WHAT HAPPENED AT THE LAST #YEG PUBLIC HEARING
The August 21 public hearing had a total of eleven applications (sixteen agenda items), including five infill applications.
In the mix of the infill applications were two RF3 files, a small scale commercial rezoning in Glenora, and two RA7 applications, one in Ritchie and one in Pleasantview. Council passed all of the items without debate aside from one of the RF3 applications, Situate’s industrial rezoning application, and one of the greenfield applications.
Situate’s application was to rezone a property in the Southeast Industrial Area from light industrial (IL) to industrial business (IB). This application required an amendment to the Maple Ridge Industrial Area Structure Plan to remove references to specific zones.
Councilor Rutherford was curious about whether the new Zoning Bylaw Renewal project (if passed in October) would fix similar outdated zoning references in area structure plans. City Administration responded that it was not in the scope of the Zoning Bylaw Renewal project to touch those plans, but that some of them will be removed or amended by the district planning project, while other changes will be handled on a case-by-case basis as applications come in.
➡️ What that means: since there’s no program to proactively keep area structure plans up to date, applicants should be prepared to do their own clean-up of the planning documents in tandem with future rezoning applications. 🧹🧹
Lest you think RF3 rezoning applications always fly through public hearing, the Hazeldean RF3 application proves otherwise. Speakers in opposition raised concerns (and collected signatures) about the loss of neighborhood character, increased traffic and parking problems, reduced sunlight and privacy, noise and disruption from construction, and lack of affordability of a new building.
Councillor Janz (the ward Councillor) acknowledged the challenges of parking and transportation in mature neighborhoods, but stated that he doesn’t think that the housing typology (fourplex) is the problem, and that a parking plan may be the solution. He also emphasized the urgency of the housing crisis and the climate emergency, and how the city needs to curb suburban sprawl and move towards a more compact and sustainable urban form.
Councillor Knack then spoke about the economic challenges of the current growth patterns of the city, while also acknowledging the tension and the concerns that come with changing the mature neighborhoods, and how there is no easy way to solve every problem. The file eventually passed unanimously.
MEMORABLE QUOTE 💬
“I think it is worth sort of reiterating some of the economic challenges of the growth patterns as we have seen over the years […] I think it was 2014 when we had the report around the integrated infrastructure management program that did an analysis of the growth patterns as a city, and it determined that the way we were currently growing, specifically in regards to the three undeveloped new areas within the city limits in the southeast, the southwest and the northeast, that there would be a net cost to taxpayers of $1.4 billion. So when you factor in all of the property taxes we get from those new developments […] and you subtract the cost of building police stations, fire halls, rec centres, libraries, there is a net cost just for the infrastructure of $1.4 billion. That doesn’t include the operating costs of actually staffing those buildings, cutting the grass, or removing snow off the roads.”
– Councillor Andrew Knack
SHARE ZONE IN WITH FRIENDS
Imagine if all your friends had this drop of zoning joy in their inboxes too! They can subscribe right here.
WHAT’S UP AT PUBLIC HEARING ON MONDAY
The September 11 public hearing has a total of nine applications (twenty-two agenda items), including four infill applications.
In the mix of the infill files we’ve got a direct control application to allow for education uses and a small scale commercial rezoning in Pleasantview.
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING 🍿
We’ll definitely be tuning in to a CB3 (commercial mixed business) application in Oliver at the corner of 123 Street and 102 Avenue.
WHAT SITUATE’S TAKING TO COUNCIL
Situate has two applications at Council on Monday: an RA8 (mid-rise) application in Bonnie Doon, and an industrial rezoning in the Edmonton Energy and Technology Park to allow for indoor self storage.
👀 Watch it live on Edmonton City Council’s YouTube channel; the action starts at 9:30 am on Monday, September 11.
NEWS FROM SITUATE
We’ve got a new blog post hot off the press on the much-anticipated new Residential Small Scale (RS) zone–the zone that’s planned to replace the RF1 and RF3 zones. Read up on it here!
A Strong Towns take on the city-building tension between privacy and community in Ixnay on the Ay-play.
Chelsey 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 in general. If there’s a topic you’d like to know about let us know and we’ll do our best to write about 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.