LDA22-0373 - Windsor Park 118 Street DC2

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Engagement has concluded

** This engagement opportunity is now closed. You can find a copy of the What We Heard report here.**

Thank you for participating in engagement activities for this rezoning application. Please review the information on this page and provide feedback before the end of the day on November 27, 2022. 

The role of the public is at the ADVISE level of the City’s Public Engagement Spectrum, which means that the City will use any feedback that you share to make sure the review of the application is as complete as possible and takes neighbourhood context into consideration. It will also be summarised for City Council so that they know your perspective prior to making a decision at a future Public Hearing.

APPLICATION DETAILS


The City is reviewing an application to rezone 8715 and 8727 to 8735 - 118 Street NW from the Single Detached Residential Zone (RF1) with the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay to a Site-Specific Development Control Provision (DC2).


The proposed DC2 Provision would allow for the development of a short mid-rise residential building with the following key characteristics:

  • Maximum heights ranging from 14.5 metres at the north end of the site to 20 metres at the south end (approximately 4 to 6 storeys)
  • A maximum of 172 residential dwellings with at least 50% having two bedrooms or more and a maximum of 10% being studio dwellings.
  • A maximum Floor Area Ratio of 3.0
  • Any provided vehicle parking located underground and accessed from the rear lane

As a result of feedback received from the City’s technical review and planning analysis and through public engagement conducted in September and October 2022, the applicant has made some revisions to the proposal. Key changes include:

  • Reducing the maximum height from 21.5 m to 20 m
  • Removing child care services
  • Adding a restriction on the amount of studio dwellings
  • Increasing the south setback from 3.0 m to 4.2 m and adding a sidewalk along the lane
  • Adding a bicycle wash, repair and maintenance station to the building
  • Adding regulations to increase privacy and reduce overlook from balconies and rooftop amenity areas
  • Adding the requirement for transportation related upgrades, including two new crosswalks nearby

A comparison document between the initial and revised proposed DC2 Provisions is found on the right hand side of this page.


TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTS

The following transportation related improvements are currently proposed to address concerns about increased traffic and pedestrian safety, should this application be approved:

  • Upgrading the north-south lane east of the site to a 6 metre-wide commercial alley within the available rights-of-way between 87 Avenue NW and 89 Avenue NW.
  • Construction of a sidewalk and/or concrete landings along the east side of 119 Street NW to enhance Windsor Park School student pick up and drop off operations. Construction of these improvements must minimize impacts to the boulevard trees.
  • Installation of pedestrian crossings along 118 Street NW and 119 Street NW to enhance Windsor Park School student pick up and drop off operations. The exact location of the crosswalk will be determined at the Development Permit stage in consultation with City Operations (Safe Mobility) and the Edmonton Public School Board. Crosswalk installation may include, but is not limited to, design elements such as zebra crosswalk markings, signage, curb extensions, and curb ramps.
  • Installation of stop signs at the east approach of the east-west lane and 118 Street NW intersection, at the west approach of the east-west lane and 117 Street NW intersection, and at the north approach of the north-south lane and 87 Avenue NW intersection.
  • Installation of a yield sign at the south approach of the north-south lane and 89 Avenue NW intersection.
  • Removal of all existing vehicle accesses to 118 Street NW, including restoration of the curb, gutter and sidewalk.

The image below shows approximate locations of the above improvements, with exact details to be determined at later stages of the development process, if the rezoning application is approved.

A plan view showing the transportation improvements

While these improvements have been proposed based on technical review and consultation with the Edmonton Public School Board, we would like to hear your thoughts about them.


NEXT STEPS

City Administration will prepare a report to City Council providing a recommendation on this rezoning application. The City’s recommendation will be determined by a thorough review of the proposal, which involves technical considerations, such as traffic and drainage impacts, and alignment to approved City land-related plans and policies (eg. The City Plan). The report will also include a summary of the feedback received through this engagement so that City Council can factor community feedback, along with the City’s recommendation, into their decision. The decision to approve or refuse this application will be made at a future Public Hearing where anyone interested can also request to speak directly to City Council and share their perspectives prior to a decision being made.

** This engagement opportunity is now closed. You can find a copy of the What We Heard report here.**

Thank you for participating in engagement activities for this rezoning application. Please review the information on this page and provide feedback before the end of the day on November 27, 2022. 

The role of the public is at the ADVISE level of the City’s Public Engagement Spectrum, which means that the City will use any feedback that you share to make sure the review of the application is as complete as possible and takes neighbourhood context into consideration. It will also be summarised for City Council so that they know your perspective prior to making a decision at a future Public Hearing.

APPLICATION DETAILS


The City is reviewing an application to rezone 8715 and 8727 to 8735 - 118 Street NW from the Single Detached Residential Zone (RF1) with the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay to a Site-Specific Development Control Provision (DC2).


The proposed DC2 Provision would allow for the development of a short mid-rise residential building with the following key characteristics:

  • Maximum heights ranging from 14.5 metres at the north end of the site to 20 metres at the south end (approximately 4 to 6 storeys)
  • A maximum of 172 residential dwellings with at least 50% having two bedrooms or more and a maximum of 10% being studio dwellings.
  • A maximum Floor Area Ratio of 3.0
  • Any provided vehicle parking located underground and accessed from the rear lane

As a result of feedback received from the City’s technical review and planning analysis and through public engagement conducted in September and October 2022, the applicant has made some revisions to the proposal. Key changes include:

  • Reducing the maximum height from 21.5 m to 20 m
  • Removing child care services
  • Adding a restriction on the amount of studio dwellings
  • Increasing the south setback from 3.0 m to 4.2 m and adding a sidewalk along the lane
  • Adding a bicycle wash, repair and maintenance station to the building
  • Adding regulations to increase privacy and reduce overlook from balconies and rooftop amenity areas
  • Adding the requirement for transportation related upgrades, including two new crosswalks nearby

A comparison document between the initial and revised proposed DC2 Provisions is found on the right hand side of this page.


TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTS

The following transportation related improvements are currently proposed to address concerns about increased traffic and pedestrian safety, should this application be approved:

  • Upgrading the north-south lane east of the site to a 6 metre-wide commercial alley within the available rights-of-way between 87 Avenue NW and 89 Avenue NW.
  • Construction of a sidewalk and/or concrete landings along the east side of 119 Street NW to enhance Windsor Park School student pick up and drop off operations. Construction of these improvements must minimize impacts to the boulevard trees.
  • Installation of pedestrian crossings along 118 Street NW and 119 Street NW to enhance Windsor Park School student pick up and drop off operations. The exact location of the crosswalk will be determined at the Development Permit stage in consultation with City Operations (Safe Mobility) and the Edmonton Public School Board. Crosswalk installation may include, but is not limited to, design elements such as zebra crosswalk markings, signage, curb extensions, and curb ramps.
  • Installation of stop signs at the east approach of the east-west lane and 118 Street NW intersection, at the west approach of the east-west lane and 117 Street NW intersection, and at the north approach of the north-south lane and 87 Avenue NW intersection.
  • Installation of a yield sign at the south approach of the north-south lane and 89 Avenue NW intersection.
  • Removal of all existing vehicle accesses to 118 Street NW, including restoration of the curb, gutter and sidewalk.

The image below shows approximate locations of the above improvements, with exact details to be determined at later stages of the development process, if the rezoning application is approved.

A plan view showing the transportation improvements

While these improvements have been proposed based on technical review and consultation with the Edmonton Public School Board, we would like to hear your thoughts about them.


NEXT STEPS

City Administration will prepare a report to City Council providing a recommendation on this rezoning application. The City’s recommendation will be determined by a thorough review of the proposal, which involves technical considerations, such as traffic and drainage impacts, and alignment to approved City land-related plans and policies (eg. The City Plan). The report will also include a summary of the feedback received through this engagement so that City Council can factor community feedback, along with the City’s recommendation, into their decision. The decision to approve or refuse this application will be made at a future Public Hearing where anyone interested can also request to speak directly to City Council and share their perspectives prior to a decision being made.

Tell us what you think about the application!

Please note you must provide a screen name and email on Engaged Edmonton in order to provide feedback. Other people that visit this part of the site will be able to see your comments. However, only your username will be displayed publicly, all other information is kept confidential. All comments go through an automated moderation process, and may take up to 1-2 hours to publicly appear on the website.

If you aren't able to provide feedback on this site, you can also send feedback to the Project Planner directly using the contact information under the "who's listening" section. Input shared on this page and through contacting the planner will be captured, you don't need to provide input through this site and by contacting the planner. 

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?

Engagement has concluded

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

I am writing to express opposition to the rezoning application that would allow the large apartment building proposed by Westrich on 118 street directly across from the Windsor Park School.

I wish to make clear that I do not oppose "densification." The issue is not densification in Windsor Park. The issues are the location, size and timing of this particular proposed building.

I have read the other submissions. You may think that the reasons for opposing the Westrich building expressed by residents of the community are repetitive.

There is a reason for that: facts are facts and they do not change.

The fact is that the proposed building is on an interior neighbourhood street.

The fact is that the proposed building is high, long and massive.

The fact is that the proposed building will block the sun and seriously intrude on the privacy of, and the use of their property by, other residents.

The fact is that the proposed building makes it more dangerous for adults and children to access the school and access the community amenities near the school.

The fact is that a large high rise (commonly called Windsor Terrace) is currently under construction to the north of the proposed building and the effects of that high rise on both 118 street, the alleys in its vicinity ( and the vicinity of the proposed Westrich building) and other streets in the neighbouhood are wholly unknown.

Surely it is necessary to have some data regarding the actual real life effects of the Windsor Terrace High Rise to make a prudent and reasoned decision on the proposed Westrich building.

To do otherwise is to risk the creation of intractable and serious negative consequences in the heart of a community. To do so is to risk creating a daily situation that is not only unworkable, but dangerous. The notion that people will behave in a manner that will make it all be OK is both risky and unrealistic.

On this point, Westrich paints an ideal picture that the people inhabiting its proposed building will walk, bike or use public transit to meet their daily needs. This defies common sense. People have always done and will always do that which is easiest and most convenient for them. The use of private cars and delivery trucks to obtain daily needs is just as likely as any walking, biking or busing.

Without substantiation or commitment, Westrich paints an ideal picture that its proposed building will add to "affordable housing" apparently on the simplistic assumption that adding housing units means prices go down. The factors affecting the cost of housing are clearly more numerous and complex than that simplistic assumption.

Again, without commitment, Westrich says that it will move the two infill houses recently built on 118 street, apparently to indicate some regard for environmental concerns. Like human beings, corporations also do what is easiest and most convenient for them. If it is easiest for Westrich to demolish the new infills and send them to landfill that is what will occur. A bare statement to the contrary, without commitment, is meaningless.

I must also articulate my disagreement that the City Plan means that the Residential Infill Guidelines must be given only featherweight on the grounds that the Plan is a statutory plan and the Guidelines are mere guidelines.

The Residential Infill Guidelines were made City policy by passage of a bylaw by City Council. Citizens rely on City policies as accurate statements of what their City government will consider and do.

The City Plan does not say anywhere that City policies are to be given virtually no weight upon passage of the Plan. Nor have I found any public statements to this effect as the Plan was being created and passed. If that was the intent of City Council, it was incumbent upon Council to make it abundantly clear and widely known to its citizens.

The Guidelines were and are in effect.

A decision to give the Guidelines featherweight is a decision that, in and of itself favors a builder, no matter what the builder proposes to build. Concomitantly, such a decision serves to immediately undercut and dismiss the concerns of citizens.

The City Plan contains maps that show circles of the major nodes and the Plan says that the nodes are to be two kilometers in diameter (with the exception of the center of the City). That is, one kilometer in all directions from a center point. Although the maps leave out the identity of many streets, the location of the Westrich proposed building is more than one kilometer from the center point of the University node. The proposed Westrich building is outside the University node in the City Plan.

If it was the intent of City Council in passing the City Plan that the major nodes extend beyond a two kilometer diameter, or that two kilometers is measured from the edges of a node, or that massive developments will be acceptable outside of nodes, this should also have been made abundantly clear and widely known to its citizens.

