LDA20-0192 Strathearn Heights Transit Oriented Development

A colour rendering of the proposed project site from a bids eye view, with three connected buildings: two mid-rise towers on the left and right background, and a low rise building in the centre foreground, with a roadway intersection in front of the site.

Applicant Rendering, Subject to Change.

***The discussion has concluded and a What We Heard Report is now available here.***

Thank you for participating in engagement activities for this rezoning application. For any further inquiries regarding this application, please contact the planner on this page, under the "who's listening" section.

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.

Because of public health issues, the City is unable to host an in-person public engagement event to share information and collect feedback, as usual. This page is to help you find out more information about the proposed rezoning and tell us what you think, instead of having an in-person meeting. Please review the information on this page and tell us what you think and ask any questions below, before the end of the day on June 25, 2021. We will use any feedback that you share to make sure our review of the application is as complete as possible and will also summarize it for City Council so that they are aware of your perspective prior to making a decision.


Application Details:
The City has received a proposal to rezone properties on the northwest corner of 95 Avenue NW and 87 Street NW, currently known as the Strathearn Heights Apartment Complex. The proposal includes: 9518 and 9560 87 Street NW, 8720, 8722 and 8724 95 Avenue NW, 8728U 97 Avenue NW, and 8712U 96 Avenue NW.

Rezoning:
The application proposes to rezone the properties from a Site-Specific Development Control Provision (DC2.917) and the Public Parks Zone (AP) to a new Site-Specific Development Control Provision (DC2) and the following conventional residential zones: Medium Density Multiple Family Zone (RF6)Low-Rise Apartment Zone (RA7)Medium-Rise Apartment Zone (RA8), and High-Rise Apartment Zone (RA9).

The proposed rezoning would allow for the development of a primarily residential transit oriented urban village with a range of housing types complemented by local, small scale commercial uses. 

A colour rendering of the street level view of the plaza area with retail businesses with the site towers in the background
A colour rendering of the site from a street level view from a distance, looking towards the 3 mid and low rise buildings on the site

Applicant Renderings, Subject to Change.


Road (lane) Closure
The application also includes a proposed closure of portions of the laneway between 95 Avenue NW and 96 Avenue NW and west of 87 Street NW.

Southeast Area Plan Amendment

The application generally conforms with the intent of the Southeast Area Plan, which supports the redevelopment of the Strathearn Heights Apartments site into a mixed-use urban village. Updates to the Southeast Area Plan are proposed to reflect the proposed rezoning.


Please watch the video presentation (below) and view the zoning comparison table for more details on the site history and current proposed rezoning.


Applicant Rendering, Subject to Change.

***The discussion has concluded and a What We Heard Report is now available here.***

Thank you for participating in engagement activities for this rezoning application. For any further inquiries regarding this application, please contact the planner on this page, under the "who's listening" section.

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.

Because of public health issues, the City is unable to host an in-person public engagement event to share information and collect feedback, as usual. This page is to help you find out more information about the proposed rezoning and tell us what you think, instead of having an in-person meeting. Please review the information on this page and tell us what you think and ask any questions below, before the end of the day on June 25, 2021. We will use any feedback that you share to make sure our review of the application is as complete as possible and will also summarize it for City Council so that they are aware of your perspective prior to making a decision.


Application Details:
The City has received a proposal to rezone properties on the northwest corner of 95 Avenue NW and 87 Street NW, currently known as the Strathearn Heights Apartment Complex. The proposal includes: 9518 and 9560 87 Street NW, 8720, 8722 and 8724 95 Avenue NW, 8728U 97 Avenue NW, and 8712U 96 Avenue NW.

Rezoning:
The application proposes to rezone the properties from a Site-Specific Development Control Provision (DC2.917) and the Public Parks Zone (AP) to a new Site-Specific Development Control Provision (DC2) and the following conventional residential zones: Medium Density Multiple Family Zone (RF6)Low-Rise Apartment Zone (RA7)Medium-Rise Apartment Zone (RA8), and High-Rise Apartment Zone (RA9).

The proposed rezoning would allow for the development of a primarily residential transit oriented urban village with a range of housing types complemented by local, small scale commercial uses. 

A colour rendering of the street level view of the plaza area with retail businesses with the site towers in the background
A colour rendering of the site from a street level view from a distance, looking towards the 3 mid and low rise buildings on the site

Applicant Renderings, Subject to Change.


Road (lane) Closure
The application also includes a proposed closure of portions of the laneway between 95 Avenue NW and 96 Avenue NW and west of 87 Street NW.

