By Grace Gormley
Phillip Hebert has a big idea, and it's all about smaller living.
The Georgetown town council member has something unique up his sleeve. He would like to see protected municipal land in Georgetown transformed into a community of tiny homes.
After doing research online about the popular trend in North America, Hebert put a motion forward at a recent council meeting and $1,500 has been used to hire Santec engineering consultants to look into things such as roadways and services for the lots.
"Right now, we're still in the early stages."
Tiny homes are popping up all around the world, and Hebert thinks it's for a few reasons.
The first, he says, is mostly about affordable housing and people not being able to pay for large mortgages.
"And then there's people who just like the low-carbon footprint of the homes. It's definitely a green alternative to your typical house."
Tiny homes are typically under 500 sq ft. and Hebert says that as far as he knows, there is only one other community of these smaller abodes in Canada.
The development, known as La Petit Quarter, is in Sherbrooke, Que. and is building 73 homes.
Unlike the Sherbrooke community where all the homes are being pre-sold then built, Hebert has something different planned.
Those who purchased portions of the Georgetown land would be responsible for building their own tiny homes, and installing heating methods such as electric heating.
"It's as much as about being environmentally friendly as it is anything else. I want it to be really unique."
Being environmentally friendly and having money to put into travel instead of property and utilities attracted one Johnston’s River family to go the tiny home route.
Tori Vail, her husband and baby began living in their tiny home about a year ago.
"We decided on a tiny home because we want to live an easy and happy life."
Vail uses a heat pump in the home, and uses electricity instead of oil. They are also hoping to add solar panels.
"It's so easy to get caught up in the next new thing but living small makes us remember what's really important."
While the Georgetown plan is still a few months off, Hebert said the project would move along more quickly if a developer was interested in heading the project or partnering with the town.
The councillor said he’s already getting messages from people wondering when the lots will be ready and how much they’ll cost.
"The response is coming from all directions, and it's definitely positive."