Bonnie F. Moon




whitman 2 months ago

I have shared my thoughts on this matter already and will try not to repeat myself. I am strongly against this development and I don't see that the modifications to the plan remove any substantial objections to it.
1. It goes against our own City Plan, and jumps the gun on important general decisions yet to be made. Rezoning during this period of future planning would be crazy.
2. More specifically, Windsor Terrace is yet to be completed and occupied. Most of the harms I expect from this new development will begin to happen from this massive increase of people and vehicles in the area. Let's wait and see how acute those harms are before adding to them.
3. Opposite a school is one of the worst possible places for such a development. Day after day I watch kids setting out for school on foot or bicycle: this will make their journey far less safe. New stop lights or crossings won't prevent huge increase in traffic; they'll just make motorists worse-tempered, with ill effects on driving care.
4. Not only that, but right inside Windsor Park (unlike the new Windsor Terrace). It's common sense to expect a severe knock-on or thin-end-of-wedge effect. And historic areas like Windsor Park benefit the health and pleasure of all Edmontonians, not only those who live there or go out of their way to pass through. Those old trees are right now performing the kind of carbon capture and storage that actually works.
Finally, you can't replace half a dozen living units with 172 and call it "gentle densification". Half a metre off roof height doesn't go even a centimetre towards making it any better.

igrundy 2 months ago

Rezoning Application in Windsor Park from RF1 to DC2
I am strongly opposed to this application.
This application does not meet a myriad of concerns and most are black and white to me.
1. This location does not fit on a non-arterial roadway across from amenities including a school, hockey rink, community league, playground, sports fields, basketball courts etc.
2. The new sign notification across from the school reads a “short” building and in my mind 110 yards is far from short (a horizontal high rise with a large footprint).
3. It does not integrate at all into the community.
4. It is too high. The shadow from the “under construction” Windsor Terrace is already aggravating. Today my neighbor is installing solar panels which will be rendered ineffective.
5. The parking for this development is underground. But, vehicular access and egress leaves much to be resolved.
I have lived in this neighborhood for 37 years. If going west, I often walk the alley, with my dog to the park, to the community league etc. If on my bicycle, I leave my garage and driveway and head down the alley. I prefer my bicycle for most commuter chores. When the weather is conducive, I often ride to the near Safeway for smaller purchases (the better part of 2 miles for a return trip). As often as possible I venture many miles further on bicycle errands rather than my vehicle.
At the present time the traffic is only OK. Gridlock is already encountered at peak periods, especially in the afternoon when school is getting out, the classes change at the university, shifts change at the hospital, along with the everyday rush hour. Wait until the Windsor Terrace traffic is dumped into the alley let alone this proposed development.
As a minimum I would expect 2 more traffic lights (87 Ave at 117 st and 118 st). Most likely a one way direction will be required on the north–south alley between 89 Ave and 87 Ave at the south end where it meets 87 Ave. This location is already compromised by the reduced site lines between the Bentley and the Windsor Terrace. This would mean all the traffic entering must use 1 of 3 entrances off non arterial roadways. One of those entrances being on a one-way arterial road. Also I suspect that where the confluence of the alleys meet, four way stop signs will be required.
Without a doubt the need for densification is a must. It is financially crippling to continue to expand the boundaries of our city and its services to meet the ever growing residential demands. We can make better use of countless properties that are vacant or in need of repurposing. Many of these properties throughout the city have amenities at hand.
Blatchford Field meets TOD (transportation orientated development). This single node is just one example of an opportunity that exists to address a large densification requirement. The exhibition grounds being another. A great example that has already been successfully repurposed is the old Heritage Shopping Centre site. Griesbach is already in play. Designs can be put in place such that services including roadways, schools, fire halls, high-rise and the missing middle concerns can be mitigated to satisfy all concerned.
We keep hearing about the “City Plan”, the “Scona District Plan”, the look to the future growth with a population of 2,000,000. As I understand it the City Plan calls for a 25% growth in housing units by 2030. If the data I have seen is correct, Windsor Park, with the introduction of Windsor Terrace will exceed Phase 1 growth as soon as 2023 at 28.9%. With the introduction of the Westrich proposal, growth would spike to 62.2% by 2025. In theory, that last surge in growth should not be completed until 2045.

Too much, way too fast.
With the little knowledge I have about the existing bylaws and those proposed, I question why this application is even being addresed. It is an overly long, too high, poorly integrated development situated with the ”precedent setting” location in the middle of a block within an existing RF1 zoning on a quiet non arterial roadway across from a school.
Define gentle densification.


Greg Mansell

Greg Mansell 2 months ago

We agree with all those opposed to this proposed development for all those reasons put forward for not allowing this project to proceed. This is a residential community and although this type of development is allowed on major arterial roads, buildings like this should not be constructed on residential streets.
If accepted, this would open the door for future proposals of this nature. A small point, but where are construction workers, equipment and future visitors allowed to park. We currently have residential parking restrictions in place. Finally, we have yet to see the impacts after the completion of the building being constructed on 87 Avenue and 118 Street. Wouldn’t it be prudent to at least wait until those impacts have been assessed.

M. Greig and N. Gaudette 2 months ago

I am strongly opposed to this proposed development. I concur with the comments already posted from those opposing the development that it is too large a development in the wrong location at the wrong time. We simply do not know what effect the 139 units in the Windsor Terrace will have on the community. What we do know is that the proposed development would have a significant negative affect on those people who are living north and across the alley from the development. It would be very unfair to allow a developer seeking to generate profits to build a development that would have such a negative affect on the value, use and enjoyment of the homes of those people adjacent to the project, most of whom have lived there for many years. The proposed development does not appear to be in compliance with the existing or proposed planning guidelines. In addition, the proposed development would come with a significant environmental price tag as a result of the destruction of many mature trees and the destruction of a number of existing homes. The proposed rezoning to build this development should be denied.

Ian Miller 2 months ago

We believe this project is a really bad idea for all the reasons outlined in the previous submissions. It definitely should not be approved!

lundellal 2 months ago

I am writing to oppose the revised Westrich Pacific high-density 172-unit proposal for 118 Street across from the Windsor Park Elementary school, in the small-scale residential zone of Windsor Park.

The City is in the process of re-tooling the Zoning Bylaw and is in the process of constructing the City’s District Planning Policy, as well as the Scona District Plan. It is unreasonable to grant a zoning change of this magnitude, for such an out-of-character development, when the Zoning and District policy development is so close to being completed.

