Welcome to Issue #20 of Zone In, Situate’s newsletter on what’s happening at Edmonton City Council public hearings on land development (as it relates to infill and urban redevelopment).
The next City Council public hearing is Monday, February 6; below is our summary of what’s on the agenda. But first—find out what Council approved at the last public hearing on January 23.
JANUARY 23, 2023 PUBLIC HEARING RECAP
The January 23 public hearing agenda had a total of 12 applications (16 agenda items). Of the six redeveloping area (infill) applications, three were approved unanimously without debate, including Situate’s application to rezone a DC2 zone in Queen Alexandra to RA8 (🎉). If you’d like to review the details of the files approved with no debate, check out past Zone In Issue #19.
Infill Agenda Items selected for debate: 3.1/3.2 3.3 3.6 3.7 3.15 3.16
Item 3.1/3.2 was an application to rezone a 1.3 hectare area along 102 Street between Whyte Avenue and 81 Avenue, and north and south of 81 Avenue, east of 102 Street. The site is located within the Whyte Avenue and Gateway Blvd/Calgary Trail Primary Corridors. The application was submitted by City of Edmonton Local Economy and Investment Services and proposed to rezone the site from a DC1 (direct development control provision) to a new DC1 provision. The rezoning also required various amendments to the Strathcona Area Redevelopment Plan. The stated purpose of the rezoning was to allow for more commercial uses in the area.
At the public hearing there were five speakers in opposition whose concerns were largely related to a community health hub planned to be opened in the area. However, the proposed changes to the zoning were unrelated to the health hub. Speakers in opposition requested that Health Services be removed from the DC1, or that the definition of Health Services be amended in order to prohibit the planned community health hub. Health Services is allowed in the current DC1 zone as well as in the standard commercial zones in the area. Council chose not to make the suggested amendments.
Councillor Janz made a motion to amend the text of the DC1 to allow development officers to grant variances in cases where they would lead to better retention of character defining elements for any building on the Register or Inventory of Historic Resources, which was passed. The application was approved by a vote of 10 to 2, with Councillors Rice and Principe voting against it.
Item 3.7 was an application to rezone a 0.31 hectare site in Belvedere at the corner of 66 Street and 137 Avenue. The application was submitted by Clarity Development Advisory and proposed to rezone the site from the CNC (neighbourhood convenience commercial) and RF3 (small scale infill development) zones to the CB1 (low intensity business) zone. The rezoning would allow for the development of low intensity commercial, office and service uses, as well as limited residential related uses. The site is located within 137 Avenue Primary Corridor. Councillor Paquette selected the item for debate and stated that he’d heard concerns from residents about the current maintenance of the site. Administration advised him that the discussion should be focused on land use rather than maintenance and ownership, as the ownership of the site could change at any time. The application was approved unanimously.
FEBRUARY 6, 2023 PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA OVERVIEW
The February 6 public hearing agenda is an unusually short one, with a total of only 5 applications (8 agenda items). The agenda includes two applications in the redeveloping area, which are profiled below.
Infill Agenda Items: 3.3/3.4 3.5/3.6
Item 3.3/3.4 is an application to rezone a 678 square metre site in West Jasper Place on the corner of 153 Street and 98 Avenue. The application was submitted by Equity Residential Holdings Inc. and proposes to rezone the site from the RF1 (single detached residential) zone to the RF3 (small scale infill development) zone. The rezoning would allow for the development of small scale multi-unit (row) housing. The rezoning requires an amendment to the Jasper Place Area Redevelopment Plan to redesignate the site from small scale housing to active edge housing. The site is not located within any nodes or corridors, but it aligns with City Plan policies that support infill development in all residential areas.
Item 3.5/3.6 is an application to rezone a 2,084 square metre site in Oliver at the corner of 113 Street and 100 Avenue. There are two single detached houses on the site, but there is a large amount of vacant space. The application was submitted by Green Space Alliance on behalf of West Pacific Corp. and proposes to rezone the site from the RA9 (high rise apartment) zone to a DC2 (site specific development control provision) zone. The rezoning would allow for the development of a six-storey residential building with a maximum of 95 units. The rezoning represents a downzoning, as the maximum height in the current RA9 zone is 60 metres while the maximum height in the proposed DC2 is only 23 metres, the same height as the RA8 (medium rise apartment) zone. However, the proposed DC2 allows for a larger building footprint and more floor area than the RA8 zone would provide. The application generally aligns with the Oliver Area Redevelopment Plan, but requires an amendment to a map to reflect the proposed zoning. The site is located within the Centre City node.
The infill files have support from City of Edmonton Administration and align with City Plan.
HOW TO SHOW SUPPORT
Showing support is easy! Simply send a quick email to Council at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with the subject line “SUPPORT re: Item #.##, February 6, 2022 Public Hearing” and body text along the lines of “I am an Edmontonian who supports the City Plan goals of creating a more livable, sustainable and compact city with attainable housing options for all Edmontontians. For that reason I fully support the above referenced project.”
HOW TO WATCH PUBLIC HEARINGS
If you really love infill and municipal politics, tune in and watch the public hearing live on the City’s YouTube channel! The action starts at 9:30 AM MDT on Monday, February 6.
THAT’S A WRAP
Thoughts on this issue of the newsletter, or urban planning issues that you’d like us to cover in our blog? Hit reply and let us know!
The next public hearing is on Monday, February 27, but watch your inbox in the next couple of weeks for more articles on the proposed new Zoning Bylaw.
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