A Kings County developer wants changes to lot sizes to accommodate smaller, more affordable houses, but he doesn’t want to wait for the outcome of Kings 2050.
Cecil Lockhart of System-Built Homes Limited says that by reducing lot sizes, he can increase density, making houses more affordable while increasing the municipality’s tax base.
Lockhart told Kings County recently that a greater number of lots could use the same infrastructure and the same footage of roadway under the proposed changes.
When such houses are developed under affordable housing programs and take advantage of other grants and energy efficiency rebates, they become even more affordable to the buyer, he added. Lockhart said energy efficiency is a main focus in these dwellings.
However, he isn’t sure what the best way is to approach having the necessary changes made.
“I’m not sure how to get through the mine field without getting blown up,” he said. “What it gets down to, in my opinion, is where’s council’s head at.”
Lockhart said if council isn’t on side, he’s wasted a year of his time. He said he’d like to see changes fast-tracked so he could build within 12 months. He doesn’t want to wait for the outcome of the Kings 2050 regional planning review, he told council, adding that he would prefer to have a development agreement for a specific project.
Planning manager Ben Sivak said he doesn’t know of any development agreement policies that would allow this proposal to proceed. However, staff expects to make a recommendation similar to what Lockhart is requesting as part of Kings 2050.
Sivak said Lockhart could apply to amend the Land Use Bylaw, but this wouldn’t be site-specific.
Coun. Pauline Raven suggested a Comprehensive Affordable Housing District in growth centres. Sivak said the municipality could implement some comprehensive policies, but added that the Land Use Bylaw would have to be amended and a development agreement would be needed. This probably isn’t a good option for Lockhart, Sivak added, as it would take longer.
Warden Diana Brothers said chief administrative officer Tom MacEwan and Sivak would follow-up with Lockhart on how to best deal with his request in a timely manner.
“It doesn’t get any better than that,” Lockhart said.