LDA20-0363 Concordia University UI Rezoning Virginia Park

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Consultation has concluded

a black and white map of the area around the property that is proposed to be rezoned (7128 Ada Boulevard), with a grey box on the property, labelled "DC2 to UI".

***The discussion has concluded and a What We Heard Report is now 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)(External link) for Council meetings.

***The discussion has concluded and a What We Heard Report is now 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)(External link) for Council meetings.

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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.

Dear Mr. Jeff Booth,

My wife and I have numerous concerns regarding the proposed development at Concordia. We mostly agree with stated concerns by the previous postings from our neighbours who live in Virginia Park.
Specific concerns that we know will be detrimental to the neighbourhood are:
• Traffic and parking congestion during and after construction – Road congestion is a daily occurrence during the school season with limited parking on the 109 Ave and 73 St. First, is Concordia planning on using their existing road access from 112 Ave during construction? Congestion and road damage will be worse should construction/contractor traffic use this or any residential corridors. Also, Virginia Park recently underwent street improvements and we are now paying increased taxes for these improvements. Heavy equipment transport on these “new” roads will shorten their lifespan. Has Concordia taken into account the City of Edmonton’s planned “Ada Boulevard bridge Rehabilitation Project, ‘https://www.edmonton.ca/projects_plans/roads/ada-boulevard.aspx’” scheduled for Spring 2021? After construction, traffic safety issues/incidents will increase with Virginia Park Elementary School located along this corridor.
• Item 7. (Proposed Ammendment…(UI) Urban Institutional Zone) – Existing trees within 4.5 metres of the west Lot Line adjacent to 73 Street shall be retained or relocated on the Site when possible. This statement is vague and puts no onus on the developer to keep the trees as a buffer. It should be amended so “…existing trees to be retained or, at minimum, replacement trees be planted at current locations.”
• Item 8. The maximum building Heights shall be 14.5 m for Sub-area 1; 21.75 m for Sub-area 2; and 29.0 m for Sub-area 3, as depicted on Map 3B – Why do the minimum heights proposed grossly exceed required heights for proposed buildings to be built? For building A3, the proposed building calls for a 3-storey plus a single parkade level. The proposed maximum height would allow a 7-storey building. Even if the parkade is above ground, the maximum height necessary would be maximum 16 – 17 meters. WHY does Concordia want the additional height maximum? This is inconsistent with their building proposal.
My wife and I have owned our property across from Concordia on 73rd Street for over 25 years. One of the best features of Virginia Park, as noted from earlier comments, is the “openness” of the neighbourhood even though it is contained in a small geographic footprint. We are not against some development in order to improve the area, but, the overall changes Concordia has brought forward will detract from the area. Concordia itself will stand out like a “sore thumb”.

Best Regards,

Bernie & Teresa 4 months ago

I fully agree with many of the concerns raised by my neighbors regarding the proposed rezoning of lands south of 112 ave, surrounding Concordia. I understand the school's desire to expand, but I urge the city and Concordia to look north of 112 ave as a much better location for the proposed developments. Would this not be a more stewardly use of valuable land with vacant buildings?

Joan 4 months ago

We have a number of concerns about Concordia’s re-zoning application and their stated intentions to both expand from, increase size, density and height and footprints of proposed buildings. We offer the following points for consideration:

