If a tiny home on wheels is built as a recreational vehicle and is parked on private property, you need to follow the regulations in Section 45 in the Zoning Bylaw for large recreational vehicles. These requirements have restrictions for parking RV’s in yards that are next to a public roadway other than a lane. If parking an RV on the street, you need to follow the rules outlined in the Traffic Bylaw 5590. In both cases, a recreational vehicle cannot be used as a dwelling in Edmonton.
Due to not being recognized by provincial and national building codes, tiny homes on wheels are currently not permitted to be used as residential homes.
On Tuesday September 3, 2019, Urban Planning Committee (Item 6.2) passed the following motion:
That Administration prepare amendments to Zoning Bylaw 12800, as outlined in Attachment 3 of the September 3, 2019, Urban Form and Corporate Strategic Development report CR_6599, and return to a future City Council Public Hearing.
These changes are part of fulfilling Infill Roadmap 2018 Action 3 - investigate opportunities for tiny homes and find multiple ways to accommodate them. The intent is to ensure safe and habitable homes that fit into the surrounding community, while still accommodating the unique designs of tiny homes.
Based on research and feedback from stakeholders, City staff identified changes that could be made to Zoning Bylaw 12800 to accommodate tiny homes built or placed on a foundation.
On Monday December 9, 2019 (Item 3.10), City Council approved Zoning Bylaw changes to further enable the development of tiny homes on foundations across Edmonton. The changes come into effect immediately.
The changes enable tiny homes manufactured off-site to be developed as garden suites or single detached housing across the city as long as they are affixed to the land on a foundation. The new rules also increase opportunities for ‘missing middle’ housing by allowing tiny home cluster developments in the RF5 Row Housing Zone.
Highlights of the proposed changes include:
- Removing the 5.5 metre minimum building width requirement to allow smaller manufactured homes to be located in residential zones outside of the Mobile Home (RMH) Zone.
- Introducing performance standards to require undercarriage screening of movable homes (through skirting or a foundation). This change would supplement existing standards that ensure exterior materials used are of equal or better quality than surrounding development.
- Revising the definition for Mobile Homes in the bylaw to allow tiny home garden suites and tiny home cluster housing developments.
- Introducing a definition for recreational vehicles to ensure they are not used as living spaces.
For tiny homes on wheels:
- The wheels and axles must be removed and the home place on a permanent foundation.
- The towing hitch/apparatus must be concealed so it appears part of the overall design of the building.
Read the Tiny Home Information Sheet to learn more about Tiny Homes.
Public engagement for this project has involved:
- An Insight Survey on tiny homes was undertaken as part of the October 30, 2018, Urban Form and Corporate Strategic Development report CR_5113 - Zoning Bylaw Amendment - Garden Suites.
- A working draft of September 3, 2019 Urban Planning Committee report CR_6599 - Analysis of Tiny Homes was circulated for a four week period (from May 29th to June 25th) to the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues’ Planning Committee, each individual Community League, Canadian Homebuilders’ Association - Edmonton Region, Infill Development in Edmonton Association (IDEA), YEG Garden Suites, and individuals who expressed interest in being informed about garden suites and tiny homes.
- A draft version of the bylaw amendment and Public Hearing report CR_7707 - Charter Bylaw 19087 - Text Amendments to Zoning Bylaw was circulated for a four week period (from September 10th to October 8th) to the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues’ Planning Committee, each individual Community League, Canadian Homebuilders’ Association - Edmonton Region, Infill Development in Edmonton Association (IDEA), YEG Garden Suites, and individuals who expressed interest in being informed about garden suites and tiny homes.
Prior to the changes, Edmonton’s Zoning Bylaw did not specifically address tiny homes manufactured off-site.
Tiny homes constructed on-site on permanent foundations fall under the category of Single Detached Housing or Garden Suites. Tiny homes manufactured off-site and then assembled or placed on-site, such as smaller manufactured homes and tiny homes on wheels, met the definition for Mobile Homes.
Under previous zoning regulations, there were limitations for where mobile homes could be located in Edmonton. A mobile home had to be at least 5.5 metres wide and built on a permanent foundation for it to be located outside of a mobile home park or subdivision.
At the September 3, 2019, Urban Planning Committee meeting, City staff presented CR_6599 - Analysis of Tiny Homes (please refer to item 6.2). This report provided an overview of the tiny home industry, the current zoning and building code framework for tiny homes, and a mark-up of proposed changes for tiny homes on foundations and tiny homes on wheels.
At that meeting, Committee directed City Administration to prepare Zoning Bylaw amendments to allow tiny homes on foundations to be developed as single detached housing and garden suites and advance the amendments to a future City Council Public Hearing for a decision. These changes were approved by City Council on December 9, 2019 (item 3.10) and come into effect immediately.
The Alberta Building Code currently does not address homes constructed on wheels, which tends to be the case for many tiny homes. As a result, City Administration recommended to delay zoning changes to allow tiny homes on wheels until the Province provides direction on how to apply the building code to this form of housing.