More affordable single-family homes, with a reduced side yard, could be coming to Liberty Landing in Gasoline Alley.
On Tuesday, Red Deer County council approved first reading to amend a Land Use Bylaw to allow for zero lot line development which eliminates the yard on one side between homes.
The developer wants to include zero lot homes on three blocks in the next phase of Liberty Landing. Construction is to begin this year.
Council also approved a public hearing to be held on April 13 to gather public input.
Council heard that the benefits of zero lot homes include a reduction in maintenance and landscaping costs, and reduced lot costs to provide more affordable single family housing. Zero lot line homes can be found in larger cities like Edmonton and Calgary.
Council was told that while traditional side yards are equal in size on both sides, the proposed zero lot line homes would be 1.5 metres wide on one side only. Housing density is similar to townhouses or duplexes.
To meet Alberta Building Code regulations, no windows would be allowed along the side walls, and the interior of the wall has to be fire rated, with non-vented soffits.
Coun. Philip Massier said he looked forward to getting the public’s response.
“One side of me says this is crazy because what if a fire comes, and the other side of me says, if you live in a townhouse a fire can come too,” Massier said.
“I really look forward to the conversation.”
Both Mayor Jim Wood and Coun. Christine Moore were also interested in the zero lot concept.
“It really brings forth affordable housing and home ownership. The fact that this has been done in bigger cities, it’s just a natural evolution, particularly in the area that’s in question,” Moore said.
“This is definitely something new for us,” Wood said.