At the March 10th, 2016 Council meeting, Council moved that the matter of the Town of Yarmouth incorporating tiny homes regulations through the Land Use By-Law and Planning Strategy be referred to the Planning Advisory Committee.
Tiny houses are single-family homes with a ground floor area of less than 700 sq ft. They can be built and placed independently and may also be found in a community setting with shared communal spaces. A tiny homes community is a number of single-dwellings grouped on a property with shared facilities such as laundry, kitchen, garden, storage and social space.
Tiny homes are being credited with solving a number of social problems;
- Tiny houses are an affordable, safe and secure housing option for communities of low income.
- Tiny houses offer affordable, easy to maintain and communal lifestyles for seniors.
- Tiny houses are being called eco-homes as they incorporate many sustainable features and are built within the existing landscape to reduce their impact on the local environment.
As Tiny homes are often owned and not rented, local governments that welcome these homes have found that the properties and buildings are often better maintained then rental units and more affordable.
Tiny homes and communities are a relatively new type of development. There is a new trend in which society is moving away from “bigger is better” attitude and choosing to downsize. There is also a new focus and importance being placed on sustainability and the impact of our lifestyles on the local environment and landscape. As this movement is just beginning, Municipal Planning Policies and Building Code Regulations are struggling to keep up and adapt with the change building styles and design. As the Town of Yarmouth is currently performing a review of the Municipal Planning Strategy there is unique opportunity and advantage to implement progress policy that supports and encourages tiny homes and communities to develop in the Town. As the Town would be the first Municipality in Nova Scotia to adopt such policy, the Town could become a place of great interest for Tiny home enthusiasts.
To learn more check out the Tiny Houses and Communities pdf report (1.93 MB) submitted to Council by the Planning Department.