WHAT HAPPENED AT THE LAST #YEG PUBLIC HEARING
The April 3 public hearing had a total of eleven applications (sixteen agenda items), including four infill applications.
Of the four infill (redeveloping area 👆) applications, Council approved two unanimously without debate: a row house rezoning in Dovercourt and a direct control rezoning on the old ATCO site in Queen Mary Park to allow for multiple buildings ranging from seven to twenty stories.
A proposed large site row house rezoning application in Inglewood was postponed again to May 15 (this application was previously postponed from March 13 to April 3).
Profiled below: a direct control rezoning in Windsor Park to allow for a mid-rise residential building (postponed from February 21).
WINDSOR PARK: FOIP FOIBLES AND MORE
The Windsor Park application proposed to rezone a site consisting of several lots from the RF1 single detached residential zone to a custom DC2 site specific zone to allow for a mid-rise residential building (ranging from 14.5 to 20 metres in height), with up to 172 units. The site is on the edge of the University-Garneau Major Node on 118 Street and across from Windsor Park School.
At the February 21 public hearing, this item was postponed by Council in response to a request from two community members’ legal counsel: apparently a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) request that had been submitted in December of last year had not been fulfilled. The FOIP request was submitted to find out about the discussions that Administration had had with the applicant, as well as why Administration chose to support the application.
At the April 3 public hearing, three people spoke in support of the application (the planning consultants), and sixteen people spoke in opposition: twelve people from the Windsor Park Citizen’s Coalition, three people from the Windsor Park Community League, and one unaffiliated person. The main issues raised were safety concerns about an increase in traffic across from the school, the unknown impact of another building being built nearby (Windsor Terrace), the size of the building, and concern about whether the building really aligned with City Plan and other City policy.
After the public speaking and question part ended, many Councillors expressed empathy for the speakers but ultimately spoke in support of the application. Except for Councillor Janz, the councillor for the ward, who indicated that he thought the size of the building was a challenge and that maybe if it had more three bedroom units the community would have responded better (he voted against a 2022 Situate rezoning application on Whyte Avenue for similar reasons).
The application was approved 9-3, with Councillors Janz, Principe and Rice voting in opposition.
MEMORABLE QUOTES 💬
🏡 “There were a lot of appeals for family housing and I’ll remind people that families look a lot different across our city […] the notion of one type of housing [as] family oriented is restricting.” Sarah Hamilton, Councillor
👪 “… About the three bedroom condos […] I actually downsized from a house to a condo after having two kids […] and we were not in a three bedroom condo so I think that idea that that is what a family needs […] is really creating a very strong stereotype of what a family unit is and what it looks like.” Erin Rutherford, Councillor
🎤 “To me this is the exact type of missing middle scale of project that we would expect to see and that we’ve been asking for from the development community […] a project like this one should not be relegated to the exterior of a neighborhood, to buffer sound for the rest of the community. That’s not equitable or inclusive.” Ashley Salvador, Councillor
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WHAT’S UP AT PUBLIC HEARING NEXT WEEK
The April 24 public hearing agenda has a total of sixteen applications (twenty three agenda items), including a whopping ten infill applications.
Of the ten infill applications, half of them are small scale rezonings to allow for row housing, one of them seeks to preserve the historic Orange Hall, one will allow for an institutional use, and the other three are profiled below 👇.
WHAT SITUATE’S TAKING TO COUNCIL
We’re bringing an application to rezone a site consisting of two lots in Strathearn to the RA8 medium rise apartment zone. The site is located on 85 Street across from the Holyrood LRT stop 🚉.
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING 🍿
👉 An application in McKernan seeks to rezone several lots at 76 Avenue and 114 Street from the RF3 row housing zone to a custom direct control zone. The custom zone is similar to the RA8 medium rise apartment zone, only with slightly less height and slightly more floor area ratio. The City’s report states that the proposal “replaces the previous proposal to rezone the properties to Medium Rise Apartment Zone (RA8) to better conform with the commercial use requirements of the McKernan-Belgravia Area Redevelopment Plan and to address certain concerns on impacts to adjacent properties.”
👉 An application in Griesbach seeks to rezone a large site from its current direct control zone to the RA8g zone, which is Griesbach’s equivalent of the RA8 medium rise apartment zone.
Watch it live on Edmonton City Council’s YouTube channel; the action starts at 9:30 am on Monday, April 24.
NEWS FROM SITUATE
👉 CHECK OUT OUR BLOG POST ON WHAT YOU CAN DO IN THE RA8 ZONE
Since there’s so much RA8ish stuff going on at Monday’s public hearing, refresh your memory on what you can get up to in RA8.
NEWS FROM THE CITY
Ready, set, go… the last round of engagement on the City of Edmonton’s new zoning bylaw starts May 1. Here’s the public engagement page if you want to get a head start, or if you just feel like procrastinating on your spring cleaning.
SOME GOOD READS
Ok we’re pretty sure you didn’t miss this one, but we think it deserves a mention anyway: guy gets trapped inside Edmonton public art, art is damaged to rescue him, and it is later discovered that there was an exit hatch all along 🙌.
IDEA INFILL TOUR
On April 28, the Infill Development in Edmonton Association (IDEA) is hosting its annual Infill Tour to provide a behind-the-scenes look at recent residential, mixed-use, and commercial infill projects. 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 do YOU want to read about? Let us know and we’ll do our best to tackle 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.