Southeast Area Plan Amendment

The application generally conforms with the intent of the Southeast Area Plan, which supports the redevelopment of the Strathearn Heights Apartments site into a mixed-use urban village. Updates to the Southeast Area Plan are proposed to reflect the proposed rezoning.


Please watch the video presentation (below) and view the zoning comparison table for more details on the site history and current proposed rezoning.


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.

Consultation has concluded
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Impressive project. Please get started with the project without delay. We are anxious to see it built as soon as possible. I live on strathearn drive but will consider purchasing a unit in one of the towers. Looking forward to seeing new shops in the area.

Tom Ranieri over 2 years ago

As there is significant changes to the last development plan it is inappropriate to provide only a 11 minute presentation and call it consultation. In keeping with the specific requests put forward in the original application, specific values should be given in terms of:
- total number of units and type breakdown
- impact of increased units on traffic and parking (a survey/modelling should be completed)
- shadow zone impact for proposed height changes

All changes should be appropriately modeled and a visual comparison to the previous proposal should be done.

Increased density done well is a wonderful addition to the core; Strathearn heights has previously been an excellent example of meaningful community consultation and has been supportive of integrated development. I hope this can continue to be the case.

Katie T over 2 years ago

Overall I think this is still an ok proposal. It is at least better and more respectful than the Holyrood Gardens proposal. Not a high bar, I know, but still one to keep in mind.

Overall I am for more density, and for improving/expanding Strathearn Heights and for transit oriented development. The big issue is doing it in a way that is respectful and integrates with the rest of the community, and doesn't just focus on what the developers want.

I see good, bad, and confusing aspects of this current application:

Good:
- I'm all for more density, and an update of these apartments which are currently fairly generic and uninspiring from a design perspective.
- The retail/business/market space is a great addition and will be a good addition to the neighbourhood.
- I am very happy to see the greenway lines being maintained and thought dedicated to how people can move through the space and neighbourhood and want to ensure they remain.

Concerns/Confusion:
- I'm a little concerned about the integration with the rest of the neighbourhood. It seems like we jump from single houses to 4 story mid-rises and then the towers. It would be helpful to have a better understanding of the heights, layouts, sightlines of the proposed buildings around the perimeter of the proposal, and how they escalate towards the towers.
- It's unclear how many units are being proposed. 1900 (an increase of 150 over the 2003 proposal) is already a SIGNIFICANT increase to the neighbourhood density. It's unclear if this proposal is asking for even more on top of that.
- The new sun shadow studies are helpful, but I think serious consideration needs to be done on traffic as well. Where does parking exit onto the street? What happens with street parking so close to LRT and massive residential towers?
- There seems to be a feeling that greenspace has been significantly reduced. I'm not sure that's the case, other than the promenade, but the illustrations may give that impression.

Overall I would say I'm supportive of the application, but don't feel like I have a clear picture. Perhaps a follow up video by Marty would be helpful to address some of the above considerations, as the first one was helpful.

Leopold over 2 years ago

Tall towers do seem out of place in this location, but I love the mix of commercial and residential use here as a transit-oriented design. I'd prefer to see this built more like a missing-middle development, but disagree with many commenters below who seem to oppose any change.

Loves2Bike over 2 years ago

This is a grossly inappropriate way to attempt to upzone potentially thousands of new units to a neighborhood.

New shadow surveys should be presented.

New traffic impacts with the failure of the proposed new entrance.

Presentations before council.

This is not the kind of development you zip through online during a pandemic.

Marty, I will ask that prior to anything be presented to Council, you formulate a rebuttle using this page, meetings in person with the neighborhood and the community league and have it in writing delivered to the affected homeowners.

Erica over 2 years ago

Great proposal and ideas - I would be interested to know the timelines for it all???

Sammy over 2 years ago

No, I am NOT in agreement with the updated proposed changes.

It appears that even more green space is being removed and the space for four high-rise towers has been increased.

When Strathearn Heights was built in 1950, it was viewed as innovative and community oriented affordable housing. Currently, residents can enjoy significant green space despite residing in multi-family housing. If we have learned anything from this pandemic, it is that humans need green space for the benefit of physical and mental health. Yet this revised proposal for Strathearn Heights removes the small pockets of green space that had been originally planned. In addition, it appears that the original concept of offering a variety of housing types is being weakened - for example, the row houses that were planned along 97 Avenue have been changed to zoning for RF6 - “medium density multiple family zone”. Instead of this new development being integrated into the existing housing mix in a seamless manner it seems like this will become a jarring cement monstrosity that is dropped into the neighborhood.

Currently, there are 504 dwellings in Strathearn Heights. The new development proposed an increase to 1750 dwellings in 2008 which was revised to 1900 dwellings in 2013. This new proposal is unclear as to how many more dwellings will be added. How is the small neighborhood of Strathearn going to accommodate the congestion of people and traffic that that results from the expanding of this project???

