WHAT HAPPENED AT THE LAST #YEG PUBLIC HEARING
The October 3 public hearing had a total of nine applications (nineteen agenda items), including seven infill applications.
Four of the infill applications were passed without debate, including two small scale residential rezonings (one of which was Situate’s application 🙌), an application from the City of Edmonton to rezone some land to a park, and an industrial rezoning.
Three infill applications were debated, including an application from the City of Edmonton to rezone some land for urban services, an application for low rise (RA7) residential, and another application for mid rise (RA8) residential (Situate’s application, profiled below).
Situate’s RA8 application was located in Mactaggart and proposed to rezone an approximately 1.5 acre site from RA7 to RA8. The property is located behind Optima Living’s Mactaggart Place seniors community, with direct access to Mullen Road via a narrow strip of land (commonly known by urban planners as a panhandle lot 🍳). The subject lot and the Mactaggart Place lot were previously one large site that was subdivided in 2015, with the Mactaggart Place seniors community built on the front lot. In 2023, Mactaggart Place and the subject lot were sold to different buyers.
Interestingly, the two lots have shared driveways on the east and west sides (with access easements on title), and in 2022 a restrictive covenant was added to the subject lot that prohibits seniors facilities from being built there (if you’re curious to learn more about how and why someone would restrict seniors housing, check out Scorched Earth: The Use of Restrictive Covenants to Stifle Competition, which explains the use of restrictive covenants on commercial properties, and also touches on Edmonton’s infamous Carruthers’ and Safeway caveats).
Although four people spoke in opposition to the RA8 rezoning—concerned about the comfort and safety of the residents of Mactaggart Place—the tone on both sides was optimistic that the overall development could be designed to benefit everyone.
Notable questions from Council included specifics about density and parking, whether there would be commercial uses (there would not, due to the lack of visibility from the street), and whether there would be pedestrian connectivity through the site—an issue that seems to be a priority for Council on large-ish sites like this one. ⬅️ ⭐
The application eventually passed unanimously.
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WHAT’S UP AT PUBLIC HEARING ON MONDAY
The October 16 public hearing is the one that we’ve been waiting for for years—possibly decades actually, since the last time Edmonton got a new zoning bylaw has waaaay back in the 1960s (!)
You can read what people have written to Council so far about the proposed new Zoning Bylaw here (which might just make you want to send your own missive to Council, which you can do in 30 seconds or less by sending an email to the city clerk).
Of course, you can follow along on the action via Edmonton City Council’s YouTube channel; the action starts at 9:30 am on Monday, October 16, and is scheduled to continue on October 17 and 18 to accommodate the hundred(s) of people expected to speak.
LEARN ABOUT THE NEW ZONING BYLAW
If you’re looking for a rundown of what’s being proposed in the proposed new Zoning Bylaw, check out the City’s webpage, and/or read up on Situate’s growing series of posts: what’s happening with the new zoning bylaw, the proposed small scale infill zone, the RS zone, and the proposed medium scale residential zone, the RM zone.
NEWS FROM SITUATE
On October 12 Situate participated in IDEA’s second annual infill symposium.
👈 Chelsey was proud to represent Edmonton on the interprovincial insights panel (which Allison co-facilitated), and the whole team had a great time attending this insightful and engaging event, connecting with passionate city builders and shapers who are committed to enhancing our mature neighborhoods. See you next year!
OTHER GOOD READS
Here’s a provocative thought: “A world in which anyone could get a permit for a new dwelling as easily and cheaply as they get a new car registration would look very different from ours, as would a regime in which you needed to get your neighbors permission to buy a new car.” Read more in CityCommentary’s “What if we regulated cars like we do housing?“
CITY BUILDING EVENTS
If you’re a bike enthusiast, mark your calendar for October 19th. Chris Bruntlett, guest ambassador from the Dutch Cycling Embassy, will be speaking about quick wins, pop-up to permanent bike routes, bikenomics, tourist and recreational bike routes, parking, and communication and storytelling. Councillor Michael Janz has a discount code to get free tickets if you RSVP through his webpage.
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.