At the September 24 meeting, Okotoks Council approved land within D’Arcy Ranch as the preferred site for the proposed Tiny Homes Ecovillage and directed administration to begin conceptual design and preliminary cost estimates.
Administration will present the village design and cost analysis in December to Council. At this time, Council will make a decision on whether to proceed with the current proposal.
A parcel of Town land within D’Arcy Ranch has recently become a viable option due to the developer’s desire to accelerate servicing of neighbouring lands.
“We are very fortunate that this opportunity has presented itself at such a critical time,” said Mayor Bill Robertson.
Early community engagement showed a lack of support for Kinsmen Park and a desire to include tiny home ownership into the village model. Fortunately, a new location has become available, and the Town negotiated with the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CMHC) for the potential to include additional owned units.
“Council and Administration have listened to residents and addressed their main concerns. I believe this alternate location and the ability to own some of the tiny homes are a great start to ensuring this is a made-in-Okotoks initiative,” said Robertson. “The work administration will do over the next couple of months will provide important information to help Council make decisions regarding the future of this project.”
The CMHC is open to the D’Arcy Ranch site, given it will be constructed within a similar timeline, will be within walking distance to a new commercial area with various amenities and services.
“The new site will allow for more community green space and a larger central building that will provide enhanced flexible space,” said Environment and Sustainability Coordinator Dawn Smith. “The idea behind the village concept has always been to design the public spaces in a way that benefits both the village residents and the larger Okotoks community.”
The Town will continue to inform residents as the project progresses and more details are finalized. Residents who are interested can sign up for emails on project updates on the Town’s website. The next phase of community consultation would happen in January 2019, if Council decides to proceed with the project after reviewing costs and the initial site design.