I believe that the city of Edmonton should provide an opportunity for Strathearn residents to meet in person (when the pandemic subsides and it is safe to do so) with city planners and developers to further review the proposed plans.

Janet - Strathearn resident over 2 years ago

I do not approve the current rezoning application. It is really falling flat of the original concept for the redevelopment. And there is definitely not enough information or concept drawings of the site. Changing the zoning to add flexibility to the development seems like it would benefit the developer at the expense of the community.

The reduced AP zone really stands out.

Greenspace builder over 2 years ago

At a glance it seems like the AP Zone is greatly reduced. I do like the linear parks but i would like to know the m2 difference. Can i find this information somewhere?

I would like to see some commitment from the owner on building on the site before going through yet another rezoning. This development is falling flat of the original concept for this community.

At this time i do not support this proposed rezoning.

Greenspace builder over 2 years ago

I don't think you are making it easy to follow the incremental changes from the original proposal. More can be done to present what is gained and lost from each new model put forward. On the whole it seems that we have lost green space and the original attempt to integrate the "look" of the urban village to fit in with the single family dwellings throughout Strathearn. It would be helpful to have background into the the current proposed architecture in light of redevelopment projects undertaken in other cities in Canada. What can Edmonton learn from these? Are there particular characteristics of Edmonton, Edmontonians and Strathearnites that have to be taken into account? Access to the northern part of Strathearn has been curtailed by the LRT for pedestrians and traffic already - what will happen when you increase the density like this? This is a cold city where people want to have cars for shopping and recreational activities even if they take public transit to work. How will Strathearn accommodate this? Too much has been asked of this small community already. We have put up for years with the prolonged building of the LRT, and now this - a redevelopment that seems much diminished in attractiveness. I suggest that you go back to the drawing boards since this proposal is so different from the original and doesn't adequately take into account the reality of the congestion that the LRT has created.

Cynthia over 2 years ago

I want more people living in Strathearn. I want more commercial space/small businesses operating in Strathearn. I don't want more cars in Strathearn.

- How many of these units will be be below market/subsidized/affordable? Any chance for a partnership with a non-profit to provide supportive housing? Monocultures created by an oversupply of two bedroom, two bath condo's do not support communities.
- How many units will be senior friendly, adhering to universal design, potentially allowing Strathearners to benefit from aging in place?
- How many units will be for actual families? Not "family-oriented".
- No underground parking and very little surface parking (business only). Instead offer free/reduced transit fare for TOD occupants.

Citizens' return on investment of billions of dollars of LRT construction needs to be responsible, future-looking development. If Council does not have the regulatory tools to mandate a development in the public interest than changes need to be made to how developments are approved.

Andrew Struthers over 2 years ago

This amounts to greed by the city and the developers with no regard for the community and exiting residents.
Stay and fight or leave the community? That’s the question the answer would be stay and fight if l were to believe that the city actually listen to its residents rather then just go through a process.
All applications and decisions on this project should be postponed until a proper public engagement can be conducted this was been on the books for years Covid will not be around for much longer. I believe that the developers and the city are trying to take advantage to make the changes now. It would appear that every development that gets approved with public generated changes instituted just get changed back through these further applications after the fact sad but true.

Long term resident over 2 years ago

Question -the rezoning of the AP public parks to more towers. What does that include and what greenspace and parkspace will that leave us with? The only AP I see is Silver Heights Park. The diagrams are impossibly small.

Erica. Strathearn homeowner. over 2 years ago

DC2.1043.1. General Purpose
To accommodate a low rise, residential development located approximately 200 metres from the Valley Line LRT Strathearn Stop and 400 metres from the Holyrood Stop, that is compatible with the adjacent land uses and supports a pedestrian friendly streetscape.

That is the City of Edmontons own words for its vision for the current zoning. Because. Having smaller buildings around the perimeter leading to the larger scale buildings in the centre is what was pitched.

Integrated.

"Compatible with the existing landscape". Which is 1 story bungalows on every border.

This was pitched as a walkable development that is Integrated into the existing community. With affordable housing and large amounts of greenspace. A new boulevard access through the center mitigating traffic snarls.

What happened to literally all of that?

If pretty much the entirety of this vision is changing, then an entirely new project should be pitched. Not phase by phase where the developers will attempt an upzone at each build.

A wall of towers. Really Edmonton? Again? No longer the thoughtful vision.

