Victoria council looks at setting minimum sizes for downtown apartments and condos

Victoria council is considering whether micro condos have been a good thing or not in the housing crisis, and are looking at setting a minimum unit size for downtown apartments and condos.

Two years ago council examined removing the minimum unit size in all multi-residential zones in Victoria, but opted to set the minimum unit size at  355.2 square feet in multi-unit zones outside downtown -- setting no minimums for downtown.

But Councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe, council liaison for downtown residents, says a numbers of issues with the tiny units have surfaced -- most notably, appeal and livability:

" The residents association has said that they want it reviewed because their members, some of them are the ones that actually purchased these sized units, are saying that they're not as livable and that they've turned them into short term vacation rentals. Because for a short time that's fine, but to live in it full time is more difficult."

Thornton-Joe says many people would prefer a larger unit they can share with someone else:

"We're hearing more people, that whether it's a couple, whether it is 2 buddies that you know, work in the restaurant industry, they want either a bedroom  and a den or 2 bedrooms, and they can share rent.  And so we're finding that  things are changing, and what we thought would be a benefit for the smaller units may not be so. So we want staff to explore that a little further."

The Downtown Residents Asociation is pushing for minimum size standards to be set in the downtown core.

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