So what do you think? I watched this on the news and read the article below on the Edmonton Journal. Do you think Skinny homes are the way to go? I guess this is a solution to new infill homes in mature neighborhoods. I imagine that it would be similar to a Half Duplex without being attached to the neighbors. You would still get the longer lot because most of these homes are being built on lots that are anywhere from 120-150 feet deep but it is your own and no unwanted noise from your neighbors on the oher side of the wall.
I am looking forward to going to view one and see for myself. It seems to work in other big cities, why not in Edmotnon?
EDMONTON - Skinny sells when it comes to lattes and jeans, but will Edmontonians buy skinny houses?
Local developer Doug Kelly believes so, having just listed two of Edmonton’s first wave of “skinny homes” on Friday.
Kelly partnered with Matthew Kaprowy of Kirkland Homes to knock down an old bungalow on a 15-metre (50-foot) lot in the King Edward Park neighbourhood, subdivide the lot into two 7.5-metre (25-foot) lots and build two five-metre (17-foot) wide, two-storey houses in its place.
“Even though they’re 17 feet wide, they don’t appear to be that narrow,” Kelly said. “We’ve got 1,750 square feet on two levels, plus a finished basement for a total of over 2,400 square feet of living space.”
City council approved zoning changes last year that made it easier to build houses on narrow lots in some mature neighbourhoods. Previously, only duplexes or semi-detached homes were allowed on 15-metre lots in older communities with RF3 zoning. The bylaw amendments, which came after four years of consultation and study, were intended to encourage greater population density in older areas while preserving their walkable, historic character.
“It rejuvenates the area. What was on this lot before was an old decrepit house,” said Kelly. “Now we have two units which are adaptable to families.”
Kelly and Kaprowy plan on building more skinny homes in areas such as Ritchie, Inglewood, Westmount and Bonnie Doon, but King Edward Park was a good place to start.
“The housing stock is at the age where it makes economic sense to tear down some of these old bungalows. We feel we’re going to do our part in rejuvenating these areas.”
The craftsman-style houses come with three bedrooms on the second floor, two and a half baths, double detached garages, a front veranda, full-width rear deck and front landscaping. The list price is $599,999.
Kelly said Edmonton lags behind other cities such as Vancouver and Calgary when it comes to building skinny homes.
“Vancouver has houses that are even narrower than this and quite livable. When you get that population and that cost of land, people have to think smaller. We’re just on that cusp here in Edmonton.”
But Kelly says the city also needs to go further in allowing more areas where similar developments can occur.
“City council has to be very brave and zone more neighbourhoods to accommodate this. Right now, it’s only allowed in RF3 zones, and that’s not in many neighbourhoods. There are a hundred mature neighbourhoods.”
Mayor Don Iveson, who cut the ribbons on the new homes Friday, is a vocal advocate of infill housing and likes the skinny home concept.
“They provide new housing, which many people are looking for, but in established areas, and it can be more affordable simply because the cost of the land is significantly less than on a full lot,” Iveson said.
He acknowledged concerns such as traffic and parking congestion, but said those can be looked at as signs of life in a neighbourhood.
“This puts living centrally within the reach of more families looking for new homes, which is very exciting and very important for Edmonton.”
Iveson said he would ultimately like to see more skinny homes allowed in more mature neighbourhoods.
“Having these examples built allows people to see that these can be very positive.”