1. History: While the neighbourhoods abutting and near Concordia value the school’s presence as an overall asset to the community, there was always an understanding, tacit and otherwise, that Concordia would respect its current boundaries. Historically, there have been ongoing concerns about the size of Concordia and its potential impact on surrounding neighbourhoods, traffic flows, etc. Such issues were identified more formally in the development/profile plan that was created collaboratively between the Highlands Community League and City of Edmonton Planning in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s (it should be available in your records). As part of the writing of the profile and the ensuing community plan, Concordia College as it was then, was also part of the consultation. At that stage of the institution’s history, there was a stated commitment by the school’s administration that it would not expand beyond an enrolment of 1500 students. Of course we recognize that administrations change, and when the college became a university (and severed its ties with the Lutheran church), it adopted an interest in and goals of expansion. And we also understand that development plans are obviously not written in stone. The main point we want to make here, however, is that Concordia’s footprint and impact on the surrounding neighbourhoods has been an enduring and ongoing issue for residents, who legitimately understand and worry about the quality and long-term viability of their neighborhoods.
2. Relationships/Consultation with Virginia Park neighbourhood: The buying up of properties adjacent to Concordia seems to have been happening by stealth. At the last public forum we attended, we were shocked to learn that Concordia intends to purchase the whole block of houses from 73rd to 74rd Streets and 112th to 111th Avenues. A number of houses have already been designated for demolition. If that expansion goes forward, it would mean a major incursion into Virginia Park, reducing an already relatively small neighbourhood. We are unaware of any studies that have been conducted which would consider the negative impact of such major expansion, for example on property values, and the longer term health and sustainability of the neighbourhood. While Concordia has consulted with representatives of the community and held public information sessions, our sense was that those forums were only intended to present plans already cemented in place, so to speak. And in those forums, there was no genuine engagement with residents and the necessary dialogue about issues such as increased traffic, parking, streetscapes etc.
3. The importance of protecting the sustainability and health of viable, small, “inner-city”
neighbourhoods: With awareness of issues such as climate change, de-carbonization and the importance of walkable and sustainable conditions for healthy lives, Virginia Park can be a model community. It already boasts wonderful elementary school with a fine arts program that not only serves students in the neighbourhood, but also attracts others from other areas of the city. In recent years, there has been a significant demographic evolution, with younger families moving into the area, attracted in no small part by the access to the school, to parks nearby and of course the river valley and what it offers for recreation like cycling and walking. When we moved into the neighbourhood in 1995, we were then into middle age. We moved to our current home (and invested in extensive renovations) not only because of being so close to the river valley and its natural attractions and beauty, but also because the scale of the neighbourhood and its diversity of people. We feel secure and also really appreciate that we know most of the people on our street. There is a kind of trust and conviviality that the neighbourhood encourages. Over twenty-five years later, we are now well into our senior years, and intend to live where we are as long as possible. Living in Virginia Park offers as access to amenities, public transport, accessibility to the downtown and many other features that sustain quality of life for people of all ages. Concordia expansion, on the scale they intend, can threaten not only the longer term survival of Virginia Park as the kind of neighbourhood we should be encouraging, but also devalue the stability of the area, and people’s commitment to invest in housing and to continuing to live here. The scale of Concordia’s proposed expansion would simply overwhelm our small community, and permanently altar what is currently Victoria Park’s charm and assets as a viable place to live (it’s interesting to consider what happened historically when other large institutions (the University of Alberta) literally swallowed up whole neighbourhoods…east Garneau was once a thriving area of beautiful, historically interesting housing, almost none of which is left; instead a good part of what was once thriving streets is still a huge open parking lot and a somewhat barren landscape of random buildings).
4. Larger planning issues (e.g. Ada Boulevard): Ada Boulevard is a recognized gem of a street in Edmonton, running alongside the river valley, with interesting housing, but perhaps above all, providing an appealing and fantastic recreational route for cyclists, runners, walkers with dogs or not, family outings, etc. Currently, Concordia is part of the appeal of the landscape of Ada Boulevard, with its expansive lawn, and historic college building facing the valley…the charm of that would be entirely sacrificed by the plan to not only build new structures of significant height but also ones that change an historical and visually interesting streetscape into an institutionally cold dominating one, further acerbated by allowing lesser setbacks from the street. It is not clear whether in deliberating on the legitimacy of the zoning bylaw changes if issues such as building height and potential effects on the street, sunlight, etc, have been or are being taken into account. Not least of the concerns of residents is traffic and parking, which to our knowledge has not been seriously addressed by Concordia. Pre-pandemic, we noticed significantly more parking on our street (75 St), despite a two-hour limit. We also experienced increased traffic up and down our street because of Concordia. Unless traffic issues and how public transportation alternatives are seriously considered, there will be serious problems of traffic and parking in the future, again seriously damaging quality of life and safety in the area.
5. Why aren’t alternative sites for expansion being seriously considered? We have attended several public forums on the future of the Exhibition lands. One of the proposals in the planning is space for Concordia expansion on the north-east corner of those lands. Rather than forcing a larger and more problematic footprint on Virginia Park, why isn’t expansion across 112 Ave. being seriously considered, and are there any reasons such planning for expansion cannot be brought forward by Concordia in working with the city? Apart from the critical issue of respecting the boundaries of the neighbourhoods like Virginia Park, expansion onto the Exhibition lands also offers greater proximity to public transportation, potentially more parking space, if necessary and ample room for Concordia’s desire to expand (and that desire to expand would exactly be a genuine worry for Virginia Park and its residents—what guarantee would there be that future expansion would not encroach even more on the neighbourhood).

