Council Backs Off Regulating Snout Houses

The issue of 'snout houses' or 'thrust garages' is dead for now.

After a lengthy debate Monday night, council voted against an administration recommendation to review a policy to prohibit developers from building the homes that feature an extended garage in front of the house -- a common design in many new subdivisions.

Councillor Fred Francis says there are better ways to use resources.

"I thought it was an issue that wasn't really something that was pressing," says Francis.  "We've been waiting on a downtown community improvement plan for the three years that I've been on council. I've got business owners, I've got people willing and waiting to invest in downtown and they're like, 'Where's the downtown community investment plan?'"

He says many builders are worried clients may leave Windsor if they can't build what they want.

"In my opinion, we already have enough people that are building in surrounding communities," says Francis.  "I don't think we want to add regulation that has people moving to the outskirts of the City of Windsor. That makes no sense to me. We want people living in the City of Windsor. It fills our neighbourhoods and it strengthens our communities."

He says if a home buyer wants a snout house, they should be able to build it.

"That's just further regulation by government on private developers that can really hurt small business," says Francis.  "I believe in personal choice and if someone wants to live in a snout house, they can live in a snout house. I live in a snout house and the neighbourhood I live in is very safe and is very social."

Snout houses were put into the spotlight when a report from Windsor police brought up concerns over safety as the front doors are far from the street and hard to see.

Several councillors, including Francis, didn't buy the idea stating there's no hard data to support it.