Windsor Terrace, a 139-unit high density tower on 87th Avenue (which will be directly adjacent to the site proposed by Westrich for an additional 172- high density units), has not yet finished construction, and is not yet occupied. Consequently, we have no idea what the impacts of that site will have on the small-scale, single-family community of Windsor Park – we do know that those impacts will necessarily be significant. Furthermore, we cannot incorporate any lessons learned through Windsor Terrace Tower into an even more massive high-density development proposed by Westrich for an adjacent, but interior (118th Street), site.

Importantly, the proposed Westrich development would result in the construction of a total of 311 new high-density units (139-units +172-units) in the single-family, small-scale residential neighbourhood of Windsor Park, in two new massive high-density apartment buildings, in less than two years.

In the November 23, 2022, Edmonton Journal Livia Balone, the director of Edmonton’s zoning bylaw renewal, was very clear about what kind of density the City of Edmonton supports in a small-scale residential neighbourhood like Windsor Park, and that density is “gentle density.”

“We want to have more gentle density in Edmonton. What we’re proposing is in our small-scale residential zones … we are proposing to add a diversity of housing forms — semi-detached, row housing, suites, backyard housing, and small apartments,” Livia Balone told reporters. The Journal further reported that “opening up lots currently used for single-family homes to build a fourplex is the kind of change with infill development she’s looking to see and which will help achieve goals in the City Plan.”

This Westrich proposal is the opposite of “gentle density:” Westrich proposes density with a sledgehammer. Westrich is not proposing to build four-plexes on lots currently occupied by single family homes – Westrich proposes to insert a 172-unit high density development into the interior of a small-scale residential neighbourhood.

In direct opposition to the goals outlined by the City of Edmonton’s Livia Balone, Westrich proposes to erect a massive 172-unit high density development - not row housing, suites, backyard housing, small apartments, courtyard housing garden suits, or “tiny homes.” The Westrich proposal is not aligned with the gentle density embraced by Edmonton’s city planners for small-scale residential neighbourhoods like Windsor Park.

Even larger than the Windsor Park Elementary School, the 172-unit development proposed by Westrich would be the largest building ever built in Windsor Park. The Westrich proposal is a shocking escalation in the scale of building within Windsor Park’s residential core.

The Westrich Pacific proposal to construct a 172-unit development in the interior of the Windsor Park community would be a significant change from what is currently built on this and on the surrounding blocks (small one- or two-story homes, many of them heritage 1950s bungalows, with surrounding greenery and mature trees). A high-density development of this size within the residential heart of the community, on a quiet, narrow residential street and across from an elementary school and playground is clearly not appropriate at this stage in the community’s development.

I oppose the revised Westrich Pacific proposal and the irrevocable changes – the domino chain reaction – that this unprecedented, ill-conceived high density 172-unit development would inevitably trigger and set in motion within the small-scale residential community of Windsor Park.

PL 2 months ago

My concerns regarding this proposed development are captured in the comments below which were conveyed in writing to the developer (Westrich Pacific Corp.) on July 7 of this year:

I have reviewed the information I received from the Windsor Park Citizens’ Coalition regarding your proposed development. I have also reviewed the City of Edmonton policies regarding infill in mature neighborhoods (i.e. “Edmonton City Plan [2020[” and “Residential Infill Guidelines for Mature Neighborhoods [2009[”).

Referring to the Residential Infill Guidelines for Mature Neighborhoods (the “Infill Guidelines”), I assume your proposed building is classed as a Mid Rise Apartment and, as such, must conform to the “Large Scale Infill Guidelines” (5-8 storeys, < 1 hectare land area). My assessment of your proposal is that your development fails to conform to portions of the City of Edmonton development policies and guidelines as described below:

1. According to the WPCC, your building will be 110 yards (101 meters) long. But, according to the Infill Guidelines, Section G1, page 3, Item 7, “The maximum building length of Mid Rise Apartments should be no more than 48 metres ... “. You are not in compliance with this Infill Guidelines.

2. The Windsor Terrace, currently under construction, stands between the south edge of Windsor Park (i.e. 87 Ave.) and your proposed building. Thus your proposed building is not on the edge of the neighborhood. But, according to the Infill Guidelines, Section D, page 2, Item 4, “A critical mass of single family housing should be protected in the core of mature neighbourhoods. This will be accomplished by a) Allowing a modest amount of Small Scale infill within the interior of neighbourhoods, and b) Directing the majority of infill to the edges of neighbourhoods or onto large sites”. Your proposed development fails to conform to the Infill Guidelines as it is neither a Small Scale Infill in the neighborhood core nor a Large Scale Infill on the edge of the neighborhood.

3. According to the WPCC you plan to demolish seven single family houses, including two brand new small lot homes, to make way for your proposed development. But, according to the Edmonton City Plan (2020), City Policy No. C551, page 2, Item 4, “A critical mass of single family housing should be protected in the core of mature neighbourhoods”. I suggest that your development proposal does not conform to the spirit of the City Policy. First of all, surely protecting the two new homes that each occupy a small lot and that are built to the latest environmental standards using modern materials is a given in terms of supporting the City’s infill strategy. And secondly, knocking down a contiguous swath of seven single family houses in the core of the neighborhood is a poor way to ensure that a critical mass of single family housing is protected. If you proceed, you will set a precedent which other developers will undoubtedly seek to exploit.

4. Unlike The Bentley and the Windsor Terrace, your proposed building will be directly across the alley from the back yards of established single-family houses (i.e. six houses on the west side of 117 St.). I predict that the lights, noise (from air conditioners, for example) and shade from your proposed building will be detrimental to the residents’ enjoyment of their own back yards. Further, I suspect that the increase in vehicle traffic from your building will compound the problems that local residents already face trying to access their garages through ice and snow ruts in the alley in the winter.

To all of this Westrich Pacific might reply, “So what? In the end the City is firm in its desire to see more infill in mature neighborhoods. Westrich is prepared to replace seven single detached dwellings with a single structure that provides many, many more living units. We may deviate from the infill guidelines, but they are just that, guidelines, not hard and fast rules, and this is an opportunity for the City to take a big step forward in the provision of infill in Windsor Park.”