In closing, we think there are serious concerns and unanswered questions about expansion that give cause to deny Concordia’s application for rezoning at this time. As residents who care not just about our own private space, but also the quality of our social and physical environment, Concordia University’s plans are careless of the concerns that have been expressed in good faith, and dismissive of what should be the institution’s responsibility to the immediate and larger community. 60 years ago, in her groundbreaking book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs alerted us to the perils of large scale developments on the livable fabric of urban life and the health and sustainability of vibrant neighbourhoods. Her book was also a signal caution about the negative impacts of top-down decision-making and enthusiasm for large-scale projects negligent of the people who depend on the sustainability and quality of the spaces and places most meaningful to—and supportive of—their quality of life.

Hans and Donna

Hans/Donna 4 months ago

I live in the Virginia Park neighborhood, and it is a very small and cozy community, however we do notice the daily impacts of traffic by students at Concordia, which do contribute to higher risks to the kids playing outside. Students park in the neighborhood to avoid paying parking fees at the school, which jams up our streets. My vehicle has been hit and run damaged by a student. I don't have a problem with Concordia growing to the North into the Northlands parking lot, which would increase traffic on the main road (112 Ave); but not a fan of it growing south/east which would increase Ada Blvd traffic (which is the main channel for the community to engage with the river valley), and especially not a supporter of it expanding West moving things closer to the elementary school thus "shrinking" the already small community. Preserving the community space for the elementary school and those kids is also at the forefront of my concerns here, as I feel they would be due for an upgrade/upsizing sometime over the next 10 years...it is quite an old school: so the preference would be for the elementary to "keep their elbows out" with regards to space directly surrounding them.

Daniel 4 months ago

I do not support the new rezoning plan. Firstly, Concordia is one of the fastest growing post secondary schools in Alberta. I am very concerned that with its growth comes much larger volumes of traffic. As is, I'd strongly insist a change be made to the current parking by-law making it similar to Windsor Park adjacent to the U of A. Recently, student traffic has been notorious for not only clogging up our road ways but also littering and smoking on our adjacent boulevards of our properties. As CUE has become a non-smoking campus students are using our boulevards to smoke and litter. This declines the beauty of our mature neighborhood and its unique viewpoint community. Also, all construction traffic MUST be routed directly in and out of Concordia via 73st & 112ave ONLY. We just recently finished a neighborhood renewal and it would be very incongruous for any construction traffic to degrade it. The size of the CUE campus doesn't support the growth they're currently experiencing. I'm strongly in favor of their growth being in another location such as north of 112ave or somewhere else. This is how other schools like GMac & the UofA have solved the growth issue. Lastly, it's imperative that all residents are fully informed of any new plans. The last meeting on CUE Campus had only a select few VP citizens there. I understand it was during the pandemic but others should have been able to virtually attend. Also, meetings need to be video recorded as there already has been conflicts about details been said in prior engagements.

LP 4 months ago

It is acknowledged that a rezoning will allow CUE to continue stable and healthy growth which is beneficial for the community, City, and institution. However, growth within the bounds of the subject site should be respectful of the unique character of the existing community. Further amendment of the UI zoning is required to accomplish this. Additional space north of 112 Avenue will provide ample space for CUE to expand, and also has the potential to act as a catalyst for the Northlands redevelopment.

Specific concerns with the proposed UI zoning are as follows:

- The building height on the west side should not be increased from the current 12m maximum. This promotes a built form that is similar in scale to the adjacent residential use (RF1 - 10m maximum).
- Building height should be limited to 12m along Ada Boulevard, or a step back required to respect the existing character of the street.
- A 7.5m setback should be required on property edges abutting a residential use. This aligns with the nature of standard UI zoning. A broader range of uses are permitted by UI which are not as compatible with residential use.
- The maximum Floor Area Ratio should be reduced from 10. This density exceeds what would be reasonably desirable for the site, and what could be built with the proposed height restrictions.
- A site coverage maximum should be added to ensure appropriate green space is maintained. Green space is a universal asset to staff, students, and the community. The CUE immediate growth plan shows new buildings occupying most of the green space on the southern portion of the site. It would be undesirable to see the entire site planned to similar density.
- Increased traffic is a large concern for many community residents. 73 Street and Ada Boulevard are heavily utilized for recreation by many residents of Edmonton as well as students from Virginia Park School. All access to campus parking should be via 73 Street directly south of 112 Avenue. No additional accesses should be permitted along 73 Street south of 109 Avenue, or along Ada Boulevard. A Traffic Impact Assessment should be required to evaluate the feasibility of the proposed density on this site and impact it will have on the community.

