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Infill etiquette- how do we get developers on board ?

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  • #61
    My issue Gord is that there is little to no consistency in the issuance if variances and enforcement of the bylaws. I'm glad your appeal went well for you however I can come up with several instances where there was a much different outcome in the same situation
    Over promise and under deliver. It’s the most Edmonton thing you can do.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Gord Lacey View Post
      Originally posted by eons View Post
      Originally posted by Gord Lacey View Post
      What you received was a variance in the way that grade is calculated, which affects the height. While the result may be similar, you didn't get a height variance, you got a grade variance (which affects the height).

      How did they decide to calculate grade? Sounds as though your lot has a lot of slope to it?
      Nice play with words.

      Height = elevation of roof top - grade - 1.5m
      (assuming the roof truss height is > 3m)

      Variance of grade = Variance of height for all practical development purposes. They may be different for a lawyer or a linguistic professor. But they are the same for everyone trying to build a house.

      With the ability to grant variance to grade calculation, and thus height, DO has a lot of power and there is a lot room to be exploited.
      I'm sorry you can't see the difference.
      I'm sorry you can't see the problem.

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by 240GLT View Post
        My issue Gord is that there is little to no consistency in the issuance if variances and enforcement of the bylaws. I'm glad your appeal went well for you however I can come up with several instances where there was a much different outcome in the same situation
        In my research of my problem, I found that most of the rulings were ones that I agreed with given the information presented in the ruling. For example, I found one where the height was waaaay off, the number of storeys was off, and a number of other things. The house was built in a valley, so it was way lower than the other houses around it, and they were building the site up with dirt before building the house. I knew the site well (it's a block North of me), and I agreed with the ruling. Another one was over height, but the DO messed up and included the height of the elevator area in the overall height, so the SDAB ruled for the applicant. I don't think I came across anything that jumped out at me, but I was only looking at a very, very narrow section of what SDAB hears.

        I know that Ben Henderson has commented that he doesn't agree with a number of the rulings SDAB has made, and people at the city have said "Sometimes we go in there thinking there's no way they'll approve something, and they do, and other times we think there's no way it'll get rejected and it does. We just never know."

        My recent trip to SDAB was the only time I've "won," but the previous two times were extremely weak arguments on our case (as other neighbours were involved as well). This time our case was pretty much airtight, and their arguments were either weak, or laughable. I've also learned that it's extremely difficult to argue a side yard variance (like... almost impossible).
        They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

        Comment


        • #64
          some of the difficulty with sdab is a misunderstanding of the body itself, one that even some of the members have difficulty with, never mind administration and the public. it is not a municipal body, it is a provincial one. there are some things it can vary and there are others it cannot. some of the inconsistency comes from granting variances that in some cases it should not and not granting variances in other cases where it should have. it is expensive and time consuming to appeal an sdab decision so the confusion is sometimes perpetuated as their decisions - even the conflicting ones - all set precedent.
          "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

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          • #65
            Infill police: Enforcing building standards, reducing stress on the neighbours

            Looks like the city is finally getting some cajones to tackle this ridiculous issue. My only concern is they're going at it from a primarily "educational" point of view, and the only thing that will work is fines. Developers are in this for money, not feels. If it doesn't hit them in the profits, they won't abide by the rules.
            "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

            Comment


            • #66
              Homebuilder pleads with council to avoid tearing down half-finished bungalow built without a permit


              Well, lookee here, that didn't take long!

              Celebration Homes started construction on a bungalow at a prime location in the Donsdale neighbourhood’s Touchmark community without a development permit.
              It was caught — fined $1,000 — and then realized the house was offside with the zoning rules for the area as well, said company president Randy Ettinger. The house was supposed to be set back 4.5 metres from the adjacent park. Instead, it was built 1.2 metres from the property line.
              Huh... maybe they would have been notified of the problem when they got the permit before they started like they should have.


              Ettinger was in council chambers Monday blaming miscommunication for his construction department jumping the gun and asking council not to make him tear it down for the setback issue.

