RM of McKillop considers tiny home development

February 4th, 2022

The RM of Mckillop is already making plans to allow for small homes. They have been working on developing a completely new zoning district - LS3. The new LS3 district would be specifically for small homes on smaller lots, increasing density to spur economic development. The RM doesn’t have any other high-density zoning provisions. This would be a first.

The RM currently has a 500 square feet minimum in their LS2 designation. When discussed at the January Planning and Development committee meeting, terminology came up. Chair Mark Strong said, “I hate the name tiny homes,” Reeve Bob Schmidt said he also didn’t want them called tiny homes, saying they are affordable housing referring to recent interest rate increases. Strong said, “I couldn’t live in anything less than 500 square feet” others agreed. Schmidt added, “Same here, but there are people that can.”

Strong questioned why the RM was developing a new zoning district without a development application. Schmidt said two developers who owned ag land were waiting to see what the RM would do before moving ahead.

Councillor Luke Wild asked how small homes would affect tax revenue when small homeowners use the roads, garbage, and sewage as much as a typical home. Acting CAO Camille Box explained that all properties pay a minimum tax, and garbage fees are collected in addition to the tax. She further explained that SAMA is in charge of assessment, and the RM only controls the mill rate and mill rate factors which have to be applied the same across the board. Increasing density would make up for the lost revenue.

The administration is gathering more information to return to the next committee meeting as they work through the process.

Jennifer Argue, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Last Mountain Times