By Laura Keil, Editor/Publisher

The Regional District of Fraser Fort George has unanimously voted to abolish the minimum floor area of dwelling units in four zones of the regional district, paving the way for people to legally build very small homes (30m2 on all floors is the BC Building Code minimum).

Area H Rep Dannielle Alan has been pushing this for several years, and she sees this as an opportunity for young people to return and get their foot in the housing market. Builders will still have to follow the B.C. Building Code but eliminating this extra layer of red tape is a no-brainer.

But there are still many head-smacking regulations on the books, ones that haven’t been seriously examined for decades.

Alan said she’d like to examine each regulation to ensure it’s there for a reason. But she says the District has lacked staff time to undertake an Official Community Plan review (the guiding planning document that’s created with public input that guides board decisions on land use). It seems the District is so busy processing red tape of their own creation (variances, for example), that they don’t have time to simply eliminate the red tape!

Usually Official Community Plans are updated every 10 years. Well, it’s been 21 years for the Canoe Downstream OCP (Dome Creek-Croydon area) and 16 years for the Canoe Upstream OCP (Robson-Valemount area).

The laws we’re following were made in a different time. Today’s demographics and economics demand something better.

Alan said the push for an OCP review can come from residents themselves. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could buy a non-farm acreage and put two houses on it? Or create a seniors tiny house pocket community? This could be a reality, with a little bit of hell-raising. 

Who’s with me?