We have a date for the hearing: on Tuesday April 24th at 9.15 a.m., the request for immediate suspension of the environmental permit for the Tiny House pilot at the Helderseweg 28, issued by the water board Hollands Noorderkwartier, will be treated. It will be a public hearing, so we ask our sympathisers to come to the hearing and show the widespread support for our project. Will you come to support us?
In a nutshell: what’s it all about?
The terrain where we will execute our Tiny House pilot wasn’t a residential area. But the municipality of Alkmaar has granted us this beautiful piece of vacant land for five years and for that has temporarily changed the destination of the area to residence through an environmental permit. The terrain where the houses are (currently it’s two houses and there will be five eventually) is next to a sewage plant. The water board is the owner of the sewage plant and it’s their opinion that the terrain isn’t suitable as a residential area. That’s because it falls inside the ‘odor outline’ they’ve established around the sewage plant, and there might be noise pollution. The water board doesn’t want to risk complaints of one or more of the Tiny House residents, leading to expensive adjustments of the plant. Despite multiple efforts made by the municipality to find a solution for this, the water board asked the judge for immediate suspension of the permit. Schenkeveld lawyers is representing the municipality in this case, and I – as applicant for the permit – can be present and make a statement.
So how about that nuisance?
I’ve been living next to the sewage plant for two years now. My house is closest to it, the other houses will be further away. I’ve hardly ever smelled anything or heard anything. Our project will be temporary and experimental, with Tiny Houses that can be moved, making use of a terrain that hasn’t had a function for years. We as (future) residents have organised ourselves in a cooperative with a mission to make living in Tiny Houses possible at more locations in Alkmaar and surroundings, because there’s a need for it. We’ve received over 400 applications for the spots at the Helderseweg, and they keep coming. We believe with all our hearts in this minimalistic and environmentally friendly way of living, which makes it possible for people to live in a way that is in line with their values. More peace and quiet, more free time, more community, a smaller ecological footprint, the freedom to follow your heart and living with more focus on nature.
The project at Helderseweg 28 is a pilot, meant to set an example. We want to show that Tiny Housing can be a valuable asset to society. We want to inspire people and show them that green living can also be very fulfilling. We are very aware of how important the success of this project is, because the future of Tiny House living areas for Alkmaar and its surroundings is depending on it. Besides, we know what we are getting into, living here. We know the limitations and embrace them. In other words, we wouldn’t dare complain about the smell, if there was any. We’ve agreed with the municipality that we won’t complain about the sewage plants and we’ve signed the agreement where this is written down.
It’s in the judges’ hands now. I will make a statement in the name of housing cooperative Tiny House Alkmaar and then we will have to wait. We assume the result will be positive and expect it to come in before the weekend of April 28th. That’s the weekend Marja, our 3rd resident in the project, will come to Alkmaar with her Tiny House. That can only go through if the court rejects the water board’s request for interim relief and the water board will have to follow the usual objection procedure with the Alkmaar municipality.
We need you!
To all the people that want to support us, who want to live in a Tiny House themselves or just see the value of our project, we ask you to come to the hearing and show the world that the Tiny House pilot project at the Helderseweg 28 isn’t just about five Tiny Houses and their residents, but about so many more people who have a heart for this way of living and want more opportunities for it. Let us know if you’ll be there, if we gather a big group we want to let the court know in advance. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to come and let us know how many people you will bring along. We hope for a bunch of heartwarming support from the crowd!
The hearing will take place at Tuesday, April 24th at 9.15 a.m. and will last for about an hour and a half. The address is: Kruseman van Eltenweg 2, Alkmaar. You can almost see the Tiny Houses from the court, it’s that close.
Hope to see you there!