Perhaps. But at the highest level, we must ask ourselves what overarching goals drive these City strategies and policies and how were the supporting guidelines established? As I read it, the Edmonton City Plan and the Infill Guidelines are a response to an urgent need for Edmonton to address directly or indirectly many of the ills of society festering in its own back yard such as:
- stagnation in national productivity
- loss of arable land to urban growth
- homelessness
- loneliness, particularly with regard to seniors
- climate change
- high risk of harm to women
- alienation of aboriginal people
- fear of people who differ from us regarding culture, religious beliefs, social background, educational background, etc.

We in Edmonton have not done well recently in finding solutions to social and economic issues like these and I agree we need to change our approach if we are going to improve our record. In this regard, after reading the Edmonton City Plan and Infill Guidelines, I believe the City has struck the right balance in moving us forward in addressing these issues by calling for the selective addition of living units conforming to architectural, streetscape and landscape guidelines in a way that does not upset the beauty and the peace found in our neighborhood.

I assume that the City’s growth strategies, policies and guidelines were developed after taking input and receiving some level of sign-off from many stakeholders and experts including elected officials, city administrators, residents, developers, social agencies, city planning academics and aboriginal groups. I also assume that strategies, policies and guidelines were finalized only after much analysis, debate and compromise. This being the case, I think we now need time to see if following the documents as written leads Edmonton along a path toward a modern, thriving, peaceful place to live in the future. Changes are happening in Windsor Park, with conforming Small Scale developments (e.g. garage suites, small lot detached houses) and Large Scale developments (e.g. The Bentley, Windsor Place) already in place. Happily, by following the guidelines, the neighborhood has retained its character in the midst of these changes. This is not the time to start allowing exceptions to the policies and guidelines that represent the collective work of a large, informed group of stakeholders.

I believe that if Westrich Pacific’s proposed development proceeds as planned it will set precedents that will pave the way for approval of more nonconforming developments in Windsor Park. This would be a detriment to the neighborhood and it would be an insult to those whose time, effort and patience went into developing the City’s strategies, policies and guidelines in the first place. I thus do not support the approval of the Westrich development in Windsor Park on 118 St.

J.Jamieson

J.Jamieson 2 months ago

We are totally opposed to this 172 unit Westridge development. This proposed development is far too large for Windsor Park (note this is a residential community not the University) - 172 units next to a 139 unit that is already being built and is totally inappropriate due to the many negatives that were raised as part of that development process. It was so disappointing that the City approved that development, but at least it is being build on a major roadway (87 ave). This new development is not at all on a major roadway, is even closer to the school and right into the residential neighbourhood. The negatives surrounding this are many
- unsafe location for children (school and playground)
- additional traffic in the neighborhood because it is not on a major roadway
- noise
- shading and privacy of community due to height
- alley to the east will be a nightmare for the many reasons already stated in comments both for the existing houses that back on alley and new residents if this goes forward
- City ignoring its own planning and zoning bylaws

We truly hope this time the City will listen to its residents and not approve this application.

Russ 2 months ago

I commented on the original proposal, and my main concerns remain: (1) This is a very large block, being built immediately next to another apartment block that is currently under construction. The combined density of these units will be extremely high, and the impact of the project already under construction (Windsor Terrace) is unknown. (2) This project is sited immediately across the street from Windsor Park School, whose longstanding status as one of the city's top elementary schools could suffer due to this development. (3) The height of this structure has serious impacts on the surrounding single family homes (shade, privacy, traffic in back lane), with consequent loss of property value.

Yesterday's Edmonton Journal ran an article about the "gentle densification" approach for growing the population of Edmonton's central core. This involves small apartment buildings (3 stories and less) and townhouses. I think that this sort of approach would be a good fit for the area around 87th avenue. Sadly, this proposed development is anything but "gentle," and would cause irreparable harm to the neighbourhood. The developers' response to the initial feedback has been quite limited (e.g., lowering the maximum height from 21.5 metres to 20 metres), and I would like to see a good faith effort to address the very legitimate concerns that were raised, and that still apply to the "new" proposal.

Frederick West 2 months ago

I am writing in my personal capacity and as chair of the Windsor Park Citizens Coalition to register our opposition to the Westrich Pacific proposal to build a massive apartment complex, in the heart of our residential community across the street from an elementary school, playschool, daycare and playground.

When this development proposal was first presented to the community over 100 Windsor Park residents wrote to express their opposition to the development. The relatively minor revisions the developer has made to the proposed development failed to address the concerns of the residents.
The merits of the proposed development were carefully considered in the context of the City’s infill guidelines, the City Plan, the information available regarding the new zoning bylaw and the proposed District General Policy and Scona District Plan.

We also took into consideration information from the City’s publications and videos including the video on Zoning Bylaw Renewal. That video emphasized a “gentle density” approach to development.
There are a few key principles drawn by reference or implication from the City planning documents:

1. The first is that there must be a shift in development in the City of Edmonton to allow for increased densification to, amongst other things, eliminate or slow urban sprawl. The Coalition fully embraces this principle.
2. The second principle is that each and every community in Edmonton must participate in meeting the densification goals. The Coalition fully supports this principle and agrees that the community of Windsor Park must play a role in reaching these densification goals.

The Coalition’s opposition to this development is not based on a “not in my backyard” approach. Rather, densification development within the Windsor Park backyard has been and will continue to be embraced; the issue is where in our backyard the development should go and how much of our backyard it should take up.

3. The third principle is that developments must be done in an orderly manner that adds value to the City and the community. The pursuit of densification does not mean that anything can be built anywhere.

As the City video referenced earlier noted, there cannot be a skyscraper-built smack dab in the middle of a bunch of bungalows.

There must be well thought rules designating what can be built and where. These rules must be as clear and unambiguous as possible. Community residents, people considering buying homes in the community, developers and city planning need certainty. More certainty brings more orderly development and more collaboration between developers and communities.

The proposed development does not comply with the Residential Infill Guidelines. The development is not on an arterial road, it is in the heart of a single-family residential community. The guidelines provide a maximum length of 48 meters; the proposed development is almost twice that length at 90 meters. The guidelines allow for a 4-story building; the majority of the proposed development is 6 stories.

