Tiny homes ecovillage in Okotoks unlikely after Monday council vote

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WATCH ABOVE: A proposed tiny home village will likely not become a reality after an Okotoks town council meeting on Monday night – Aug 20, 2019

The Town of Okotoks won’t be holding a plebiscite on the future of a proposed village of eco-friendly tiny homes.

On Monday, council members voted in favour of a motion stating they wouldn’t issue a plebiscite after accepting a petition with over 3,000 signatures from residents opposed to the development.

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The so-called Homestead Project would have seen 42 tiny homes and a community centre built at a cost of $4.26 million to taxpayers. Each home would have been less than 600 square feet.

“While it is disappointing that council must consider not proceeding with this project, we respect the democratic process and the results of the petition,” said Mayor Bill Robertson said in a Tuesday news release. “Council will honour the requests contained within the petition.

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LISTEN: Ryan Nix of the Okotoks Ratepayers Group joins Danielle Smith to discuss his group’s petition to stop the tiny home ecovillage

“People were against the economics of it,” Okotoks Councillor Tanya Thorn told Global News. “It didn’t make economic sense.”

“There’s certainly a demand for affordable housing in our community, and I think people that were signing that petition want to see affordable housing,” Thorn added.

“I think what the message was that came out of this petition is they were telling us this wasn’t the best use of their dollars to create affordable housing.”

Some new affordable housing units are still going to be built in Okotoks.

“We just approved a project earlier in the year for 60 units,” Thorn said.

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“This [tiny homes] project not going forward will leave some money that was earmarked in our budget for affordable housing – $2.5 million, I think – will be left in the affordable housing line item on our budget, so I think council will regroup here … And look at what other options are available to us.

Thorn said she thinks tiny homes do have a place in the community, but there is a “better way to do it.”

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