LDA20-0123 106a Street RA8 Rezoning

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Consultation has concluded

a black and white map of the area around the property that is proposed to be rezoned (8515 106A Street NW, 8521 206A Street NW, and 8523 106A Street NW), with a grey box on the property, labelled "RA7 to RA8".

***The discussion has concluded and a What We Heard Report will be posted here when available.***

Thank you for participating in engagement activities for this rezoning application.

The application is expected to go to City Council Public Hearing for a decision, with the exact date still to be determined. For more information, please visit these FAQs(External link) for Council meetings.

***The discussion has concluded and a What We Heard Report will be posted here when available.***

Thank you for participating in engagement activities for this rezoning application.

The application is expected to go to City Council Public Hearing for a decision, with the exact date still to be determined. For more information, please visit these FAQs(External link) for Council meetings.

Tell us what you think about the application

Please let us know what you like and what could be better about this application. What should Council know as they decide whether or not to approve the rezoning? Other people that visit this part of the site will be able to see your comments.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

I am a renter in one of the buildings close to the site and I want to voice my strong support for this project, from a renter’s perspective. This project potentially can provide more attractive new rental units to the area, which I think is currently lacking. Most of the rental buildings in the area were probably built in the 1960s. So this new project will be an excellent choice for those who like the neighbourhood, prefer something newer, greener and more energy efficient but do not want to live close to the 109th street or the Whyte avenue.

The people objecting to this project are likely homeowners/building owners around the area. For example, I know Mr. Gary Nash is the owner of the pink building right next to the rezoning site. I understand Mr. Nash’s concerns because of the potential impact on his rental building, due to either short-term construction impact or long-term competition for renters. However, I believe the 7-meter height increase is not inappropriate in this particular location, given there are several 15+ storey buildings less than a 100 meter away – it is a good transition anyway. For those complaining about the shadowing, it is a bit puzzling to me too because the mature trees along 106A street are higher than 23 meters already – these houses/buildings are in the shadow no matter what. Should the city cut those trees down too?

Council members, please keep in mind that for each objection, there’s only one voice behind it, but for each supporting voice, it represents a few, if not dozens of similar voices. Only 12% of the residents in Garneau were owners of the properties and only 24% were owners in Strathcona. So people living in Garneau and Strathcona are mostly renters - let the small guys’ voices heard! Don’t let that 10-20% population decide our future.

Developable land in the neighbourhood is limited and shrinking, so we need to increase density to meet demand. The UofA is planning to increase enrolment by 25%, or over 10,000 more students by 2025. Many of these new students will be living in this neighbourhood eventually. Rental supply is always tight in the area, so we need to prepare for the upcoming extra demand. Otherwise, students will end up paying the cost - owners are more than happy to pocket that extra $.

Stevie 5 months ago

I support this application because it will increase supply of affordable housing units in this neighbourhood.

The Garneau Area Redevelopment Plan was created almost 40 years ago in 1982, when Edmonton only had a population of about half million people. Fast forward to 2021, The city’s population has doubled to one million and Edmonton CMA’s population has grown to almost 1.5 million! As the City plans to attract its 2,000,000th resident over the next two decades, we have to re-evaluate how to use our limited land resource more effectively and efficiently. To achieve that goal without further expand the city boundary, we have to increase density in mature neighbourhoods smartly, particularly the ones like Strathcona where this site sits – it is close to the City Centre and Primary Corridors; it is technically within the Major Node of Univeristy/Garneua according to the City Plan; and it is popular among young families but who usually cannot afford with the current stock/selection of housing supply. The GARP need a refresh to better reflect current situations and market needs.

The fact that this site locates in Strathcona but is subject to the GARP is also confusing. Once again, the GARP may need an update to better align its boundary. This project, in my humble opinion, should have been subject to the Strathcona Area Redevelopment Plan instead.

Thank you.

Stevie 5 months ago

Dear Mayor and City Council,

I strongly oppose the rezoning from RA7 to RA8.

