Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Riverbanks need protection, says city report

  1. #1

    Default Riverbanks need protection, says city report

    Riverbanks need protection, says city report
    Man-made erosion contribution to landslides, committee will hear


    Susan Ruttan, edmontonjournal.com
    Published: 30 August 2007 3:49 pm


    The city needs a beefed-up policy to protect its fragile riverbanks from man-made erosion, says a new city report.

    The report, which will be reviewed Tuesday by council's transportation and public works committee, says one study found three-quarters of 27 local landslides were caused by human activity.

    The city has set a "top-of-bank line" along riverbanks to protect the cliff edges from development, says the report, but that line has been drawn somewhat arbitrarily.

    What's needed, it says, is a line based on geotechnical data to separate relatively stable land along the rivers from unstable land.

    Such geotechnical studies can also show where residents living near ravines should be constrained from using such things as lawn sprinkler systems, which can cause erosion.

    The instability of Edmonton's riverbanks was underlined in 1999 when a landslide sent a luxury home tumbling down the bank and left two others uninhabitable. The city paid $740,000 in one resulting lawsuit.

    Current city policy says roadways should always be built along the top of riverbanks in new developments, to allow public access to the bank and prevent housing there.

    In practice, the new report states, only about one-quarter of riverbank areas in the past 22 years have got roadways; most developers put in only walkways.

    [email protected]

    © Edmonton Journal 2007

    -30-

  2. #2
    Addicted to C2E
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Not here
    Posts
    853

    Default

    Just what we need more rules to impede developers from providing the desperately needed housing that we need.

    If someone wants to be close to the river that should be their right providing the City is indemnified from any future intensification of the river view.

  3. #3

    Default

    No city in the world allows developers to build where ever they want. There are always restrictions and regulations in the public ineterest.

  4. #4
    grish
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kona
    Just what we need more rules to impede developers from providing the desperately needed housing that we need.
    yes, we desperately need river-front estates. there is such shortage of those that people resort to living in the tent city.

  5. #5

    Default Planner wants road buffer for riverbanks to prevent erosion

    Planner wants road buffer for riverbanks to prevent erosion
    Houses on ravines popular, but developers build only sidewalks


    Susan Ruttan, The Edmonton Journal
    Published: 31 August 2007 2:40 am


    The city needs a beefed-up policy to protect its fragile riverbanks from man-made erosion, says a new report.

    The current policy has failed to stop an increasing amount of development along Edmonton's clay riverbanks and ravines, and a resulting amount of damage to those banks, says the report by city planner Stefan Fekner.

    "We are beginning to appreciate the cost to the city of continuing down this path," Fekner said in an interview Thursday. The city budgets more than $1 million a year for landslide repairs and monitoring.

    The report, which goes to council's transportation and public works committee Tuesday, cites a study that found three-quarters of local landslides were caused by human activity.

    Fekner said Edmonton's clay riverbank and ravines are eroding constantly. The cliff edge today will not be the cliff edge 50 years from now.

    The instability of Edmonton's riverbanks was underlined in 1999 when a landslide sent a luxury home tumbling down the bank and left two others uninhabitable. The city paid $740,000 in one resulting lawsuit.

    Current city policy says roadways should be built along the top of riverbanks in new developments to allow public access to the bank and prevent housing being built there.

    In practice, the new report states, only about one-quarter of riverbank areas had roadways built in the last 22 years; most developers put in only walkways.

    Fekner said a roadway provides an additional buffer between the fragile cliff edge and development, beyond what a walkway provides.

    Ada Boulevard and Saskatchewan Drive are old examples of such roadways, he said.

    Where there is no roadway, he said, private encroachment into land along the river tends to occur -- the homeowner builds a gazebo or whatever.

    A proposed new policy would require roads to be built along the cliff edge in all new industrial and commercial areas to prevent encroachment of businesses near the riverbank.

    In new residential areas, the policy would require roadways, with no exceptions, where the slope is particularly steep.

    In less steep ravines, roads would be required on just half of them. The Urban Development Institute, which speaks for developers, thinks a walkway is preferable to a road. So does the Sierra Club, the report states.

    The city has set a "top-of-bank line" along riverbanks to protect the cliff edges from development, says the report, but that line has been drawn somewhat arbitrarily.

    What's needed, it says, is a new line based on geotechnical data to separate relatively stable land along the rivers from unstable land.

