Dysart looks to Tiny Homes to counter dearth of housing

By James Matthews, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Dysart council hopes word gets out about recent changes that may help ease the housing shortfall in the township.

Haliburton County council allowed changes to Dysart’s Official Plan during its March 13 meeting that permits the construction of tiny homes or additional dwelling units on lots.

Additional Dwelling Units are second dwelling units that are now permitted on most non-waterfront properties that front onto a publicly maintained road. A building permit is required and there is no minimum floor area requirements.

To facilitate the building of Tiny Homes, the minimum dwelling unit area has been removed from lots in the Rural and Rural Residential zones to permit small homes. Building and septic permits are required.

The zoning changes also allow for detached outdoor saunas, subject to the required setbacks.

Jeff Iles, the municipality’s planning land information director, said information about the policy changes has been added to the township’s website and social media channels.

To further get the word out to the public and to the development industry in the hopes of creating more housing in Dysart, staff have also designed a poster with the pertinent facts.

“Just in hopes of bringing awareness to these new policies which are designed to create more housing in the community,” Iles said.

Any questions related to the changes can be directed to the Planning and Land Information Department. 

“We really do need the housing and these second units are permitted on most properties,” he said. “They’re permitted in the waterfront and you must be on a public road. They do require building permits, but you do not require planning approvals to move forward with those.”