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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.

This work is connected to the Infill Roadmap 2018, which highlights the potential to create opportunities for tiny homes.

Proposed Changes

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. 

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

Project Stage

Project Stage: Proposed AmendmentThis project is currently at the proposed amendment stage. 

The proposed amendments are scheduled to go to the Monday December 9, 2019, City Council Public Hearing meeting for consideration. 

Public Engagement 

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 proposed bylaw amendment is currently in circulation 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. 

To sign-up for project updates and to be added to the stakeholder list for this project, please email: katherine.pihooja@edmonton.ca

Project Background

Currently, Edmonton’s Zoning Bylaw does not address tiny homes specifically. 

Tiny homes constructed on-site on permanent foundations fall under the category of Single Detached Housing or Garden Suites. Tiny homes constructed off-site and then assembled or placed on-site, such as smaller manufactured homes and tiny homes on wheels, meet the definition for Mobile Homes.

Under current zoning regulations, there are limitations for where mobile homes can locate in Edmonton. A mobile home must 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.

Although there may be opportunities to accommodate tiny homes on wheels through zoning changes, the Alberta Building Code does not address buildings constructed off-site outside of a CSA certified factory or buildings constructed on wheels, which tends to be the case for many tiny homes. The building code also requires clarification to address design features commonly associated with tiny homes, such as lower ceiling heights for sleeping lofts, smaller doorway sizes, among others, to ensure safe housing.  

At the September 3, 2019, Urban Planning Committee meeting, City staff presented CR_6599 - Analysis of Tiny Homes (please refer to item 6.2 in the September 3, 2019, meeting minutes). 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. Due to not having confidence that building permits could be issued for tiny homes on wheels, City staff recommended to delay changes for tiny homes on wheels until the Province provides direction on how to apply the building code to this form of housing. At the Urban Planning Committee meeting City staff were directed to proceed with preparing amendments to the Zoning Bylaw for tiny homes on foundations. This proposed bylaw amendment is scheduled for the Monday December 9, 2019, City Council Public Hearing meeting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I park a tiny home on wheels in Edmonton?
  • 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.

Where can I build a tiny home on a foundation in Edmonton?
  • Small manufactured homes (tiny homes) that are placed on a foundation are considered Mobile Homes in the Zoning Bylaw. Currently, Mobile Homes are allowed in the Mobile Home (RMH) zone and can be developed in some residential areas outside of the RMH zone if they are at least 5.5 metres wide and placed on a permanent foundation.
  • If the tiny home is to be constructed on-site and is the primary or only dwelling on a site, it would be considered a Single Detached House and would need to be located in a Zone that allows for this land use and meet the regulations that apply to single detached housing.
  • If the tiny home is to be constructed on a site that already has a house, it could be developed as a Garden Suite and would need to be located in a Zone that allows for this land use and meet the zoning regulations and special land use provisions that apply to garden suites. 
  • Whether developed as a single detached house or a garden suite, tiny homes must meet the Alberta Building Code. Mobile homes also have to meet the Alberta Building Code and applicable CSA requirements (CSA A277 certification of the off-site facility the manufactured home is built, and CSA Z240.10.1 'Site Preparation, Foundation, and Installation of Buildings’).
  • There are challenges with obtaining building permits for tiny homes at this time, as some design features associated with tiny homes do not meet minimum building and safety code standards.
Do I need a permit to move a tiny home in Edmonton?

A moving permit is required for oversized loads with dimensions exceeding: 

  • 2.6 metres wide
  • 4 metres tall
  • 23 metres long

For more information, please contact Traffic Operations at: 780-442-5458.
Traffic Operations can also provide information on services that may be needed to facilitate the move, including the raising of power lines or other overhead utilities, temporary parking bans, and route planning for safe transportation and to avoid areas under construction.

For More Information

Katherine Pihooja

Title Planner, Zoning Bylaw
Telephone

780-442-1799

Email katherine.pihooja@edmonton.ca

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