Kyle Bradshaw 4 months ago

Dear Mr. Jeff Booth,
I am taking the opportunity as a concerned resident of the Virginia Park neighbourhood and lifelong citizen of Edmonton to provide you with the following details related to our family’s opposition of the proposed rezoning of “the property at 7128 Ada Boulevard from (DC2.649) Site Specific Development Control Provision(External link) to (UI) Urban Institutional Zone(External link) in order to allow Concordia University to grow over time”.
To begin with, we were disappointed in receiving a notice in the mail to provide feedback on February 16, 2021 with a deadline for submission occurring today, February 21, 2021. As a working family with three children during a pandemic it provided us with very little time to fully understand the details of this rezoning proposal let alone the opportunity for us to collect our ideas to offer a comprehensive response. I feel strongly that this was not reasonable amount of time for our community to fairly convey their feedback. I propose that the re-zoning application be halted until a proper engagement can be done.
Our family has a longstanding affiliation with the Virginia Park, Bellevue and Highlands Communities and take pride in it’s history and the community’s efforts to preserve its heritage. As you are aware in keeping with this history we, as residents, are bound by the “mature neighbourhood overlay” which includes an extensive list of restrictions related to heights, setbacks, and privacy for any renovations and/or new construction. I find it very hypocritical and completely disrespectful to our historic community that the proposed rezoning (and potential build sites highlighted on the map) could result in an six-eight storey concrete building immediately facing our home’s front door. Additionally, this contradicts the Cromdale / Virginia Park Area Redevelopment Plan which should be the guiding principle for development in the area, yet this appears to have been completely overlooked:
"If the College requires more space for new facility development, appropriate expansion areas lie to the immediate north, to 112 Avenue, and on the eastern portion of their existing campus site. Any future expansion shall be architecturally compatible with nearby residential development and have regard for factors such as traffic circulation, parking, landscaping and buffering to minimize any negative impacts to adjacent residents." (Quoted from the Cromdale / Virginia Park ARP)

In reviewing Concordia's Future Growth Plan, it is in direct contradiction to the ARP; redevelopment is happening along the WEST side (not EAST as indicated in the ARP). This has an immediate negative and future longstanding impact on the current residents and greater community. Additional density will only intensify the current challenges that we have with parking and traffic safety which, so far, have not been addressed. In no uncertainty would 6 or 8 storey buildings ever be considered "architecturally compatible" with surrounding 1-2 storey residences. Any buffers to current residences should be increased from 6 m which is what is required by a current residential building.
In summary we are strongly opposed to the rezoning proposal made by Concordia. We feel that the current zoning amply affords opportunity for growth in the noted land given the community that it borders with. Additionally, there is a logistically feasible alternative for Concordia’s future expansion to the direct north that currently has no residences, is vacant and is slated for re-development. Thank you for hearing our concerns; we look forward to providing additional input as needed.
Regards,
S Klann

sklann 4 months ago

A1, A2, and A3 as they border ADA boulevard and 73 street/109 avenue are a concern. The heights and usage are potentially concerning for the neighborhood. Parkades in these locations, should there be access from the neighborhood, will increase traffic in our residential area. And idling close to homes. We have a lot of traffic from Concordia in the neighborhood as it is. Idling in the residential area is a problem now. There are a lot of children and older home owners that this traffic and idling currently affects.
The heights of these buildings are much taller than what is allowed across the street. It would be better if the taller structures were on the East side of the Concordia grounds where the Capilano ravine/Wayne Gretzky corridor are located. There's no homes on that side of the campus. A lot of green-space is being built on which is unfortunate but understandable.
A1, A2 facing 71 street and A4 are far enough away from the residential part of Virginia Park that they are not of concern.

Marty 4 months ago

The continued growth of Concordia University (CU) on the south side of 112 avenue will overwhelm Virginia Park and irrevocably impact the charm of Virginia Park which has a small 6 classroom elementary school, 100 resident senior's lodge and less than 200 households.
The notice of online engagement only was in my mail last week yet the engagement timeline was Feb 8-21. I suspect many residents have not been duly notified.
To rush this application would be an error. All concerned citizens need to be heard or at least notified.
The land use North of 112 Avenue would be more appropriate use of a UI designation. The South side campus should be kept in its heritage form and used for students and guests to relax. There is still plenty of opportunity to develop some land on south side but within its current zoning. UI on north side is a win /win for both sides and we are made to understand Concordia has been provided the access to these lands for development.
The Current application in its current form unduly interferes with the amenities of the Community, please deny the application.

