Tiny Home/Additional Residential Unit Workshop coming to Rideau Lakes this spring

Rideau Lakes Township will host a tiny home and additional residential unit workshop in June where people can learn what it takes to add one of these units to their home or property, and any funding opportunities that are available. – Unsplash

Do you want to learn more about adding a secondary unit, or a tiny home to your property in Rideau Lakes?

The township will host a tiny home and additional residential unit workshop in June where people can learn what it takes to add one of these units to their home or property, and any funding opportunities that are available.

The goal of the summit will be to educate residents on various topics concerning ARUs and tiny homes, a report to council notes.

Township staff will discuss zoning and permissions for ARUs and tiny homes and Building Code considerations.

A representative from the United Counties of Leeds Grenville will be in attendance to educate residents on funding opportunities available through various county programs and initiatives.

Malcolm Norwood, manager of development services, said the counties have agreed to speak to Ontario Housing Priorities Initiative – the Secondary Suite Program.

“That will be something specific to our area that would be helpful for people to know exists out there,” Norwood said.

“Staff hopes to reach out to private sector representatives who can share experiences building tiny homes or ARUs and the different forms that they can take, and to other non-profit organizations like the Tiny Town Association who play a role in advancing this form of housing development in our region,” the report to the PACA states.

The full-day summit will include a luncheon for attendees.

Mayor Arie Hoogenboom suggested a fee be charged to help offset the costs of planning such an event. “I noticed that we’re budgeting some funds for that ($5,000), and that’s understandable, but because there’s a luncheon involved, I think there should be a token charge for people to attend. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. If it’s completely free, then it’s going to be much harder to control the attendance. If there is a $15 or $20 registration fee then people who are seriously interested in the subject (will still attend) and it’s not going to deter anyone from attending, as far as I can see.”

If nothing else, the mayor said they should charge a token amount “to cover some of those expenses.”

Hoogenboom said one of the township halls may be suitable for a function of this nature.

Coun. Paula Banks said she wasn’t opposed to charging “maybe $10,” but wondered if they could get a feel for how much interest there is by the number who register. “I’m hoping seniors come to this, so I don’t want to charge a lot – $5 or $10 I’m fine with. But I’m very pleased that staff did this. I’ll be there and I hope a lot of residents come.”

Coun. Sue Dunfield said OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) will host a tiny homes summit in Tweed in June, and she wanted to ensure Rideau Lakes didn’t “step on toes, and that we offer it at a different time, or find out what they’re doing.”

Banks noted that maybe staff could find out when Tweed was having their summit and “steal some ideas … If ours was after theirs, maybe we could get any information that was provided, from them.”

Dunfield also suggested reaching out to former township chief administrative officer Michael Dwyer who may have some insight as he was a guest speaker at a summit in Seeley’s Bay.

Staff will seek other partners who wish to participate, such as neighbouring municipalities, and will seek a venue within Rideau Lakes.

Once information is known, staff will report back to PACA with a prescribed date and location before April.

It will be recommended to council that PACA proceed with planning this event.

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