To the editor:
There is a movement forming within the District of West Kelowna council that will allow for carriage homes to be built on properties that would, otherwise, not be permitted.
One rational given is that carriage homes would be mortgage helpers. I am not sure how this would help as building a Carriage Home, a small version, would cost around $100,000 to be built.
Another rational is that Carriage homes would expand the stock of low-cost housing. I am not sure why a home owner would want the burden of having tenants that might not be able to pay their rent. Just hearing that a Carriage Home could be low-cost housing reeks of cheaply built and unattractive.
Descriptions given for building requirements of Carriage homes is also being discussed. For example, a property that is 5,900 sq. ft. will allow for a small Carriage Home and a property of 26,000 sq ft. will allow for a much larger Carriage Home. 5,900 equates to a lot size of, say, 60 by 100 feet. Spatially, this lot size is quite small and having a second home built on the lot would mean the home would be right at the fence line and that seems very intrusive.
The 26,000 sq. ft. lot size equates to, say, 200 by 130 feet. A fair-sized lot, about a half acre, and having two homes on that size of lot would still be ‘squishy’.
Carriage homes bring extra noise, garbage and parking of vehicles and they take away privacy from neighbours. I bought into West Kelowna because I love the peaceful country vibe, open spaces, large single-family lots and mature neighbouhoods. I did not expect to live in a place that could one day look cluttered with cheap housing, clusters of homes, too much traffic and too much noise. If one were to read the B.C. government’s 2005 guide on secondary suites it would be noted that even the B.C. gov’t states that carriage homes are not an affordable option when dealing with low-cost housing.
Terrie Anderson, West Kelowna