B.C. tiny home advocate presses for municipal regulations

Tiny home advocate Lisa Chessari is lobbying for specific zoning in B.C. municipalities so she can make her dream of building a tiny home a reality.

Advocate Lisa Chessari wants clear municipal zoning regulations around tiny homes

This tiny home has 240 square feet of living space. (Steven Zaleschuk)

A B.C. tiny home advocate is hoping to rally supporters at a public forum Wednesday to help bring specific zoning regulations around these houses in municipalities like Vancouver.

Advocate Lisa Chessari said tiny homes — built on wheels and between 200 and 400 square feet each — resonate with people who like a simple lifestyle.

She said these homes are not like trailer homes because they are often designed and customized to an owner's tastes.

"The look and feel is what makes them feel different, " she said. "They look more like houses rather than RVs or a manufactured home."

Although rental micro-suites are allowed in specific areas of the city, a city spokesperson said under the current by-laws, a request for a tiny home with wheels would not be permitted. The minimum size of a dwelling unit must be at least 398 square feet.

Chessari started the group, "Tiny Home Festival," to advocate for specific municipal regulations regarding tiny homes. The group is also advocating for a tiny home village where tiny home dwellers can live together on a piece of land. This would be different from a trailer park because the tiny homes could be permanently based there, she said.

In December, Chessari's group submitted a proposal to start a tiny home village on farm in Maple Ridge. The group is also looking at different properties across the province as potential sites for such villages.

A public forum run by her group takes place tonight from 6 to 9 p.m. PT at the BCIT Library in Burnaby.

With files from The Early Edition

To listen to the interview, click on the link labelled Advocate lobbies municipalities for tiny-home zoning