The City Plan was not intended to rescind and replace all the Residential Infill Guidelines but rather to, amongst other things, complement and clarify those guidelines. There is nothing explicit in the City Plan that indicates that a development such as this that does not meet the Infill guidelines regarding location and size should now be considered to be acceptable under the City Plan. In fact, in relation to this specific proposal, it is noted that the proposed location is not within the University major node as defined in the City Plan. The other very important point to consider is that extensive work has been done to develop district plans under the umbrella of the City Plan and that the implementation date of the District General Policy and Scona District Plan (“District Plan”) is scheduled to be within the next year.

The District Plan has been issued in draft form. This plan was developed with input from the City planning department, developers, community leagues and citizens. Although the consultation process has not been concluded it is close to being finalized. Assuming that the final version of the District General Policy and Scona District Plan is consistent with the draft that has been issued, the proposed development would not fit within those guidelines either. The development does not integrate at all, much less integrate well into the neighborhood, it is not small scale housing, it is not low rise housing, it is not adjacent to a commercial center, it is not on the edge of the neighborhood and it does not front an arterial or service road. It is not the right location for this building as proposed. It is the equivalent of a skyscraper being built smack dab in the middle of a bunch of bungalows. It is not gentle density.

4. The fourth principle is that the development rules must be followed. Rules and guidelines exist to bring certainty, transparency and accountability to the development process; to know what can be built and where.

It should be exceedingly rare that a rezoning is approved for a development that does not comply with the relevant existing or future planning guidelines. The current and future guidelines were carefully thought-out policies developed after extensive input from all stakeholders. It makes no sense to spend valuable community and city resources to develop guidelines if those are simply ignored. A lack of certainty erodes the confidence citizens have in the administration of City planning and inevitably creates an adversarial relationship between a developer seeking to skirt the guidelines by applying for DC2 rezoning and a community relying on the planning parameters established by the guidelines. The approval time for developments becomes too long. Any application to re-zone to DC2 where the development does not meet the existing or future guidelines should therefore be met with extreme caution. In this case there is very little to commend a development of this size in this particular location at this time.

(a) There is a large residential building referred to as the Windsor Terrace currently being built on the corner of 87th ave and 118 street. It will have 139 living units. It is far too early to determine what effect that development will have on the community and City. Approving another major development larger than the Windsor Terrace before the true effects of the addition of the Windsor Terrace on the community and City is simply moving too fast.

(b) The proposed development is huge. It is proposed to be one building stretching the length of a football field. It would have the biggest footprint in the entire Community. It is not gentle density.

(c) The proposed development would share 118th street with The Windsor Park Elementary School, play school and daycare as well as the rink, and sports fields. The addition of 170 apartment units to the 139 in the Windsor Terrace will increase the traffic in the area exponentially and with any increase in traffic comes an increased risk of injury to the elderly residents using the alley or 118th street and children attending school or using the playground, rink or sports fields.

(d) The entry to the parking for the proposed development is in the alley between the development and the 8 houses sharing the alley on 117th street. As a result, this small alley is projected to have an increase in traffic to 800 trips per day.

(e) The proposed development will extinguish virtually all sunlight on the home to the north of the development and will significantly reduce the sunlight for the 8 homes that will share the alley.

(f) The proposed development is, for the most part, 6 stories high with windows and balconies overlooking the backyards of those 8 homes. Those homeowners, who are mostly long-term residents, will lose all of their backyard privacy.

(g) These very significant negative consequences of the proposed development will cause these 10 homeowners to suffer a drop in the market value of their homes by up to 20%, a drop of more than $100,000 for each homeowner.

(h) There is a huge environmental cost to this development. The proposed development will result in the destruction of dozens of beautiful mature trees that provide wildlife habitat, carbon capture, pollution absorption, storm water collection, wind protection and cooling. The planting of relatively few immature trees to replace these does not come even remotely close to compensating for the expected loss.

The Coalition does not oppose densification development in Windsor Park. The problems with this proposed development are where it is located and its size. The guidelines need to be enforced otherwise there is no sense in having guidelines in the first place. Allowing exceptions to the guidelines should be a very rare occurrence and only when a proposed development does not adversely affect but rather adds value to neighbors, the community and the environment. This is not such a project. An environmentally sound development on an arterial road consistent with the Residential Infill Guidelines or the District General Policy and Scona District Plan would be endorsed by the Coalition.

In short, this proposed development is too much, too soon and in the wrong location.

-Joe Miller

Joe Miller 2 months ago

ADMIN SUBMITTED ON BEHALF OF KEN P.

I am writing in response to the Westrich Pacific proposal for a development on 118 St which has been submitted to City Planning. This proposal is somewhat revised from their original proposal as a result of an initial consultation. As a Windsor Park resident my opposition to this proposed development has not changed.

First, let me say that the revisions to the initial proposal are modest and generally relate to meeting City building guidelines with respect to set backs etc. However, the revisions did not have a major impact on the size of the building. The number of units remained at 172.

I was pleased to see that there was some recognition of the severe traffic congestion caused when parents drop off and pick up their children from Windsor Park school. However, as someone who lives close to the school, I would suggest that the consultant’s car counts for these times is significantly underestimated. Placing a building of this size directly across from a school in a residential neighbourhood is a bad idea.

After reading the developers design brief and included consultants reports, I have a couple of comments.

The impact of Windsor Terrace with its 139 units on the Windsor Park community will not be known until it is completed and occupied in 2023. These impacts include things like traffic volume, parking, sewer capacity and Windsor Park School. Westrich Pacific’s design brief states that “Windsor Park School caters to the neighbourhood of Windsor Park but also to the children of staff at the University of Alberta Campus and Hospital.” It is my understanding that the school is already at capacity with the majority of students living in Windsor Park. In numerous cases the parents of these children do work at the University or the Hospital but they also live in Windsor Park.

Westrich Pacific’s design brief states “even if Windsor Park experiences less than expected growth the need for intensification is imperative to provide further affordable housing options to the University of Alberta Community”. This begs the question as to who will rent these units. If it is families with children, which seems to be the assumption, can Windsor Park school accommodate the additional children from both this development and Windsor Terrace?

I do not believe that these developments will stretch the capacity of Windsor Park school because in my opinion the majority of the residents in the two developments would be university students. Since many of the units have two bedrooms, each can accommodate more than just four students, in fact many more. Although there are municipal limits on the number of occupants per suite, students do not care and are quite flexible in accepting cramped living arrangements which reduce their expenses. The student population is transient and does not contribute significantly to the community.

