The village of Big Valley is a popular tourist destination in the summer. (Contributed photo)

Big Valley’s tiny homes project on hold, looking for tiny home owners

In the year since announcing the start of a tiny homes subdivision, Big Valley has received a lot of interest in both the bylaw and the homes.

But so far no deposits.

The 22 plot subdivision was approved by the village’s council last year. But Michelle White, Big Valley Chief Administrative Officer, said they are waiting for 10 presale deposits before work can start on the project.

“We’re prepped and ready for it, it’s just a matter of council needing about 10 presales before they would commit to the million dollar project,” said White, adding they don’t want to put a burden on the community’s residents by building the subdivision before there’s enough money invested in it.

“It’s a fine balancing act.”

The community is located near the intersection of Hwys 56 and 590, about 100 kms east of Red Deer, and has a population of 347.

Despite the lack of people willing to put money down on the development, White says interest has still been high.

“There were preconceptions we were doing it for the senior community,” said White. “But we’ve had interest from across Alberta and down into the U.S. from all demographics.

“The amount of interest we’ve gotten from other communities, I can’t even count the number of times I have shared the land use bylaw information and architectural guidelines with other municipalities. The interest is out there, but it needs to be done on a cost-recovery basis.”

Prices for the lots range from $43,000 to $46,000 plus GST. It does include a connection to utility services.

The bylaw amendment allows the tiny homes to be a maximum of 650 square feet. The lots range from 30 feet by 80 feet to 45 feet by 80 feet, much smaller than the village’s standard lot size of 50 feet by 120 feet.

“You have to get along very well with your spouse,” said White. “It’s such a specific lifestyle and there are a certain number of people who have the interest in doing it, but would prefer to have a less planned set up. With the lifestyle comes a certain amount of freedom.”

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