-This is a mature neighbourhood and the street runs the span of approximately two blocks and with no real thru-way.
-The street can not handle higher density traffic flow.
Currently there is not sufficient parking and with a RA8 rating would be even less.
-6-storey would not fit with the aesthetics of the street/neighbourhood and weaken property values.
-Commercial property would bring excessive noice to a quiet street and would not be compatible with the surroundings. This is a residential street and does not conform to commercial business.

The request for rezoning should be denied.

Regards,
IAK

IAK 5 months ago

I cast my support for this application because it aligns with the City Plan to increase density in the area. It will create more energy efficient and sustainable housing units that this neighbourhood needs. With a potential to build a 6-storey building, it increases the possibility that the developer will create some townhouse style units on the main floor as seen in quite a few other projects in Edmonton in recent years. This will blend in well with the rest of the neighbourhood and more importantly, provides bigger housing option for growing young families.

Stevie 5 months ago

Quietness, as mentioned by many people in the responses, is a character of Garneau that we should preserve. Let me ask, for who? Is it in the interest of the public to keep Garneau quiet? or is it in the interest of the very few rich and old? Nearby, there is the vibrant Whyte ave, world's top university, the best hospital, access to downtown and the river valley. And yet young people and young families are pushed to the suburbs, having to commute more than an hour to work, simply because they can't afford to live in a neighbourhood like Garneau.

This project if approved, will likely create 10 additional units compared to what it would be under RA7, many are three bedroom units that will provide great opportunities for young families. 10 additional units, 20 more people will break the quietness of Garneau. Maybe? But it will also create enjoyable life and bright future, for the younger generation. It will create opportunities for top university students, researchers, future business leaders, young children, young professionals who will make great positive contribution to this community. It will bring stability and vibrancy to the community. It's not noise, it's just people, lovely people.

If we are talking about serving the public, who is our public?

JZheng 5 months ago

I am glad that an application has been submitted to build a building of up to 6 storey in this area. So far the infills around this area have been mostly single family homes or duplexes, which are waste of land and do not reflect the market needs.

This proposal is in sync with the City Plan and reflects its following guiding values very well:

1.2.2.4 Encourage medium and high density residential development that serves households above the average Edmonton household size.

2.2.1 Promote compact, mixed use development within districts that supports equitable access to employment, education and amenities.

2.2.1.6 Enable ongoing residential infill to occur at a variety of scales, densities and designs within all parts of the residential area.

2.3.1 Promote opportunities to accommodate growth through the compact development of new and existing neighbourhoods.

2.3.1.6 Enable and encourage new growth in alignment with priority areas as outlined in Managing Growth in Edmonton.

2.3.2 Ensure that growth is managed with regard to long term fiscal impacts and full lifecycle costs of infrastructure and services.

2.3.2.6 Require that all districts meet or exceed regional density targets as they develop and redevelop over time.

Stevie 5 months ago

The Garneau Area Development Plan was established in the 1980s. Over the past 40 years, land values have gone up 5 times, construction and material costs and labour costs have gone up many times as well.

Why does the developer want to go through all the trouble, time, and effort to apply for rezoning? It is simply because it is too expensive to build infill projects. Rezoning from RA7 to RA8 would allow more units in this building, and that's the ONLY WAY for this project to make financial sense.

Almost everyone suggested that they welcome a re-development - a nice new building on this site. We heard that loud and clear, a new building is welcomed on this site, in this neighbourhood. And that's 100% aligned with the public interest.

So how do we make this happen? The answer is not to continuously build more low budget townhouses, stacked row houses that barely even meet building codes just for the sake of density. The answer is to build a beautifully designed, eco friendly, high quality and high value building, that will last decades, and also will be professionally managed and maintained. And only the RA8 zoning will allow that to happen.

So in conclusion, RA8 zoning will meet both the developer's interest (financially viable, responsible and sustainable development project) and the public interest (nice building, safe and uplift the neighbourhood). Isn't this the best thing to do?