It is my understanding that the new Zoning Bylaw has yet to be finalized and the City’s District Planning Policy and the Scona District Plan are under development. Furthermore, as mentioned above its actual impact of the Windsor Terrace development on Windsor Park infrastructure will not be known until it is completed and fully occupied. These two facts suggest that any consideration of rezoning the Westrich Pacific properties is at best premature and any rezoning decision should at least be deferred.

Developers, like Westrich Pacific, are attracted to Windsor Park because of the large lots with older houses. It is relatively inexpensive to acquire these. The area immediately east of the proposed site along 116 St and 117 St has many such available properties. Is the City going to approve further large developments in this immediate area? This would create a building ghetto and wall off the south east section of Windsor Park north of 87 Ave from the rest of the community. Such development would not be in the best interest of the Windsor Park community.

Windsor Park residents understand the need for and are not opposed to densification but the scale of new developments should be more modest. Row houses, duplexes, and “skinnies” are preferred options. In fact, “skinnies” were built recently on two of the lots on which Westrich Pacific is seeking the rezoning. These will be demolished which represents a waste of resources and poor environmental planning/practice.

This proposed development is too large for a location on 118 St internal to the Windsor Park community and across from a school. It would be much less of a concern if it was located on 87 Ave. Rezoning/planning decisions need to be tempered with common sense. Just because a proposed development checks all the planning boxes that does not mean that it should be allowed to proceed.

The City should deny approvals for the proposed Westrich Pacific Development.

amorrison 2 months ago

I have reviewed the responses from many neighbours across Windsor Park and I have been informed by representatives of the WPCL and the WP Citizens Coalition. In particular the WPCC has reflected research and understanding and put forward some practical avenues for working with the City's development plans, including increasing density, without sacrificing community values.
No argument and no adjustments to the overall proposal by Westrich have been put forward in my view that could support erecting the Westrich development in Windsor Park. The arguments challenging its substance are well stated in all the preceding comments. Read them carefully and consider whether the city-- its engineers and administrators--can in conscience put forward this development and the subtle obfuscations Westrich has used to promote business interests at the expense of neighborhood and municipal long term community values.
Judith Mirus

Judith Mirus 2 months ago

I highly support this project and strongly hope it is approved. It undeniably fits the definition of reasonable, gentle density given its close proximity to transit and direct adjacency to the University. The City Plan defines major nodes as approximately 2 Km's across, and there is no reasonable point of measurement that places this development outside this radius to the University. Placing additional density in this location is clearly within the spirit of the City Plan.

There is simply no justification for denying a project like this given the City's density, infill and environmental goals. It will provide a significant density and vibrancy boost to the area, and will cater to lower-vehicle use residents. It will also provide important new housing mix into one of the most desirable and cost-prohibitive neighborhoods in the city. Having a majority single-family home neighborhood directly adjacent to a major global university in a major metropolitan area is simply unacceptable. This project, along with its two neighboring buildings, will go a very small way towards remedying this. I hope we continue to see many more proposals in such an amenity-rich area of the city.

I also strongly support the siting of this project off of 87th Avenue. We have a terrible habit in this city of pushing multi-family development to busy arterials. It is a fantastic shift to reverse this trend and to see density moving further into neighborhoods.

GG 2 months ago

Multi-storey buildings should be built on major roads, not inside communities of single family homes.
In this case, it would make sense to build on 87th Ave west of 119 St.
-- Demolishing or moving two new homes to make way for a new development is not ethical or environmentally sound.

Ronnene Anderson 2 months ago

DC-application for 118 St. in Windsor Park

Feedback by: Rolf Mirus, 8734-117 St.
November 23, 2022

The project for the rezoning application should be rejected - or at the least postponed - for the following reasons:
1. Appropriateness: As of this writing the Bylaw is under revision, as are the District Planning Policy and the Scona District Plan. The rules pertaining to the latter are unknown, and the proposed project does NOT meet the existing rules.
2. Fit with Future Rules: The City states that its aim is for “gentle densification”. Gentle densification is not defined, but “gentle” suggests this would reasonably serve the interests of the adjacent homeowners and families with children attending the Windsor Park Elementary School across the street, or limit itself to a 4-3-2 storey complex that does not intrude on the privacy of the immediate neighbors and is not plainly obstructive to the character of the neighborhood
3. The City’s Responsibility for Thoroughness: This includes a careful risk assessment of the safety and traffic consequences of the proposed project. Serious flaws have been identified in the developer-supplied traffic study, data for which was taken from a non-representative school-vacation period and did NOT consider future traffic flows from Windsor Terrace just south. The fact that kindergarten students cross 87th Avenue twice/day in late morning and early afternoon rush hour is not addressed sufficiently by it. And serious congestion is to be expected from three underground garages from three large buildings (more than 320 units) into very narrow alleys which are made even less passable by telephone poles! Moreover, the visibility out of the alley at its southern end onto 87th Avenue is very poor due to the mass of the buildings on either side. This will lead to long traffic line-ups in the alleys, notwithstanding or even because of the proposed installation of three stop signs at their E-, W-, and S-ends.
4. Resulting Cynicism: The consultations process seems to have been made for show rather than substance because a developer a) assembles land, proposes a super profitable project, and gets a reading of its reception, b) adjusts the proposal marginally to claim “responsiveness”, so that c) Council may approve the project. Given the aforementioned observations Council can reasonably be seen as rubberstamping it since the “community’s needs” have been “considered”. As a result the respect for civic leaders diminishes and the community’s participation stands to decline – and that is not desirable! What is desirable is a child-friendly development that fosters strong communities with strong and safe schools, as Michael Janz campaigned for, and Council decisions that are the result of working WITH communities, as Mayor Sohi promised upon his election!

Rolf Mirus 2 months ago

The Windsor Park Community League executive discussed the revised DC2 at its November meeting. With regard to the additional traffic and pedestrian safety measures that have been added, our view is that these would not be needed if rezoning to accommodate a 6-storey building were proposed fronting onto the service road along 87th Ave, an arterial road through the neighbourhood, rather than on a local road in the interior of the community.

The site does not meet the location criteria of the Residential Infill Guidelines, which remain in effect, for a project of this scale. It’s also outside the boundary of the major node in the University area according to the City Plan and draft Scona District Plan.

