Kamsack seeks developer interested in creating a tiny house community

Town council is waiting until after the end of August to see if a developer will have expressed interest in fostering a tiny house community in Kamsack.

There’s been lots of interest in the idea since it was first floated in June, said Laura Lomenda, administrator. Council is eager to see what comes back with this exploratory opportunity and it may result in proposals from potential developers.

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The tiny-house movement is an architectural and social movement that advocates living simply in small homes. A residential structure under 400 square feet is generally considered a tiny home and the tiny-house movement promotes financial prudence, economically safe, shared community experiences, and a shift in consumerism-driven mindsets.

Last year students at Cote First Nation helped construct a tiny house which upon completion was made available to a community elder.

The Town of Kamsack recently acquired the titles to 14 separate residential lots, located adjacent to each other, through the tax enforcement process. This property was a trailer court until the early 1990s, said information from the Town.

Each of the lots is 15.25 metres wide by 36.56 metres deep and seven of them are on the west side of Poplar Drive and seven on the east side, the information said. Previously, each lot had a services connection pedestal for utilities. The pedestals have been removed however the sewer and water lines are believed to be still on the property. Natural gas lines have been removed back to the main line, running down the alley.

Several lots had piles and grade beams at one time, it said. The grade beams have been removed but the piles are believed to still be in place.

Council believes these properties would be an ideal location to develop a tiny house community, especially one which utilizes energy efficiently or green technology and is seeking interested parties to initiate discussions and potential partnerships, the information said.

Kamsack has homes for sale, but not many in the mid-range cost, Lomenda explained. There seems to be a need for self-contained houses.

The community’s medical and educational facilities are utilizing more and more temporary professionals, who then have a difficult time finding appropriate accommodations, the information said. The RCMP detachment also experiences a large annual turnover in staff and tiny houses may be an option for single members.

“Many of our seniors travel out of country during the winter and a tiny house may be an attraction option, rather than an apartment, during the summer months,” it said. “Our proximity to the provincial park and Madge Lake make Kamsack a perfect location for retired people to spend their summers, however there are limited options, outside of camping at the park.

“We have a need to better serve marginalized groups within our community” and a tiny house community might be a solution, it said.

The Town does not have any experience in housing development nor does it have a pre-conceived idea about what the partnership or end results would look like and would need to depend heavily on the knowledge and experience of a developer to ensure the success of the project, it said.

A development of tiny houses similar to what is being envisioned in Kamsack is in Edmonton, Lomenda said, adding that because tiny houses don’t meet current building codes, council will need to adjust bylaws to accommodate such a development.

Persons wishing more information on town council’ expression of interest may contact Lomenda at the town office.