JZheng 5 months ago

Finally, someone is bringing up the lawyer, but unfortunately, that did not make your reasoning more compelling.
What a shame that these community league people only speak for the wealthy homeowners like themselves. I bet there must be little representation from thousands of renters, people of colour and other minority living in the area in this organization.
They can’t get their act together to maintain a functioning website, but they could get a lawyer to FORWARD a letter for their Chair woman – that speaks loudly why they spend thousands of dollar on professional and consulting fees every year.
If you want to do something good for the community, focus your effort to address the alarmingly high crime rate in Garneau instead.
Again, I am 110% support this project – it will address the affordable housing issue in Garneau and Strathcona. It will attract young people and young families moving to the neighborhood.

a very concerned young monther 5 months ago

Dear Mayor and Council members,
I absolutely agree with other supporters that this project could be part of the solution to address the affordable housing problem in the Garneau and Strathcona area. I very much support this application!
Unlike the opponents here, who like to use vague arguments such as traffic issue (traffic is bad in New York, but that doesn’t stop them from building skyscrapers.) or parking problem (how many cars do you need?), I want you and the council members to make an informed decision, which means it is based on facts. Here’s some important statistics: according to the 2019 municipal census, only 6% and 8% of the Garneau and Old Strathcona population, respectively, were under the age of 15. This was considerably lower than the city average of 16%. In the community of Hamptons on the west side, that percentage was 21%! Why was it so low in Garneau and Strathcona? Because housing is too expensive for young family in Garneau. As someone pointed out, a 2 bedrooms, 2 baths apartment with a condo fee of $600/month costs $420,000 in Garneau. A similar size apartment only costs about $200,000 in the Hamptons, with a condo fee of $400/month. Even a single detached house only costs about $300,000 in the Hamptons. How can a young family afford a place in Garneau? Some of the opponents blindly suggested that townhouse/rowhouse is the way to go to attract growing family – they are certainly out of touch with the world.
The Garneau and Old Strathcona area has some great public schools, but unfortunately, it has become a privilege to attend those schools because if you cannot afford a place over there, if you live so far away, what can you do? Dear Mayor and council members, this is not the kind of future that we want our children to live in. Please, improves access for young families and build an inclusive community, one small step at a time, by approving this application.

a very concerned young monther 5 months ago

As an infill developer myself, I strong support this project and this application to rezone from RA7 to RA8.

The only way to attract more developers to come to these old neighbourhoods is to do infill projects, is for the city to approve rezoning applications like this.

If developments like this keeps getting turned down, our city will continue to sprawl as new developments are only happening in greenfield areas, and the cost for the city to manage the urban sprawl will continuously increase.

Areas such as Garneau, with great school, great public facilities, universities and hospitals, not too mention, easy access to downtown, has a great potential to become a friendly neighbourhood for students, professionals and families. But it has not been the top choice for them because of the lack of choices in housing.

BridgetteG 5 months ago

I strongly support a new development like this and the rezoning application for this development. A nice modern building like this will brighten up the streets, and back alleys, and bring the much needed uplifting and safety to the area.

Crime rate in Garneau area is growing ever faster than before. Especially where these houses are located, near the railway, there have been garbage issues, crimes, burglars, break ins reported by many residents in the area. There have been 54 crimes reported in the last two months (Jan and Feb 2021), this number is comparable to neighbourhoods like Mccauley, and is among the highest in Edmonton.

And ultimately, why 6 storey, not 4 storey? Why RA8, and why RA7 won't do. Because only a 6 storey project will make the financial sense for a nicely designed, modern, environmentally friendly building to go into this site, and therefore that's the only way to provide the much needed facelift to the area.

BridgetteG 5 months ago

For the people arguing about potential commercial/retail activity in this site, you may consider reading and understanding a bit more on zoning policies in Edmonton, or at least read the application or the table above the feedback section: BOTH RA7 and RA8 allow limited commercial usage. It does not require any amendment to current policies if the developer decides to use part of the ground floor for commercial purpose, even under the current RA7 zoning. The application only asks for a relaxation on the height to accommodate more housing units.

I do support the application mainly because it will provide more affordable housing units that the community needs. A 4 storey walk-up apartment definitely will not provide the scale to lower the overall price or optimize the range of unit sizes that meet the needs of different family types.

