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Mobile homes allowed on more properties in Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

Homes will be allowed as accessory dwellings on properties larger than one hectare
Mobile homes will be allowed as accessory dwellings on properties greater than one hectare within the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. (File photo)

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen will go to a public hearing on a bylaw to allow mobile homes as accessory dwellings on parcels greater than one hectare in area.

At the regional district’s board meeting on Aug. 3, the board gave first three readings to a bylaw for this change.

In early March, the regional district’s planning and development committee considered options related to its alternative housing strategies. One of the strategies considered was to revisit the regulation that limits mobile homes to parcels greater than four hectares in area.

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The change affects properties greater than one hectare where an accessory dwelling use is permitted. In addition, on parcels less than four hectares in area, the principal dwelling must be a single detached dwelling. The exceptions are parcels zoned for manufactured home parks.

Housing needs have been considered at the regional district level for some time. In April 2021, the board received the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen 2021 Housing Needs Assessment report.

This report provided an overview of the housing situation at the time, as well as estimates on how it could change over the next five years.

“While such an amendment is unlikely to unilaterally address housing issues in the electoral areas, it will provide a more cost-effective solution for new homes to be erected in rural-residential areas,” Ben Kent, a planner with the regional district, said in a report to the board.

In addition to the public hearing, the regional district board will need approval from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure prior to adopting the bylaw. The ministry approval is needed since the proposed amendments involve lands within 800 metres of a controlled access highway.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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