Julie & Michael Budge 4 months ago

Continued growth of Concordia University(CU) on the south side of 112 Avenue will simply overwhelm Virginia Park and irrevocably impact the charm of Virginia Park that has a small 6 classroom elementary school, 100 resident senior's lodge and less than 200 households.
Please encourage the development of CU on the North side of 112 Ave. It is our believe CU has been given the access to those vacant lands. What a perfect place to develop a state of art campus.
The notice from the City of Edmonton of the public engagement opportunity arrived in mailbox on Feb 15 or 16 yet expresses dates of Feb 8- Feb 21 the opportunity to engage. This notification should arrive prior to the Feb 8 start date of engagement to allow people to collect their thoughts and imagine impacts.
This seems a rushed, Stephen Mandel as Chancellor of Concordia College and former Mayor and developer knows better than this and I am not for a moment suggesting any wrong doing however I am suggesting himself and Concordia College and the City of Edmonton Development Services understand a fair process and this as it has rolled out is not due process in my opinion. I suspect many in neighbourhood have not had ample opportunity to digest the proposed application. To rush this through would be an error. The City of Edmonton needs to ensure all voices are heard or reached.
Use the south side of 112 avenue particularly near ada and 73 street as designed areas for students, guests to relax and park like. Keep the heritage of the original façade and intentions.
Move the football field north build there with underground parking for students. Use underground walkways or overhead walkways to connect from south and north side 112 Ave.
I am not suggesting to Concordia what they should build on their land however I am suggesting the UI designations is not appropriate for the south side of 112 Ave but the North side provides that zoning opportunity more readily and is more appropriate. There is a development opportunity as a win/win for both Concordia and the Community. This current application is not it.
Please deny the application in its current form.

Julie &Michael Budge 4 months ago

Hi, I strongly believe Concordia University (CU) should NOT be rezoned to UI.
- Increased building sizes/heights in VP with UI zoning perhaps accommodates increased density in students with some classrooms, libraries, study spaces and hangout spaces and faculty offices but not near enough parking, fields, restaurants, bars and other important amenities for quality student life
- The present DC2 is more than adequate as Concordia is already too dense and busy and UI zoning should be reserved for institutions that have a clear possibility to intensify the density of the surrounding area. CU has too small of a footprint to remain in Virginia Park as an institution that has no limits to growth.
- at what point will the City say that CU is getting too big or will get too big for its location? We Virginia Park (VP) and Bellevue residents are telling you that point is now
- VP is bigger than it was 50 years by 100% or so with 198 households and the Seniors Lodge as is CU but there is no proportional comparison if CU experiences 23% annual registration increases
- CU will soon be 4000 students and faculty and this year we added one duplex on a single lot
- CU either needs to move a lot of its business north of 112 ave or they need to find other campuses like GMU and the UA (Faculte St. Jean) or they need to move like King's from 97 st. to 50 st.
- VP is not CU's village and we do not want speculators investing in VP to build the inevitable housing and amenities necessary for students. We want diverse households and lots of CU students and some faculty are finding housing within present VP homes
- CU used to be a sleepy little community college with wonderful setbacks but now they are an aspiring world class university. Wonderful, we are happy for them, except the drastically reduced setbacks, but their grand plans are outsized for our small neighbourhood with a 6-class elementary school and a seniors lodge
- We'll say it again, CU is past full. Their expansion will overwhelm and sacrifice VP and possibly parts of Bellevue
- There are already sure signs of problems and we will hold the City accountable to public safety: Too many students are driving in/out quickly and are leaving garbage from their vehicles.
- There are 2, only TWO streets that enter into CU. One is 73 st. and it goes by a small elementary school. The other is 71 st. and that goes by daycare. So what is the calculation of how many students will drive in, and not have access parking via 71 and 73 st., so will drive and park through VP and Bellevue? We want to see that study and see the evaluation that it is and will be safe.
- Many of us were post-secondary students and know it is important to decompress by going for a walk, playing intramural sports, go to a bar with friends, go to a restaurant for food. Students and faculty need lots of "3rd spaces" like coffee shops. The present location is way too small to provide a robust student life
- The present setbacks of CU buildings to be built that are 3-4 stories along 73 st are less than the bungalows across the street
-CU is already significantly over-built for its footprint and neighbourhood - it has to move . It can go north of 112 ave right near Borden Park, a pool, tennis cours, historic bandshell etc., It can more to other campuses or away if necessary but it cannot expand on the present site so do not award them UI rezoning.
- We strongly oppose UI rezoning and expect the City to advocate on behalf of the residents of VP and Bellevue

