WHAT HAPPENED AT THE LAST #YEG PUBLIC HEARING
The February 21 public hearing was relatively light, with a total of nine applications.
Of the three redeveloping area (infill) applications, one of the items was an RF3 rezoning in Westwood that was approved unanimously without debate. The second RF3 rezoning in High Park was selected for debate by Ward Councillor Knack, who asked questions of Administration based on written submissions from concerned community members who could not attend. The application was then approved unanimously.
The other infill item (Item 3.9) was an application to rezone a 4,567 square metre site in Windsor Park on 118 Street between 87 and 89 Avenue. The application proposed to rezone the site from the RF1 (single detached residential) zone to a custom DC2 (site specific) zone to allow for a four to six storey residential building with up to 172 units. The site is on the edge of the University-Garneau Major Node.
At the public hearing, a number of community members from the Windsor Park Citizens Coalition registered to speak in opposition to the rezoning. Two community members had retained legal counsel, who requested that the public hearing be postponed because a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) request that was submitted in December of last year had not yet been fulfilled. The FOIP request was submitted to the City to obtain information regarding the discussions between Administration and the applicant, as well as information regarding Administration’s decision to support the rezoning application. The lawyers noted that the Coalition’s primary concerns were related to whether the site is in fact located within the University-Garneau Major Node, whether the application aligns with the Residential Infill Guidelines, and why the draft Scona District Plan was not addressed. The applicant agreed to the proposed postponement because the FOIP request had not yet been fulfilled.
Ward Councillor Janz and Councillor Hamilton noted that although they did not believe the FOIP request for this rezoning was submitted to delay the public hearing, they voiced concerns that a FOIP request could be used in the future to deliberately delay public hearing proceedings. Following a motion from Councillor Janz, Council unanimously voted in favour to postpone the public hearing to April 3, 2023.
The City of Edmonton’s District Planning process is currently underway. This project is intended to implement City Plan policy to create a liveable city where people can easily meet many of their daily needs within a 15 minute walk, bike ride, or transit trip from where they live. The draft district plans are currently being revised following public engagement that was conducted last year.
In case you missed it, Edmonton City Councillor Andrew Knack and the concept of the 15 minute city have been in the news recently. To catch up on the conversation, check out “How 15-Minute City fears came to Canada—and how one politician is trying to walk people through them.” You can also access the article from Apple News and the Edmonton Public Library (for free).
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WHAT’S UP AT PUBLIC HEARING NEXT WEEK
The March 13 public hearing agenda has a total of fifteen applications (twenty-three agenda items). The agenda includes eight infill applications.
Two of the infill applications are small scale rezonings (to the RF3 and UCRH zones) in Sherwood and Central McDougall to allow for rowhousing. There are also two commercial rezonings in Oliver and Old Strathcona, and two RA8 rezonings in Britannia Youngstown and Boyle Street.
WHAT SITUATE’S TAKING TO COUNCIL
Situate has an application in Glenora to rezone a 940 square metre site on the corner of 134 Street and 103 Avenue from the RF1 (single detached residential) zone to a custom DC2 (site specific) zone. The rezoning would allow the lot to be subdivided so that one new house could be built on the north side of the lot. The one existing house that’s currently on the south side of the lot would be retained. The rezoning is necessary because the lot is irregularly shaped and doesn’t conform to the lot length and width requirements of any of the standard zones.
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING 🍿
The last item on Monday’s agenda is an application to rezone a 2,600 square metre site in Inglewood from the US (urban services) zone to the RF3 (small scale infill development) zone to allow for up to 17 units of row housing.
The site is vacant and previously functioned as open space next to an Edmonton Catholic School site until 2015, when the school board declared the entire site surplus land and put it up for sale. The City had the opportunity to purchase the land in 2018, but opted not to do so. The school building and some of the open space was then sold to the Muslim Association of Canada and became the MAC Islamic School, while the remainder (the subject site for this application) was sold to a private landowner.
That landowner attempted to rezone the site to the RF5 (row housing) zone in 2020 and to the RF3 (small scale infill development) zone in 2021, without success. After the 2021 application, Council (the previous Council), asked Administration to negotiate with the landowner to purchase the site; however, the land was sold to someone else, and the new landowner is now bringing the RF3 application back to Council.
Tune in to find out if the third time’s the charm on Edmonton City Council’s YouTube channel; the action starts at 9:30 am on Monday, March 13.
NEWS FROM SITUATE
👉 CHECK OUT OUR LATEST BLOG POST ON CITY PLAN
You may have heard about City Plan, but you might not know what it means for redevelopment opportunities in the city (hint: a lot). Check out our new post to find out.
SOME GOOD READS
The City of Edmonton recently got rid of a policy that required rental buildings to pay more property tax than condo buildings. Read: Edmonton Journal article.
IDEA INFILL TOUR LAUNCH PARTY
On March 22 the Infill Development in Edmonton Association (IDEA) is hosting a networking event to celebrate the relaunch of the Infill Tour. Get your tickets here!
Hey, thanks for reading this far! We send this newsletter in the hopes of making it easier and more fun to understand (1) what’s going on at #yeg city council public hearings on land development and (2) zoning, infill, and the land (re)development process. We’d like to know from you, dear Zone In readers: what’s something about zoning or land development that baffles you? Let us know and we’ll do our best to try and explain it!
Zone In is created by Situate Inc. and is for informational purposes only. The content in Zone In is not to be construed as planning, zoning, real estate or any other professional strategy or advice.
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