    Such geotechnical studies also can show where nearby residents should be banned from using such things as lawn sprinkler systems, which can cause erosion.

    Despite the 1999 slide, houses on ravines are still much sought after.

    A Twin Brooks couple, Rose and Bryan Ross, appeared before the city's development appeal board in July asking for the right to build a swimming pool in their backyard, which overlooks Blackmud Creek.

    The board turned them down, citing concerns from city engineers that the pool would be too close to the ravine's edge.

    The city report said homeowners along ravines "may well have a false expectation of the longevity of the lot and its reasonable safety from imminent or short-term slope failure." Erosion of those cliffs is a virtual certainty, Fekner said.

    [email protected]

    © The Edmonton Journal 2007

    -30-

  6. #6
    Addicted to C2E
    Mr. Reality Check

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    13,215

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by grish
    Quote Originally Posted by kona
    Just what we need more rules to impede developers from providing the desperately needed housing that we need.
    yes, we desperately need river-front estates. there is such shortage of those that people resort to living in the tent city.
    it's too easy to miss the forest on this one for the trees. udi's position can be summed up as follows:
    At the time of last formal contact, the Urban Development Institute (UDI) did not support the provision of a roadway under any circumstances on the basis that it is unnecessary for physical access, is uneconomic and is inefficient relative to the use of valuable urban land. The UDI believes a TOB walkway is adequate to provide physical and visual access to the river valley and ravines.
    The position of the Sierra Club on TOB development is as follows:
    • a blanket TOB policy is inappropriate as it may not accommodate site specific circumstances;
    • the main objective of any policy should be to protect the habitat and resident wildlife from urban development;
    • a TOB walkway is preferred to a TOB roadway in most situations as the latter poses, among other things, a threat to wildlife (e.g., road kill);
    • the current arbitrary 7.5 wide TOB walkway right-of-way is insufficient to protect the abutting river valley and ravines as a wildlife corridor and thus should be increased to as much as 75 metres (depending on site topography); and
    • public access and vehicle parking should be provided at 400 m intervals along the TOB.
    A public opinion survey conducted as part of the Urban Parks Master Plan project in July 2004 indicated the public wants visual and physical access to the TOB. The majority of those surveyed (58%) do not view this as a black or white issue and are willing to see some development backing onto the TOB, as long as there is also a “reasonable” amount of public access provided in the form of a TOB roadway. Only 4% of respondents were in favour of the TOB being developed exclusively with a walkway.

    you have to remember that this isn't a policy that affects much of the river bank or many of our major ravines (simply because there are not that many new subdivisions along those banks anyway). much of the issue relates to lands that are often not much more than local sloughs and the proposed policy is neither economical or appropriate for those neighborhoods.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  7. #7
    grish
    Guest

    Default

    i don't disagree. i am reacting to a comment about "desperately needed housing". most if not all of TOB development isn't "housing".

  8. #8
    Addicted to C2E
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Not here
    Posts
    853

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by grish
    Quote Originally Posted by kona
    Just what we need more rules to impede developers from providing the desperately needed housing that we need.
    yes, we desperately need river-front estates. there is such shortage of those that people resort to living in the tent city.
    One of the problems with email and posting in forums is you do get to see the body language or tone of voice of the person.

    Unfortunately there is not a sarcasm emoticon, I guess I could of used this one though I really thought that "If someone wants to be close to the river that should be their right providing the City is indemnified from any future intensification of the river view." would have made the sarcasm blatantly clear.

    Back on topic, sarcasm off, I would agree that the TOB walkway is best/adequate in most places, as in places where there is road there is just too much distance and the road infrastructure is not being used in its most economically manner - a walkway is more economical in this sense. Having said that, anyone who wants a good view of the river or creek area, should definitely not go crying to anyone when their yard or house starts to moving closer. One of many certainties in life is that rivers and creeks change course over time causing undercutting of banks and landslides. Now some areas will be more prone than others, but don't go suing the city if you were fairly warned about the potential dangers/risk - the key is that the potential landowner is fairly warned through a registration against their title.

  9. #9

    Default Consultation ordered on riverbank policy

    Consultation ordered on riverbank policy

    Susan Ruttan, edmontonjournal.com
    Published: Sept. 04, 2007 4:52 pm


    Local developers and environmentalists won a victory today as councillors ordered city staff to do more consultation on a proposed policy to protect riverbanks.