              “It’s 100 per cent our fault. We’ve apologized. We’ve paid fines for starting early,” Ettinger said.

              But the homebuilder’s pleas were falling on the ears of some clearly frustrated councillors.

              “You’re responsible for this situation, are you not?” Coun. Mike Nickel. “Why didn’t you tear out the foundation and do it correctly?”
              Well done Mr. Nickel. Time to drop the hammer on every developer that tries to weasel around the rules.
              "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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              • #67
                I don't think the city is going about this the right way.
                Council unanimously voted to send the issue back to administration, hoping to force Ettinger’s client to buy part of the city park to accommodate the 4.5 metre setback. If city officials have a reason not to sell the land, Ettinger could still be forced to tear down the home and leave the lot vacant.
                Why do they want the developer to buy parkland? I'd rather they leave everything as it is and make the developer pay a fine substantial enough to ensure they do things right the next time. The setback violation isn't harming any adjacent properties.

                Comment


                • #68
                  The fine should be in the amount of whatever it costs to fix the mistake + 50%. Then it will be preferable to fix it and do it properly.
                  "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Chmilz View Post
                    The fine should be in the amount of whatever it costs to fix the mistake + 50%. Then it will be preferable to fix it and do it properly.
                    It's not easy to accurately assess the cost to fix, when a mess like this takes place. IMO, the city should skip the complexity and offer the following alternatives:
                    1) Require the land owner to comply to approved development/building permits.
                    2) Or, return the land to original state (i.e. just a piece of flat land)
                    3) Or, sell the property to someone who is willing to comply after purchase.

                    Oh, and subcontract the communication with the landowner to a law firm which collects its own pay from the land owner.
                    Last edited by eons; 22-11-2016, 10:22 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Garneau in the news again RE infill

                      "The Garneau community league is challenging the development permit for a skinny apartment at 11007 85th Ave. Right now, it's a single-family dwelling on a small 400 square-metre lot.

                      The city bylaw requires a minimum of 800 sq. m. for a development like this apartment.

                      But after a hearing at the subdivision and development appeal board, an exception was made and a permit for the three-storey apartment was issued."

                      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...ents-1.3935427

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by CBC
                        Coun. Ben Henderson, who represents Garneau, said he's concerned about changes to neighbourhoods that come about because of exceptions to the bylaw.

                        "If the zoning needs to be changed, then we should look at the zoning and have a good public discussion about that," Henderson said.

                        "I just worry that when we do it through variance, it creates a distrust in the community which is not what we need right now. We need to be moving forward on this together in a way that everybody can get behind."
                        This is the problem. This sort of development is entirely appropriate in any community bordering the U of A, but that should be set out in the zoning, not decided on a case by case basis by a development officer or the SDAB.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          I read the article, and took a look at the photos, and the words "skinny apartment building" conjures up an image of a tall, thin building. What's shown in the renders looks like a 2 1/2-storey house that blends in really well with the surrounding houses. Nowhere is it mentioned how many apartments this building would have, but I'm guessing it's 3 (basement, main level, second floor). We have a house a block North of me that has 4 apartments in it (legally), and it just looks like a large-ish house.

                          Oh, I searched and this is pretty old news (decision was rendered in September). It's a 3 unit apartment house, with 6 parking spots. The decision is here:
                          http://sdab.edmonton.ca/download.asp...tName=Decision

                          It's also not clear from the article, but it sounds as though this was rejected by the city, but then approved by SDAB. This means it's not council that's to blame, or the city, but the SDAB members that sat on the hearing.

                          It was actually a pretty poorly written article that didn't spell out the process, or who made what decisions (IE. it was rejected by the city, and then approved by SDAB).
                          They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Really it's closer to being a house with two suites than an apartment building. There was a journal article on the same issue that also mentioned a 5-6 suite one nearby, about the same size but with two suites per floor and one in the basement. A bit more "apartment building" like.
                            There can only be one.

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