Our Municipal Government, prior to a recent election, with a few shining exceptions, was populated by persons who have not been successful in their own lives and, chose to run for office. Their candidacies met with voter apathy, little opposition. They won and consequently told us how to live. Things are looking better since the last election.
My contention is that we pay local politicians far too little and we get what we pay for. In the case mentioned, not much, except grief! The local building regulations and zoning laws still leave little room for innovation in any area. However, it appears to be improving! There is some hope!
My choice, because I cannot afford to take the pay cut to run for "office", is to find ways to circumvent the antiquated bylaws supported by this previous council. Hopefully the new Council will be better. Following is the story:
The X-Permit Cabin is an exercise to create a livable space that will be built on a salvaged travel trailer frame. It will be self sustainable, off grid and will be built without building permits because it is a "travel trailer" and will be registered as such. The site is beside the ocean in Canada. The actual location will be revealed as time goes on. the point of this is to circumvent onerous permits and inspections that come with "permanent" structures. XPC will be an exercise in civics, construction and innovation. I hope you follow us as we move forward.
It looks like following X-Permit Cabin there may be a house! Same location, just a permanent structure right here! Watch this space for details!
By the way: XPC is well underway! Have a look at "The Build" and "Progress" in the "photos" section.The interior finish and furnishings are next!
The new driveway!
This is Pirate Harbour, the "code" name for the location of XPC. This where the XPC will sit when it is not being towed about!Check out the "Photos" for the up to date pictures!
Certainly "tiny homes" have been built before and many are like the one we are building, on a trailer, for various reasons. This one is a personal experiment in building a livable space in a maximum of 135 square feet. There probably won't be "grand innovation" involved but the completed cabin on wheels must have the charm and friendly atmosphere of an old seaside cottage distilled into the space allocated.
Below is what it may look like on the inside. Great small space living. Possibly for a senior, wanting to live close to relatives or a getaway in the back yard. Your imagination is your only limit!
It will have sleeping for up to six, an on board power supply ( solar/battery/inverter) a composting toilet, functioning lights, probably LED and available 110v power for a laptop etc. It will have a cook stove, small heater/fireplace and refrigeration.It will have the usual holding tank ( for grey water only) and on board water storage. It will be insulated for winter use.
The hope is to have this rolling example completed for a reasonable amount which brings us to an important question. Can this sort of structure be a solution for affordable temporary housing? That is housing that can be placed where the need is either short or medium term. Can these structures be used as temporary rentals, much like porta-potties are? The XPC will have all the reasonable comforts that are needed in an attractive package that says "home" not "trailer" hopefully.
Nova Scotia's Government is embarking on a new housing strategy. Nova Scotia Housing Tiny Homes could just play an important part. Imagine, if you will, a source for tiny homes that you can lease for long or short term that can be delivered to your property to house a senior in your life who can no longer live totally independently, but who needs some autonomy. They could be used for on site dwelling during construction, for temporary student dwelling, for housing persons displaced by disaster and other uses.
The problem that remains is local governments and permitting. Once that hurdle is overcome, and it will be overcome, then Tiny Homes will be the norm, rather than the outlaws. All it will take is the adoption of a streamlined permit process and some parameters for them to be accepted by Municipalities.
The benefits are:
On a sad local note Shirley Hiltz, an original "Off Gridder", passed away March 11. He never had power or a phone. He kept a 1963 Ford truck running for over 40 years. He and his wife grew almost everything they needed. They came to our general store a couple of times a year and got basics like sugar and flour and that was it. They cut their own firewood and kept a home with what others cast off. I never saw any garbage out for pick up because they didn't make any. Shirley didn't do grand things but he didn't ruin anything either. The earth will miss him.