I had been talking to Loyalist Township about tiny home communities and felt there was interest. An opportunity came up to purchase a property I felt could make a good community, and as many people at the TinyHome.Show asked how they could start a community on land they owned, this seemed like an ideal test project.
I purchased the property, and we submitted this community design proposal. The property is 27-acres, zoned for a single-family dwelling, has no municipal water or sewage service, and backs onto other rural 2-acre residential properties, as well as woodland. Here is the township’s response:
Thanks for the additional information.
I can confirm that this will be a very complex project to undertake. Several planning applications will be required, including a Zoning By-law Amendment, Official Plan Amendment, Site Plan Control Application and Condo application. Given that the property is in the rural designation also complicates matters as the Township’s Official Plan states that the Township envisages that the rural settlement pattern will contain very limited residential development. The Official Plan also speaks to development being focussed to the urban settlement areas, where municipal services are available. The County of Lennox and Addington Official Plan also speaks to providing for limited residential development in the rural designation while focusing the growth to urban areas and rural settlement areas.
The community centre also has uses that are primarily directed to the Township’s hamlets or urban settlement areas. The development is also all proposed directly behind existing low density residential homes.
Communal systems are also quite complicated and there are currently none within the Township. These have to be approved by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks and I believe the municipality has to enter into a municipal responsibility agreement that requires them to take responsibility for failed communal systems. In addition, the entire township is on a highly vulnerable aquifer.
Aside from the issues above, the plan you provided does not contain all the details we would need to understand the proposal (i.e. is the internal road a municipal road or a condo road etc). The plan also did not consider the property itself. For example, there appears to be a natural feature (watercourse) running across the property.
Based on our policy framework and what is being proposed, this proposal will be difficult to support in this location from a staff perspective. My recommendation would be to consult with a planner and engineer familiar with rural development and communal systems and also have the planner review our Official Plan in regards to the limiting rural residential development policies. We would need a full concept brought forward to us to provide any further comments on how the condominium would also truly be set up in addition to addressing the other items above. The concept plan would also have to take into account the actual property being looked at as well.
If you have any further questions at this time, feel free to reach out to me.
I appreciate the detailed response, and how they pointed out the potential challenges along with steps to address them. This is not a small, tiny home development, so if you are thinking of a few tiny homes on your property, you may face similar challenges, just easier to overcome. The communal waste and water services of a larger development will be one of the biggest challenges, as there are not many across Ontario, or Canada. This affordable housing development will be complex to bring together, which just means it will take longer, involve more people, and cost more than our other developments.
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