by MP Holmes
Kitchener City council unanimously passed a new motion to begin the process to increase the missing middle housing stock by allowing fourplexes on single residential lots.
The housing advocacy group YIMBY delegated in favour of the motion at the Council meeting. “YIMBY” is an acronym which stands for “Yes In My Back Yard”.
The ‘missing middle’ is defined as medium-density housing that sits somewhere between single-family residential properties and high-rise condominiums. The intention behind missing middle housing is that it is cheaper for each resident because costs of living on a property are split between four residents rather than one. Currently, fourplexes need special zoning approvals to be built in Kitchener. This new possible bylaw would legally allow fourplexes under the municipality’s zoning bylaw, so special permission to build will not be needed.
Councillors were mostly open and optimistic although wary of opposition. Councillor Paul Singh encouraged city staff to prioritise issues of parking in their development. Councillor Debbie Chapman raised the issue of affordability and how the city will ensure this initiative doesn’t fall prey to the allure of AirBnB revenue, and Councillor Bill Ioannidis lamented the community’s expectations related to housing.
The idea of fourplexes has been brought forward in other Ontario municipalities. Mississauga has decided to not move forward on fourplexes, while Toronto passed a motion to allow fourplexes back in May.
The motion in Kitchener City Council was similar to a motion the mayor of Guelph brought to a council meeting in Guelph on Tuesday afternoon. That motion was passed unanimously as well. Waterloo City Councillor Royce Bodaly has also brought forward a motion looking at permitting four units on one lot in Waterloo. That motion is set to be discussed at the October 30 Council meeting.
The music on today’s show is called “Maple Music” by Godmode courtesy of by Expectantly Maple Music on youtube.
Listen to the radio story above: