September 26, 2016

Planning & Development

Public Hearing re Height & Aug 18 Meeting re Trees

At the July 6, 2015 Public Hearing, 2 pm, the proposed Height regulation changes will be debated and voted on by City Council. 

At the August 18, 2015 Executive Committee meeting, City Council members will be considering strategy options for preserving private mature trees.

You can influence the decisions of Council by writing or phoning Council and by speaking at the Public Hearing. (click here to request to speak)

Please cc your correspondence to city.clerk@edmonton.ca  so that your correspondence is placed in the appropriate agenda file by the clerk’s office, and cc planner@efcl.org so that EFCL can represent your views.

Below are more details on A. Height Regulations and B. Preservation of Trees

A.      HEIGHT REGULATIONS

At the July 6th Public Hearing, Council will be considering 3 separate Height related bylaws.  In summary, Bylaw 16733 proposes to:

-          Eliminate maximum number of storeys as a regulation of building height

-          For all zones where the maximum height is 14 m (such as low-rise apartments), distinguish between flat, mansard and gambrel roof buildings, and pitched roof buildings, giving 14.5 m as the maximum mid-roof height for flat, mansard and gambrel roofs and 16 m for gable and hip roofs.

Bylaw 17062 poses some issues.  The bylaw proposes to:

-          Increase the maximum ridge height from 1.5 m to 2.5 m above the maximum mid-roof height

-          Provide specific guidance for how to calculate the midpoint of different roof types

-          Measure the maximum height of flat roof buildings to the midpoint of the parapet (the external wall which extends about the roof deck).  This allows flat roof buildings to be as tall as the maximum ridge height of sloped roof buildings in the same zone

-          Add another method of calculating Grade for sloped lots, thus allowing walk out basements.

Bylaw 17277 proposes to:

-          Clarify when a wind or shadow study shall be required, and what would be a satisfactory result shown in that information

-          Enable the city Development Officer to request a lot grading plan earlier in the development review process.

To read the bylaws go to the July 6 Public Hearing Agenda and click on Items 5.6, 5.7 & 5.8 to access the reports and bylaws. 

The EFCL Planning and Development Committee has put a tremendous amount of time into analyzing the various height regulation proposals over the last few months. We would like to share our analysis with leagues to help you understand the implications of the proposals.

For your information I have attached:

-          EFCL’s letter to City Council, including Figure 6

-          EFCL Planning Committee’s Height Worksheet.

See you at the Public Hearing!

B.      CITY TO CONSIDER OPTIONS FOR PRESERVING MATURE TREES ON PRIVATE PROPERTY

The practice of stripping residential sites of all vegetation prior to new housing developments in new and mature neighbourhoods poses one of the greatest threats to Edmonton ’s tree canopy, according to Urban Forester Trevor Thistle.  Edmonton has weak policies, laws and incentive to preserve private trees.

 

The Residential Infill Guidelines specify that mature trees should be retained wherever possible during housing infill developments, yet seldom is a tree ever saved during excavation.  The aesthetic look and feel of mature neighbourhoods is being lost along with the economic and environmental benefits of the trees. 

This was a common complaint heard by City Council during deliberations on changing bylaws to open up more opportunities for infill housing.  In response on March 16, 2015, Council passed the following motion: That Administration provide a report outlining options and incentives related to development permits, aimed at preserving trees on private residential property in mature neighbourhoods, and return to Executive Committee.

On August 18th Administration is likely going to go to Executive Committee of Council with three strategies for Council to consider:

1.       Require minimum tree and shrub planting during the Development Process.  At present the low density zones in established neighbourhoods do not require any tree or shrub planting. Neighbourhood developers in new neighbourhoods usually require the site owners to plant trees after the housing is built, but there is no such requirement in established neighbourhoods.

2.      Increase planting requirements and Mandatory Landscape Plans.  The landscaping plan would identify both the existing and proposed landscaping in order to allow the Development Officer to determine if the minimum requirements are being met. Applicants could meet the enhanced requirements by retaining existing trees and vegetation or by planting new trees and other vegetation. Greater credits could be given for the mature trees.

The Zoning Bylaw presently permits the paving or cementing over of the entire rear yard, and for low density zones the same can be done in the front yard if combined with decorative rocks or other hard landscaping products. A review of all vegetation requirements, not just trees, could be undertaken. 

3.      Tree Protection Bylaw

In order to accomplish tree protection on private property outside the Development Process, a Tree Protection Bylaw would be required. The bylaw would require the issuance of a permit prior to removal of any tree over a certain size and of specific species.  Similar to the laws in B.C. and Ontario , the tree bylaws would not restrict development opportunities within the developable area of a site.  The preservation of trees may pose an inconvenience during the construction phase; however, the preservation of trees should not stop developments.

Do you have other strategies or incentives to suggest?

Which strategies do you support?

 

Send your input to the city planner working on the report to city council and to Executive Committee of Council . If you send your suggestions to Matthew.Zentner@edmonton.ca prior to July 3, 2015, he may be able to include your suggestions in his report.  Please ccplanner@efcl.org.

 

Future LRT

Project website: City of Edmonton > Southeast to West LRT: Mill Woods to Lewis Farms

The Southeast to West LRT (Valley Line) is a low-floor urban line that will run from Mill Woods to Lewis Farms, crossing through downtown. The line runs a total length of 27km and its route has been approved by City Council. Public input helped shape the route, stop/station locations and other details during the Concept Planning phase. The estimated total cost of the line is $3.2 billion.

The project is currently in the preliminary design phase. During this phase, the City will conduct a more detailed analysis of how the LRT will operate, as well as how the system will integrate into the existing and planned transportation network and adjacent communities. This phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.

City Council has approved a funding strategy for the Valley Line, starting with the $1.8 billion Mill Woods to Centre West leg. The financing plan depends on cost sharing with the governments of Canada and Alberta. If the remaining funding for this stage is secured in 2013, construction on the line could begin as early as 2015.

 

Glenora Skyline

Glenora Skyline Update - May, 2015

Advertisement