NEWFANE — The town’s Development Review Board heard from the owner of the Newfane Flea Market earlier this month about his plans to set aside some of the property on Route 30 for eight tiny homes.
E.W. “Bill” Morse told the members of the board on Dec. 6 that he hopes to do his part in alleviating the town’s affordable housing shortage.
Morse will need a conditional use permit from the town and septic and water approval from the state to develop the eight sites, which will include electrical hookups.
“This is an experiment for us,” said Morse, who is collaborating with Jesse Holden, his nephew, on the plan.
But Morse noted plans for a tiny home village are not that much different from what he’s been doing at the flea market for decades.
“Renting space,” he said. “That’s what the game is.”
Morse said he and Holden are still working on the rules, but one they settled upon right away was requiring a one-year lease.
Morse said each site will have utility hookups and a concrete pad for the trailer and home. He will supply trash removal, and there will be 65 feet of spacing between each site.
Morse said there is room for even more sites, but he wants to start with four and maybe expand to eight to see how it works out.
Board member Walter Dadik said he was concerned that, because tiny house villages don’t appear in the town’s zoning bylaw, he’s not sure it’s something the board can approve.
“It’s not our fault you guys are not modernized,” responded Morse.
The Development Review Board voted to enter into a deliberative session, which is closed to the public, to discuss how to proceed.
“We will meet again [Dec. 18] to continue our discussion and see if we can come to a decision,” board Chairman David Cotton wrote in an email to the Reformer.
Correction: An earlier version of this story included Roll’En Homes of Townshend as a local example of tiny homes; Roll'En Homes is not associated with this project in Newfane.