As our Canadian snow has melted away and we turn our thoughts to our warmer season, we have a renewed interest in the plans for developing our Hideaway. I’m so glad that we have lots of time to dream, because I do love the planning process! For a refresher on what’s happening, you can read about the background on our Hideaway here.
This week I paid a visit to the municipal planner responsible for the region that includes our Hideaway. Although we’re still only in the very preliminary planning stages, we want to make sure that whatever we plan is something that we’ll be allowed to do.
Our zoning situation is a little confusing because we are in an area generally zoned agricultural, our lot is completely surrounded by forest, and it is within a group of smaller residential lots inside this larger area. Therefore, although we are zoned agricultural, we follow the by-laws for residential zoning. So, what I learned is this:
- We are not allowed to farm
- We can build a house to within residential limits: 15 m (49 ft) from front lot line, 3 m (10 ft) from side lot lines, 9 m (30 ft) from rear lot line
- A one-story house with a basement must be at least 80 square meters (861 sq. ft.)
- A one-story house without a full basement must be at least 105 square meters (1130 sq. ft.)
- The house will have a 2 1/2 story height limit
- The house could be used for a Bed and Breakfast business
- We can build a garage 1.5 m (5 ft) from the lot line.
- A detached garage is not to be in front of the house
- The maximum height allowed for a garage is 7 m (23 ft)
We are within 120 m (394 ft) of a Wetlands Protection Zone, so we will require a special permit from the Conservation Authority. Because of the high elevation of the building area, the sand/gravel designation of our soil, and the presence of other existing houses, we don’t anticipate a problem with this permit.
Our next step will be to consider where the neighbours’ wells and septic systems are located, so we can plan to place ours at the required distance from them. Our challenge is to place a house, garage, well, and septic system in a pleasing, legal arrangement within the cleared portion of the lot. I’m sure there will be a way to do it!