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Suburban-style front garages coming to mature Edmonton neighbourhoods?

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  • Suburban-style front garages coming to mature Edmonton neighbourhoods?

    Suburban-style front garages coming to mature Edmonton neighbourhoods?

    When do you think a developer should be able to build a large, front double-garage extending several metres out from the front of a house in a mature neighbourhood?

    Should that decision be up to the city’s development officer? Or should the neighbours have a say?

    Bylaw changes to the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay that would allow more of these garages to be built are coming before city councillors next week Monday. The Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues is objecting, worried these new regulations are not about increasing density, they are about allowing “monster homes,” says Bev Zubot, who follows planning for the federation.

    Here’s a quote from an alert sent out to all community leagues:

    The front garage regulations limiting the size and protrusion of front garages have been eliminated, and it is left to the City’s Development Officer to determine whether the proposed front garage is characteristic of the block. The changes to Section 7 of the MNO could be problematic because some suburban-style houses with large, protruding attached front garages had begun to be built in older neighbourhoods before the MNO came into effect, thus the City could determine there is precedent for them. If the City’s Development Officer determines that a precedent has been set, the neighbours and the Community League will not be notified because no rules will have been varied- the decision on what is characteristic of the block is left to the judgment of the Development Officer.

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/201...eighbourhoods/


    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

  • #2
    I would like to hear everyone's feedback on this. For those of you who don't know, I am the EFCL planning rep for district F (central and central NW) and we are currently discussing/debating this issue specifically.


    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

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    • #3
      Please no. Front garages suck life out of the street. Only exception being perhaps townhouses where the garage is "beneath", which is tolerable.

      Comment


      • #4
        Also, if you don't like this idea, email your Councillors.


        Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

        Comment


        • #5
          I think it could work in mature neighbourhoods as long as they're not on major roads (like 72nd Ave, for instance). It's not like every house is going to be bulldozed in favour of a front-attached garage house. If there is a mix, then mature neighbourhoods (now with more options) become that much more desireable to the demographic that is currently buying in the new suburbs.

          I like the idea of consulting neighbours and doing it case by case though.

          Also, the pictures in that blog post/story bother me because they specifically chose to picture a front-attached garage home that doesn't have any landscaping done, and also doesn't have the room above the garage...which makes the garage look considerably less integrated. I know this is one example, but it seems very deliberate and biased to me.

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          • #6
            This is a very bad idea. Not only are front garages and driveways ugly, they also displace street parking. If we are trying to increase density, maintaining street parking is important. I would like to see an outright, 100%, no exceptions prohibition on front garages anywhere that there is an alley and the street is wide enough to allow parking on both sides (9 m or more). The current regulations regarding maximum protrusion and maximum driveway width should continue to apply in the few locations where there are no alleys or very narrow streets where parking is prohibited.
            Last edited by Titanium48; 24-10-2012, 02:18 PM.

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            • #7
              This is a horrible idea that would destroy the sense of community that that is a trademark of these neighbourhoods. I only wish new neighbourhoods were built like these old ones. I will email my councillor.
              Go down a few dark alleys.

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              • #8
                Front drive garages in older neighbourhoods are a blight. Its not good enough to leave the decision to the development officer. They just shouldn't happen. If someone wants a garage in their front yard they should move to a neighbourhood that allows them. It isn't like they don't have a huge choice of places to choose from. In my area of Sherwood Park there is one house that I swear the double garage must come within a couple feet of the front property line. How would you like to get sandwiched between a couple of those?

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                • #9
                  If you've got a lane, there is no reason to approve unfriendly, front street-facing garages. No reason. If you don't, then you can get a variance easily, no changes to the MNO necessary.

                  I can't imagine who in the world brought this forward or is advocating for it.
                  www.decl.org

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                  • #10
                    They're hideous, a waste of space, and completely unnecessary when an alley exists.
                    I don't know who dreamed up this hairbrained idea, but it will certainly not lead to increased density - quite the opposite.

                    Email sent to Counc Henderson.
                    Last edited by nobleea; 24-10-2012, 03:26 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by IanO View Post
                      Also, if you don't like this idea, email your Councillors.
                      Hi Kim,

                      Please vote against this. Not only is it visually gross - ruining the aesthetic of the street by essentially paving over lawns - it also encourages greater vehicle ownership by creating more parking. If Edmonton is serious about encouraging public or pedestrian transit, along with well designed neighbourhoods that don't look like a dogs breakfast, council needs to back away from backwards measures that clearly put the focus on automobiles.

                      I trust you'll make the right decision to help Edmonton grow and prosper without letting mature neighbourhoods become a hodge-podge mess other cities have become, like Surrey.

                      Regards,
                      Chmilz
                      "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't like the idea of front entrance garages taking up parking spots or that sometimes the garage is so big the character of the house is lost.
                        If this is going to be done build the garages with two doors. Drive in from the street and drive out through the lane.
                        Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by GreenSPACE View Post
                          If you've got a lane, there is no reason to approve unfriendly, front street-facing garages. No reason. If you don't, then you can get a variance easily, no changes to the MNO necessary.

                          I can't imagine who in the world brought this forward or is advocating for it.
                          Agreed. A few of the front facing garages are popping up in my neighbourhood as well usually when an old house is torn down and a new one is built. Like many of Edmonton's oldest neighbourhoods, McCauley has grassed and treed boulevards between the street and the sidewalk, the gold standard for walkability.

                          Often a front driveway is poured to the sidewalk and vehicles start to cross the boulevard often coming very close to the mature elms and putting ruts in the grass between the street and the sidewalk. Some time later (perhaps after the City grants a variance) the rest of the driveway is poured to the street.

                          Instead of rewarding people who break the rules by giving them a variance after the fact, it's time for the City to crack down and require these illegal driveways to be removed and to make whoever is installing them pay for any damage to public property.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ignoring the ugliness of front-garages (a reason I think many people choose a mature neighbourhood), I'd like to echo the concerns that it will have a negative impact on street parking and traffic. In my neighbourhood (Parkallen), street parking is often at a premium as it is. Having driveways stick out everywhere is a terrible idea. Also, judging from when I go to visit friends in newer neighbourhoods, people often park on their front driveways in away that they completely block the sidewalk for pedestrians. Older neighbourhoods also don't have as wide of roads to accommodate people reversing in and out without blocking everything. We have back alleys for a reason.

                            I'm curious why this is even being proposed. I can understand why most new neighbourhoods are built with front garages (to save on building alleys and maximize land use). But since older neighbourhood are already built to accommodate rear-garages, why bother with a front garage? Most front garages end up being horrible heat losses anyhow.
                            Last edited by halocore; 24-10-2012, 07:08 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I live in an area built in the mid 70's on my block there are at least 5 house with front access garages. These garages however are all integral with the house (do no protrude out the front). They all have large driveways that can accomodate two full size vehicles (without overhanging the curb), an still have 1-2 parking spaces in front of their own house. The problem is most lose a lot of floor space on the lower level. While this deisgn works well and is not a big distraction from the rest of the house, I do not see any new homes ever being built like this. I do not like the look of the NEW front garage homes, and definately do not support these being allowed into mature areas.

                              I am guessing what people are looking for is convienence - being able to drive into a warm garage and unload their stuff right into their house. This is not possible with a detached garage, or having a garage off the alley (eliminate most of backyard if attached). I say if they want that option then go find a newer area and build accordingly, on your ultra narrow lot.

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