    City staff want to ensure that roads are built along the edge of steep riverbanks and ravines in new developments, so the public will have access to the views and to protect the banks from damage from development.

    Although that's already official city policy, it has rarely been enforced.

    Developers strongly oppose the idea, saying it's a waste of good land and that a walking path along the cliff's edge will do just as well. City staff and developers have been at loggerheads on the issue for several years.

    "This is the most inefficient waste of good marketable land," Michael Mooney, executive director of the Urban Development Institute, told council's transportation and public works committee today.

    Those riverbank properties are the logical place to provide homes for Edmonton's wealthy, Mooney added. Edmonton has "a distinct lack of topography" suitable to high-end houses, he said.

    Charlie Richmond, spokesman for the Sierra Club, also opposed putting roads on top of river and creek banks, calling the idea "ecologically uninformed."

    He told the committee the banks can be better protected by expanding the public green space along the banks.

    The committee ordered staff to consult more with the Urban Development Institute and environmental groups before proceeding to a formal public hearing on the policy.

    [email protected]

    © Edmonton Journal 2007

    -30-

  10. #10

    Default River valley view must be for all

    River valley view must be for all

    Hicks on Six
    Thu, September 6, 2007


    THE VIEW IS NOT FOR SALE

    I am so disappointed with this city's developers.

    They are infatuated with the almighty dollar.

    They want our river valley view to be the preserve of the rich.

    They will fight, every step of the way, a plan that Edmonton has tried to implement since 1907, a plan that city council is trying to resurrect 100 years later.

    In 1907, planner Frederick Todd proposed the river valley, and the "lip of the valley" on either side of the North Saskatchewan be left as public parkland. He proposed "top of the bank" scenic driveways running all the way through the city as a second sacred trust beside the actual river valley park.

    Bits and pieces were built, witness Ada Boulevard, Saskatchewan Drive, Jasper Avenue East, Strathearn Drive. But greed overwhelmed the public trust.

    Rules about set-back from the top of the river valley were eroded.

    Houses, condo towers and hotels started sneaking onto the other side of "top of the valley" roads.

    In the last decade, developers in the deep southwest have skirted city policy with carefully hidden walkways" along the river valley lip, as inconspicuous and uninviting as possible.

    City council will soon debate a policy that would insist, along the remaining 200 kilometres of so-far-undeveloped top-of-the-valley land, that the "set-back" be wide enough for scenic drives, that no house, mansion or tower block the public view.

    The developers will fight tooth and nail, reminding councillors of their election donations, wanting to keep those exclusive riverview lots as close to the valley lip as possible.

    Have backbone, city councillors.

    Don't give up our sacred trust, our priceless river valley view, to the capricious demands of the few.

    -30-

  11. #11
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Edmonton (Norwood)
    Posts
    4,506

    Default

    ^^^^Agreed. Ada Boulevard is a huge asset to Edmonton and we would do well to copy it, except for the few parts where houses snuck onto the river side and block the view. Move the road back in areas where the bank is unstable and don't allow development on the river side.

  12. #12
    C2E Hard Core Contributor
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Red Deer
    Posts
    2,561

    Default

    The city looks to buy the property for the 3 houses on Whitemud Road that were affected by bank slipping back in 1999.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...109/story.html

  13. #13
    C2E Hard Core Contributor
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Red Deer
    Posts
    2,561

    Default Edmonton riverbank homeowners struggle with eroding yard

    "An Edmonton homeowner is calling on the city to do something about the riverbank erosion that is quickly eating away backyards along his street.

    "It should be an issue for Edmontonians because it's their river," said Alain Brassard. "It's a river that's our most beautiful resource. And if houses were to fall into the river, it will be an incredible environmental issue."

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...yard-1.1876028

    I'm not sure how much the city is in charge of the river banks, as the titles include the land down to an environmental reserve along the river (and that ER has disappeared along 3 properties due to erosion extending the water shore). I imagine that there's a restrictive covenant on the titles. I'll post a view of the plan along 154th tomorrow.

    http://goo.gl/maps/TtolR

  14. #14
    C2E Hard Core Contributor
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Red Deer
    Posts
    2,561

    Default



    This is the area along 154th Street. Like I mentioned, I imagine the home owners would have responsibility for shoring up the banks. If the city did do any work, it might be shared among the home owners.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •