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  • New Strathcona ARP

    The area's redevelop plan will be undergoing revision, and with recent area and city growth, it presents some new and interesting scenarios and considerations. I am personally curious to see what amendments and alterations those on this forum would consider essential and/or relevant seeing where the old ARP has led the area and how development and urban strategies are being reimagined and implemented in our city (bike infrastructure, new transit strategy, mixed-use, age/family units etc.

    My most recent interests, both as a patron of the area, and from an academic standpoint, are parking and codes/zoning. The area's zoning, as is and within the fine print, limits quality growth and renewal, and new tactics need to be employed to encourage quality infill and density.

    I aim to understand your viewpoints in conjunction with my research to see what best strategies to discuss/write on for the new Strathcona ARP. Let's keep it non-subjective as possible.
    Live and love... your neighbourhood.

  • #2
    What's the point? The city just ignores any plans, guidelines etc they come up with anyway. Why waste the time? I personally feel it is important, but only if they aren't subsequently ignored.

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    • #3
      The city needs to come up with a plan that encourages good development, instead of choking it out with guidelines that are too restrictive. The current guidelines keep getting ignored because council realizes they stop any development from happening, even if it's good.

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      • #4
        I'd like to see any building over X storeys (maybe 4) forced to have street-level retail.
        They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by etownboarder View Post
          What's the point? The city just ignores any plans, guidelines etc they come up with anyway. Why waste the time? I personally feel it is important, but only if they aren't subsequently ignored.
          Depends on what the plan says. Some of what is currently being proposed might conform to the new plan.

          In any case, new or old plan, land owners have the right to apply for a direct control rezoning regardless.
          www.decl.org

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          • #6
            For instance, the Fuzion condos fell outside the Ritchie addition to the ARP and we largely ended up with what we got because of the addition being too late, and the current Old Strath ARP needing more detail in some places (codes... "shall not exceed" etc) and less restriction in other areas.
            Live and love... your neighbourhood.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by GreenSPACE View Post
              Originally posted by etownboarder View Post
              What's the point? The city just ignores any plans, guidelines etc they come up with anyway. Why waste the time? I personally feel it is important, but only if they aren't subsequently ignored.
              Depends on what the plan says. Some of what is currently being proposed might conform to the new plan.

              In any case, new or old plan, land owners have the right to apply for a direct control rezoning regardless.
              A strong argument could be made that if a municipality utilizes DC to contravene statutory plans, local stakeholders should have the right to sue.

              Unless we have "teeth" to enforce the hierarchy of statutory plans and zoning bylaws, planning is meaningless.

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              • #8
                ^Is that how the MGA is interpreted? Is there precedence for that?
                www.decl.org

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by etownboarder View Post
                  What's the point? The city just ignores any plans, guidelines etc they come up with anyway. Why waste the time? I personally feel it is important, but only if they aren't subsequently ignored.
                  I agree 100%, its a waste of time, everything is decided on a case by case, location by location assessment, with minimal consideration to plans or guidelines. It all just comes down to Council vote on the day. There are dozens of city plans sitting on shelves gathering dust, its just a make work / job project.

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                  • #10
                    ^^No, not as far as I am aware, but you see it a lot more in the states.

                    We have a very weak system of ensuring compliance in terms of statutory plans and zoning bylaws.

                    Right now if a municipal action doesn't comply with ALSA (which is pretty much impossible given how lax the wording is), anyone can make a complaint which goes to the land use secretariat. They then pass it on to the GOA if there is substance, but ultimately the decision is made at the Minister's whim because the Minister has the final say. There is no judicial procedure like you would have in the states, and I think that is a huge weakness.

                    With Bill 20 last spring we saw new requirements for compliance in a new hierarchy of plans (ALSA -> Regional (if applicable) -> IDP -> MDP -> ASP/ARP). But no mention of how this will actually be enforced. Bill 20 says that if a lower plan does not comply with the higher one, the higher one "prevails", but does not elaborate on how this would actually function. It also does not elaborate on what happens when a municipality has a bunch of compliant statutory plans, but a completely detached LUB.

                    Right across the province at the moment LUBs are completely out of line with statutory plans in the worst way. I'm frankly not aware of anyone that has a LUB that actually fits with the statutory plans in place. Municipalities seem to use statutory plans to show off all their grand ideas like increasing density, walkability etc, but then enact LUBs that contradict those goals and objectives entirely (e.g. parking requirements, secondary/garage suite limitations etc in Edmonton - contrary to MDP, contrary to many ASP/ARPs).

                    I would personally prefer if we introduced the more litigious American system. So any landowner, community group, developer etc could sue if a subservient plan does not comply or a decision is made that contravenes the statutory plans. For example in that system Ducks Unlimited could sue a municipality for approving a development (acceptable under the LUB) on a wetland, if the statutory plan called for the protection of wetlands. Or a developer could sue if the statutory plans called for increased density in all mature areas, but then restricted development to a point where a reasonable person would interpret it as not promoting density (side point: this system leads to far more precise and measurable objectives - instead of just having a "increase density" goal with no specifics you get real planning objectives to prevent lawsuits).

                    That would be a huge headache at first for municipalities, but it results in a far more predictable and efficient system in the long run.
                    Last edited by Jaerdo; 16-05-2016, 01:16 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Oh, and while I'm ranting, we should also outright ban MPCs and require all prospective SDAB members to take a university level planning law course + exam in order to sit on the board.

                      Moahunter is completely right as well, the worst example being with DC zones. What is the bloody point of planning as a practice if we have DC zones that are at the whim of councillors?

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                      • #12
                        New on-street parking system with more metred parking spaces? All on-street parking fees going directly into ARP zone fund for maintenance/improvement? OSBA/BRZ direct control (like their surface parking lot) of fee collection and use in area maintenance/enhancement?

                        Would personally like to see, and am trying to secure, on-street parking as a integrated part/tool of the Area's plan. ARP also needs to address need of parkades that bode well for pedestrian activity... some interesting tools out there to facilitate that development and to position them well within the community... trying to work towards better wording and structure on this type of parking structure within the ARP. For such a huge impact... parking is barely listed on the current ARP, and is left more to zoning. The exception being the Historic Business District (roughly 105-103 street and 81-83 avenue), which only recently brought in a business/building parking reduction.
                        Live and love... your neighbourhood.

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                        • #13
                          Workshops and consultations have begun. Workshop #2 is coming up.
                          Live and love... your neighbourhood.

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                          • #14
                            New survey is up, which was consolidated and simplified from participating workshopers/ workbook responses. Meeting #2 is early September in the Roots Building. Would like to see where this even goes if anywhere
                            Live and love... your neighbourhood.

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                            • #15
                              Link to Survey?

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