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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Editorials What's appropriate in a R1 Zone?

by Doug Harvey
What's appropriate in a R1 Zone

Here we have a perfect example of what could be happening in your neighbourhood. With the price of housing on a continued upward swing, those people looking for affordable rental housing are facing an increasingly more difficult challenge to find that affordable place to live.

What is affordable housing in Canada? The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation defines "affordable" if it costs less than 30% of a household's before-tax income. Many people think the term "affordable housing" refers only to rental housing that is subsidized by the government. In reality, it's a very broad term that can include housing provided by the private, public and non-profit sectors. It also includes all forms of housing tenure : rental, ownership and co-operative ownership, as well as temporary and permanent housing.

One way the current Ontario Government is trying to meet this challenge of creating more affordable places to live in Ontario is by promoting existing homeowners to modify their properties to include additional housing options, the most common is the basement suite sometimes called a granny suite.

This is a new direction for Central Elgin and the race for many existing homeowners to begin that challenge to provide additional housing options has just begun. The decisions or where and what gets built will be made at a planning meeting under existing or proposed changes to current zoning regulations.

On Monday, February 24th, 2020 the Municipality of Central Elgin will be hosting public meetings for Planning Applications with an application that could be the precedent of what could happen in your neighbourhood. The contents of the application are as follows.

The purpose of the application is to rezone the subject lands to permit an approximately 96 square metre (1033 square foot), 8-metre-tall (26.16 feet high), detached garage with accessory dwelling unit on the second floor. An increase in the maximum height of an accessory building or structure is also required to accommodate the accessory dwelling unit. The current Residential 1 (R1) Zone only permits one dwelling on the subject lands.

The idea of a garage on someone's property is fairly common but one that's over 26 feet high in a closed in residential block seems to infringe on the privacy of the surrounding neighbours. With height regulations limiting fences to 6 feet high if this application does get approved then those surrounding neighbours may just have to find another way to keep their property private.

So much for that old saying of "A Man's Home is His Castle." The concept that a person's home is inviolate originates in British common law. In its original form the common law was intended to protect citizens not only from each other but perhaps more importantly from unlawful incursions by the King.

Last Updated: Saturday, 22 February 2020 14:09:23 PM EST

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