A re-zoning application was another highlight from Monday’s Grand Forks City Council meetings. A Mobile Home Park, or “manufactured-home community” is proposed for the North end of Boundary Drive, aiming to meet the need for affordable housing in Grand Forks. A re-zoning application is necessary, partly as the lot resides on an ecologically-sensitive wetland, which is proposed to be preserved.

Councillor Christine Thompson says she’s excited:

“Yes, I looked at this development and it’s quite exciting, and I’m particularly pleased with the dedication of the wetlands.”

Thompson also says it shouldn’t turn other developers away:

“This amendment to the zoning bylaw would not preclude any other developer from wanting to come in and do something similar, so it certainly would have my support.”

Councillor Neil Krog asks how the mobile homes would be manufactured:

“Are you going to finance or build the units for people to buy? Or if I want to move on to a lot, you hook me up with Justrite Manufacturing and whatever, and they build the house for me and then I pay the rent…”

Krog was more right with his second guess; the homes would be manufactured at a plant, and the lots would all be rented out. The starting price for a small home between 500 and 800 square feet in range aims to be under $100,000. The other larger scale homes, at potentially 1800 square feet, aim to be $150,000 or less.

Manager of Development and Engineering Dolores Sheets explains that although the proposal includes tiny homes, they don’t technically fit the bill:

“If you go back to the 20’s and the 30’s and the 40’s when we were in war time, a five or 600 square foot house was considered a normal sized home, so I just want to make sure that we don’t get on this whole “tiny home” idea, these homes will look identical to their counter parts in the park they’ll just be smaller.”

Council passed a motion allowing the application to progress, and it returns to Council Chambers January 28.