District of Squamish is asking the province to make changes to the building code that would allow tiny homes as permanent dwellings.
The code changes should also enable the construction of tiny homes where local government plans and zoning bylaws deem them appropriate, district says.
The demand was brought forward by Councilor John French in a district resolution to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM).
While not legally binding, the resolutions are a way for local governments to seek provincial attention for local issues deemed important by municipalities.
In his resolution, Councillor French said communities across BC were experiencing a housing crisis, and the full spectrum of affordable housing isn’t available to them.
Tiny homes could be one solution to the problem.
Tiny homes, single detached homes less than 500 square feet, could support infill densification as an alternative to laneway home, he said.
But tiny homes are non-compliant when it comes to the present BC Building Code.
District wants UBCM to ask the province to review the 14 Code change requests, including application of the code, definitions within the code, combination rooms, ceiling heights, doorways, stairs, guards, smoke detectors, escape windows and lateral loads and plumbing.
These code changes requests have also been made at the national level by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association.
Tiny homes should be considered distinct from mobile homes or recreational vehicles and are meant for full-time living, district resolution says.
District has been exploring ways to allow tiny homes to be parked on residential lots to increase housing affordability.
However, mobile tiny homes are not currently legal in the district as there are currently no zones that allow them.