The league’s view is this DC2 project is not appropriate on a busy local road in the interior of the neighbourhood across from the elementary school, community league hall, community rink, playground and basketball court. The school and hall accommodate a day care and Playschool as well as the elementary school. All vehicular access to the parking lots for these indoor and outdoor facilities is from 118th St.

The proposed 6-storey building would significantly reduce sunlight from the west on neighbouring properties, including the single family homes across the alley on 117 St. Their sunlight from the south and east has already been reduced by The Bentley and the building currently under construction at the corner of 87th Ave and 118 St. Both of these buildings meet the location criteria of the Residential Infill Guidelines. Now sunlight will be reduced from the west as well by a project that does not meet the location criteria of the guidelines.

We would prefer to see 4-storey stacked row housing at 8715 - 118 St, front facing row housing at 8731 and 8735 - 118 St and the 2 new skinny houses remain at 8727 and 8729 - 118 St. Such developments would add family-oriented density that is suitable for this location. A 6-storey project is not contemplated by the draft Scona District Plan for this location or for any location in the interior of the neighbourhood, where higher density developments up to 3-storeys in height across a couple of lots are anticipated.

With regard to the revised DC2 provision, we’re disappointed that the league’s earlier suggestions have not been adopted, specifically:

- the height has not been reduced by one storey across the board—to a building that is 5 storeys at the south end, 4 storeys in the middle and 3 storeys where it abuts single family properties to the north.

- the number of parking spaces to be provided in the underground parkade has not been specified.

- a Good Neighbour Agreement to be developed at the Development Permit stage has not been added to minimize the impacts of construction on nearby properties, including the school and the park, and to minimize the impacts of construction vehicle parking on the neighbourhood. In fact, the reference in the 1st draft that no cranes would swing across Windsor Park (the school and the park) has been removed.

We repeat our request to incorporate the above changes into the DC2 Provision.

While we appreciate the addition of regulations regarding setbacks and privacy screening for the rooftop patios, we’re disappointed the depiction of the landscaped patios has been removed from the aerial view in the renderings.

Submitted by Elaine Solez, Civics Director, Windsor Park Community League

Elaine 2 months ago

It is absolutely absurd that the City of Edmonton is merely going through the motions of conducting public consultation on District Plans and the Zoning bylaw, at the same time it is entertaining this zoning application. In a free society, the latter can only follow the former if the former approve it. The City conduct resembles that which might be expected in Russia or China. It is deciding the outcome of a trial while evidence is presented.

The City refers to 'gentle growth'. And what part of inserting a horizontal skyscraper is gentle? Given the number of lots this developer proposes to consolidate, setting the record for building the most units in the largest building in the community to date, rules are rules until they are not rules. Why bother with rules.

The City in its lipservice to engagement resembles the Canadian government and its colonial attitude to the settlement of the West in the 1800s. Talk a bit but don't really listen. The locals will not understand, because they don't, and besides there is money to be made.

Authentic engagement and development of shared goals is completely different. It gets better results. It is what people deserve in the 21st century. This is not Russia, or is it?

This proposal ignores the Mature Neighbourhood overlay, as City planners say they have been told to do. But new guidelines will not be operational until 2023. None of these would support this large of a development in this location, in the heart of the neighbourhood rather than an arterial roadway.

If occupied, it would represent an increased population of 33% to 50 % using the same transport and mercantile infrastructure. It will not WORK and by the time the City realizes that it has failed it will be a boondoggle that competes with the LRT disasters.

This additional application is too much, too fast and in the wrong location. And moreover, the City process is flawed in its violation of fair engagement and respect for citizens

The City Plan talks about values and principles, but its approach has been unprincipled. It is colonial. It is intrusive. It is imperialistic. It is unfair. It DOES NOT engage citizens and INCORPORATE their VOICES.

This application should be seriously CONSIDERED and then seriously REJECTED.

Citizens Deserve to be Heard 2 months ago

It has been surreal and appalling to witness the City of Edmonton going through the motions of conducting public consultation on District Plans and the Zoning bylaw at the same time it is entertaining this zoning application.

The City information and video resources related to the public consultation refer to growth of gentle density in residential neighbourhoods, and that this does not mean placing a skyscraper 'smack-dab' in the middle of single family homes. And, yet, given the number of lots this developer hopes to consolidate, building the most units in the largest building in the community to date, the intention is to bend the rules by putting in a sideways skyscraper.

This is completely counter to what the originating architects of concepts like 'the missing middle' would advise in order to achieve community acceptability for greater density.

And, in the way the City is opting to use the spectrum of public engagement, it is pulling the decision-making on land-use and community-building fully away from local communities, land owners and taxpaying citizens and into centralized planning.

Authentic engagement and collaboration looks and feels completely different, and achieves better outcomes.

City planners say they have been told to set aside the existing guidelines, such as the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay, and yet are not able to be guided by the new guidelines under development as they will not be complete and enacted until next summer. The point is - neither the old or the new plans and bylaws would support this large of a development in this location, in the heart of the neighbourhood rather than an arterial roadway.

In addition, construction on the neighbouring Windsor Terrace building continues to build its looming presence over the neighbourhood. As the impact of this site on the community including the commercial space on the main floor is not yet understood, it would be inappropriate to approve an even larger one next door and across from the school. Our community is already well on-track towards densification goals. This additional application is too much, too fast and in the wrong location.

The City Plan talks about values and principles, but so far this approach has been unprincipled and marginalizes affected residents.

This application should not be seriously considered.

WP Citizen 2 months ago

Accommodating the wishes of a private developer to change a residential bylaw (that protects the integrity of the Windsor Park community) and defies the current densification planning guidelines of the city of Edmonton is unconscionable. The proposed development is next to a 139 unit building that has yet to be completed. The community has no idea what the impact of this unfinished development will be. Both would exist across the street from the local elementary school, community hall, and playground. The increased vehicle traffic would put children at risk, adding to the current risk of University parkade vehicles using Windsor Park streets as a bypass to tie ups on 116th St. and 87th Ave. during rush hour.

With the ongoing densification of residential accommodation in the surrounding communities of Garneau and Belgravia, it is not clear that this additional 172 unit development is necessary. It would not add to the desirability or sustainability of this community. I am completely opposed to this development.

WP-Resident 3 months ago