Erica. Strathearn homeowner. over 2 years ago

The application proposed has many changes from the original approved and opens up for more questions requiring answers required before a decision by council can be made for the reasons are outlined below.
1. When the plans were approved in 2007, it was on the news as a good mix gradually moving inside from neighboring homes (row house along roads facing homes), plenty of green space, and won awards for LEEDS for its design. Now are only large apartment building blocks, with 4 stories facing homes on all residential streets. How come there are no lovely pictures showing street views like in previous approved? Because it is basically like the projects now, there is no nice way to show it. This only benefits the owner for lowering their expenses, does nothing for the homeowners surrounding the site and the city already approved 2 revisions with no community consultation.
2. Since the LRT was approved to go down 95 Ave, the community has never been given updated traffic routes/plans, as the roundabout to 95 Ave is no longer possible, and this too is still missing in the application. Is everyone now using Strathearn Drive to get to 85 Street? Will new lights be installed to assist for volume of cars? Why has a new traffic study/plan ever been provided? It must be done before an educated decision on approval can be made, as residents need to know the impact around their homes including noise.
3. The green spaces now proposed are a fraction of what was originally planned, and the reference to surrounding green spaces such as Strathearn Park and Silver Heights are not owned by them, so why are they using these public green spaces as a bargain chip that they do not have to provide as much green space on their own property? This was a big issue and applied feature on the 2007 approved plan that city council raved about, now gone.
4. The new DC2 states adding 500 residential units, so since not directly stated, I am assuming this is added to the existing 1900-unit, totalling 2400 units now.
The above requires more answers and information submitted to both the city and community before any decisions can be made.

Cindy over 2 years ago

I see the reasoning for wanting high-density towers close to the transit and on top of the retail. But this is a very major change compared to the 2008 and 2013 approved plans, and even to the 2016 plan. The Southeast Area Plan (p. 47) set as goals for Strathearn:
"To maintain the single-family residential character of the community.
"To ensure the compatibility of future infill housing with existing dwellings.
"To ensure that future redevelopment of large multiple family residential sites is compatible with community characteristics and meets acceptable standards."
The previous approvals accomplished that by keeping the proposed towers slim and located toward the inside of the site, not on its southern edge as in this new plan. Also, the removal of the proposed 88th Street boulevard into the development is a significant change to the character of the proposal. The proposed big blocks will now be what one sees in approaching Strathearn via the LRT or along 95 Avenue. They are now the dominant feature of the planned development, and this is not compatible with the plans previously approved by Council.
Traffic flow is the other issue. SE Plan p. 47 again:
"To resolve traffic impacts on neighbourhood feeder roads resulting from the redevelopment of higher density sites."
That was written when road access into Strathearn was much easier. The LRT has greatly reduced the capacity of 95th Avenue, and reduced the access and crossing points into the northern half of Strathearn. Accessing underground parking sufficient for these towers via 95 Avenue will be congested, and it is difficult to see what other access routes to the parking garage there will be. This matter needs careful consideration from Council.

Ryan, Strathearn homeowner over 2 years ago

I like it. With an LRT stop right out front, this development is exactly the sort of sustainable housing solution central Edmonton needs. The population will support local retail so everyone doesn't have to drive to the outskirts to find groceries, et cetera. Having said that, can we find an architect who knows it's not 1965? Those buildings look dated already, let alone years from now when they're actually built. Also, this appears to cover only about half of the current Strathearn Heights area... what's going on with the rest?

Paul over 2 years ago

These huge high rises are a total no-go. They not fit at all in our quiet family friendly, community oriented neighbourhood. We need sustainable, eco-friendly and community-oriented projects, not more traffic and densification.

NEva over 2 years ago

Strathearn has been through so much construction in the last three years and now you want to build multi buildings and high rises that take away the sun , impede traffic flow by blocking off more streets. We are tired of construction I our neighborhood and you are now turning our neighborhood into a transient neighborhood with huge high rises. You will now force more traffic down 95 Ave and throughout other residential streets. It's hard enough when music festivals are on to even drive through our neighborhood to get home, now it will be even more congested. We do not need high rises in our neighborhood, you are changing the diversity of the whole neighborhood which is wrong.

Kashley over 2 years ago

This is disappointing. I moved to this neighborhood because it had a very quiet, family oriented, multicultural community feel. It is an urban oasis for those who live here. The trees and garden spaces contribute to positive mental and physical health as well as contributing to climate change mitigation goals (that undoubtedly the city has) These aspects are what has sustained my family through 'lockdown' and we would be terribly sad to lose it. The original plan of medium density development supported the desire to densify without compromising all of the aspects that made this place special. These towers are short sighted and miss the mark. Perhaps more thought on integration and greenspace would take place. This is a hard no from me

Ally86 over 2 years ago