GregB 5 months ago

hello
I emphatically object to the LDA20-0123 106a Street RA8 Rezoning. This is a significant deviation from the Garneau Area Development Plan (GARP). Rezoning will adversely impact the character the the neighborhood, as well as the now residential traffic flow and parking.
With parking, as it is now, if a guest wished to visit me, they have often been forced to park 3 blocks away and walk in freezing cold weather. Rezoning will aggravate the already limited access to parking.
City Council needs to be asked if they would support a project in their neighborhood where they could not effectively have visitor parking within a block on their street.
Additionally, the fact the City Council clearly is ignoring the GARP objectives.
More High Density housing does not belong in Garneau.

Bonnie Reib
resident of Garneau Estates.

Spinsheet 5 months ago

My husband and I are strongly opposed to the subject rezoning application, as referenced in Ms. Megan Rich"s letter. There is much aggregate housing through out Garneau. The quiet neighborhoods in this area are becoming fewer and farther apart.
The quiet character of this neighborhood would be substantially changed in a way that cannot be reversed.

L. M. Kulak, M.D.
H. S. Kulak, B.A., B.Ed.

L. and H. Kulak 5 months ago

Dear all,

I am strongly opposed to the proposed rezoning that would allow a building up to 23m ( 6 storeys) in
height and possible retail/commercial opportunities on the ground floor. I have lived in this area for over five years.

This proposed rezoning on
106A Street is on a quiet residential street, with houses, a duplex, old and new walk-up apartments and
condominiums. My opposition is due
to the following:

1) Contravenes the current Garneau Area Redevelopment Plan – Policy 2.1 (Page 76 of the
Garneau Redevelopment Plan) restricts the heights of buildings to walk-up apartments to
ensure that future redevelopment is compatible with existing development among other
reasons. This proposed rezoning is not compatible with existing development.

2) The administration report (Page 2 – Report Summary) states one of reasons to support rezoning
is that this location is in close proximity to a major node ( University of Alberta), but I argue it is
not close proximity. Google maps has listed a 1.8 km and a 21-minute walk from
8515 106A St. to the Administrative Building (near the centre of the University of Alberta
campus). If we were close to a major node, we would have restricted parking such those areas near the UA west of 109 Street. There are no parking restrictions on 106 A Street.
3) The administration report suggests that a RA8 development at this location is consistent with
the image (Page 6) from the Garneau Area Redevelopment Plan showing appropriate transition
in heights ( a trend from low heights – houses, to low rise buildings to medium-rise buildings to
high -rise buildings). We state that this development is not consistent with the image as the
proposed rezoning development will lead to medium -rise building (RA8) to low-rise buildings
(RA7) to no buildings (Trolley right-of-way area) to a high-rise on Saskatchewan Drive.
4) This street currently is short street that starts at a T intersection at 85 Ave then is closed at 87th
avenue and almost all the traffic is local traffic. A building of this size with commercial/retail on
the ground floor will lead to substantially more traffic.
5) A building height of 23 meters would cast a significant shadow especially during winter with our
short days and low sun angle. The shadow could be 100s of meters in length for many hours
during the winter months when we need the sun the most.
6) This development would change the character of our neighbourhood something both Garneau
and Old Strathcona want to preserve (Note this development is under the Garneau Area
Redevelopment Plan but the location is deemed to be in Strathcona according to some City
departments). We are not against responsible development or infill as there are infill homes,
duplexes, low-rise walk-up apartments/condos on our street (106A St.) but these are consistent with the history and character of the neighbourhood. Currently, there are 3 single-family houses
on the proposed rezoning site that could be replaced with a 3 or 4 storey (RA7) structure that
would significantly increase population density without changing our neighbourhood.
7) We are currently 600m away (or a very slow paced 8 minute walk) from a convenience store on
Whyte ave, and numerous retail shops, which at the best of times struggle to stay open/ avoid
vacancy. I do not own a car and am capable of getting all my groceries without a convenience store on this street.

Please preserve the character of our neighbourhood and reject this proposed rezoning

Thank you.

Gabriella 5 months ago

I support this project and I particularly like the idea of retail opportunity on the ground floor – a convenience store will be perfect!

I live in the low rise apartment building next to the site. Like many other people living in the area, I do not own a car. So if I need a loaf of bread or some milk, I need to walk 10 min to the closest Safeway or Shoppers Drug Mart. A convenience store in this location will be welcome for most residents/renters in the area – people with cars most likely drive to Safeway/Save on Food instead anyway. So I don’t think it will cause traffic issue. If you need to drive to a convenience store, it is not a convenience store anymore, isn’t it?

Naveen 5 months ago

To begin, please note that I am listed as one of the members of The Garneau in strong opposition to this proposed redevelopment in the letter addressed to City Council as written and prepared by Ms. Megan Rich, Chair of The Garneau Community League Planning Committee, and so forwarded on January 22nd, 2021 by Ms. Victoria Jones of de Villars Jones LLP.

I wish to clearly restate in writing my absolute opposition to this proposed redevelopment for all of the same compelling and so convincing reasons that are clearly outlined in the above referenced correspondence.

André Giasson

jfagia 5 months ago

I like this application. It is in line with the City Plan and the results of the “Missing Middle” review to increase density in this area. Some here suggested the site is too far away from the major node. However, the City Plan clearly defines a major node is up to 2 kilometers wide. So it is indeed within this range. According to the City Plan, mid-rise and high-rise development is encouraged within a major node to achieve/exceed density target. Therefore, an RA8 zoning for this location is appropriate.

By the way, many university students like myself have chosen to live in this area and walk/bike to school, so this project could provide more housing options to students. The person who said “only a small percentage of Garneau residents regularly ride their bikes or take public transport” is clearly spreading false information. According to the 2016 Census, of all the commuters in the Garneau area, 21% took public transit, 28% walked to work/school, 3% biked, 44% drived, 2% was a passenger in a car and the remaining 1% used other method. Therefore, most of the people living in the area DON’T drive and DON’T desperately need a parking space – we are very conscious of our carbon footprint. 2016 Census profile information can be found here: https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2016/dp-pd/prof/index.cfm?Lang=E&HPA=1

As people’s awareness of climate change continue to grow, our city should encourage developments that promote sustainable living, i.e. using our land resource more efficiently and increasing density in area that are close to major public institutions and significant employment centres. This application fits that very well.

Mark1 5 months ago

Dear Mayor and Council:

Please count my support for this application because we need to increase density in mature neighborhoods in order to stop the fiscally more costly urban sprawl. Without a meaningful increase in density, Garneau/Strathcona will be always a place belong to well-off doctors, professors, lawyers and wealthy retirees (who all obviously have raised their objection here). Young families will have to find housing options outside of Anthony Henday. Is this what the city wants? Is this what the 21st century needs? By the way, those consider row-houses in this location are affordable option clearly have a million dollar in their bank account.

The people who are against this application all have one or two self-interests they want to protect: because this new project potentially would create more competition against his/her rental properties; because it potentially would block his/her winter morning sunlight.

I wonder though, would the city rather protect a few individuals or support projects that would benefit many families who want to live closer to the heart of the city? Extra two storey could mean an extra 10-15 housing units for graduate students with family, new immigrants and lower income family – they all deserve an opportunity to live in a good community.

Thunderbird 5 months ago

I am a long-time resident of East Garneau and I am strongly opposed to this proposed rezoning. 106 A Street is a quiet street and more than 6 stories would not fit this street; it would change the character of this street and it sets a dangerous precedent for the neighborhood. The lack of parking requirements also places more of a strain on these quiet streets and those around them. Commercial uses at grade level would also not be appropriate for this area and would bring more congestion.
Those who think that 6 stories would encourage the developer to build underground parking are uninformed. There are several proposals that aren't even concerned with providing enough parking for future residents. They are hoping that residents ride their bikes and use public transport but that is a pipe dream because only a small percentage of Garneau's residents regularly ride their bikes or take public transport.
In addition, this zoning change is a bad idea because this area needs more family-friendly and affordable housing. Row-houses would be great on this street. If residents in this neighbour wanted to live surrounded by buildings, they would likely choose to live in downtown. Garneau is not downtown. It's a community-oriented neighbourhood and we need development that encourages this. The current Garneau Area Redevelopment Plan keeps this in mind and so should not be amended to suit developers who are not interested in improving the neighbourhood.
Why has the city not given a reason for the rezoning? There is no building proposal with this zoning change and it hasn't given residents any reason to support this change.

Alex B. 5 months ago