highway and comprises of 15 tiny homes and cabins and will have 4 more cabins and 12 more sites for tiny homes available soon.
We still feel that the development in Okotoks, being a very large Ecovillage masterplanned by a public/private partnership, moves the whole acceptability of Tiny Houses as an eco-friendly permanent housing option forward in public perception.
Tiny Houses for sale?
Now that this development puts these Tiny Homes on an official footing, it includes 42 affordable-rental units, market-rate rentals, short-term vacation rental units and homes for purchase, scheduled to be built by 2021 - but by all accounts they are already over-subscribed - leading us here at EcoHome to think that many more Tiny House developments could and should be on the horizon for affordable housing across Canada & the USA.
Thanks to Mayor Bill Robertson: “Okotoks has become known as a green community, very environmentally sustainable, and this is one more piece to that puzzle.”