Richmond City Council voted 7-1 Wednesday night to limit the size of so-called ‘mega homes’ on farmland.
Councillor Carol Day opposed, while Councillor Harold Steves reportedly walked out before the vote took place.
Staff originally proposed limiting home sizes to 5,382 square feet, but the decision was made to instead limit them to 10,764.
Some existing homes built in the area have been as large as 23,000 square feet.
“What we’re doing is at least cutting in half the size of homes that we’re allowing,” says Richmond Mayor Malcom Brodie.
While the nearly 11,000 square foot limit that was approved may sound like a lot, Brodie says many farmers told council they need extended family to live with them.
“We heard from one economist who told us that he looked at the statistics and they showed there are a few farmers and farm groups that do very very well in our city. But a lot of farmers are at the lower end of the income level. They are farming while they hold down other jobs as well, and they need other strategies.”
As many as 100 people attended the meeting.