Greg and Val 4 months ago

The rezoning will allow for CUE to expand their capacity while respecting community interests, needs and their location within Virginia Park.

jimltg 4 months ago

Hello: My wife Toni and I live a block west of Concordia, on 74 Street. We've lived here for nearly 18 years and love the neighbourhood. It's quiet, small, friendly and walkable.
I attended last summer's community info session on campus, and felt Concordia responded well to neighbourhood concerns re the plans for the new academic building. I appreciated that.
But now that Concordia is seeking a rezoning to further densify their site to allow for 7-8 story structures on the east side of the property, thereby funneling thousands of future students onto their compact campus, I have concerns.
I believe Concordia should be pushing the bulk of any future development to the north of 112 Ave., where acres of empty parking lots exist on the largely unused Northland site. That would make far more sense to me than cramming a growing student population into what is currently a fairly quiet, largely residential neighbourhood.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my views.
Sincerely,
Gary Lamphier

Gary Lamphier 4 months ago

Hello: My wife Toni and I live a block west of Concordia, on 74 Street. We've lived here for nearly 18 years and love the neighbourhood. It's quiet, small, friendly and walkable.
I attended last summer's community info session on campus, and felt Concordia responded well to neighbourhood concerns re the plans for the new academic building. I appreciated that.
But now that Concordia is seeking a rezoning to further densify their site to allow for 7-8 story structures on the east side of the property, thereby funneling thousands of future students onto their compact campus, I have concerns.
I believe Concordia should be pushing the bulk of any future development to the north of 112 Ave., where acres of empty parking lots exist on the largely unused Northland site. That would make far more sense to me than cramming a growing student population into what is currently a fairly quiet, largely residential neighbourhood.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my views.
Sincerely,
Gary Lamphier

Gary Lamphier 4 months ago

Prefer to not change rezoning on south side of 112 Ave and encourage development on the north side. This development will encourage more car traffic, more fastfood garbage, and more illegal parking in our little neighborhood of Virginia Park. I appose this rezoning for development.

Kathy Magor 4 months ago

February 20, 2021
Re: Concordia University Re-zoning application
As residents of Virginia Park neighbourhood for the past 35 years, we are writing to express our concern about the Concordia University re-zoning application.
The re-zoning will have a tremendous impact on our neighbourhood. We are aware, from attending a planning meeting at the University, that Concordia University does not need the re-zoning to move forward with their current plans to build the academic building across the street from our home. It is the City’s responsibility to ensure that the residents of our neighourhood are not impacted by giving the University carte blanche for future development. We request that re-zoning for future potential building of up to 29 meters on the east side of the Concordia property be stopped until the impact of the current planned development and another location for the university’s future expansion are considered.
We believe that University’s future expansion should be directed to the north side of 112th avenue, which we feel would be an appropriate use of the Northlands area, and would enhance that area and alleviate over-development of the Virginia Park community. Due to increased student population over the past years, we have already experienced increased traffic and unresolved parking issues in our neighbourhood.
Although we understand that the City’s property tax base benefits from development, we ask for support at this time to protect our neighbourhood, where we live on a daily basis, from future unknown development.
Dalton and Diane Smarsh

Dalton and Diane Smarsh 4 months ago

Removed by moderator.

Dangergirl 4 months ago

Thank you for this opportunity to engage with the City of Edmonton. I am not in favor of the Amendment to Rezoning of Virginia Park
- by their own account, Concordia University (CUE) has been experiencing 23% annual growth for registrations anticipating that it will not take them too long to get to 4000 students;
- in terms of proportions, Virginia Park has about 198 properties on the tax roll and there are about 100
+ residents at the Virginia Park Senior Citizen’s Lodge.
- the increasing size of the Concordia student and faculty body means an increase in traffic, parking challenges, demand on public spaces, noise etc.
- students and faculty need services, amenities, provisions and space (be it clubs, sports, living spaces etc.) that just cannot be made available in the small Virginia Park neighbourhood footprint.
- given the relatively few acres that CUE is built on, unlike NAIT or GMU, they are not in the same institutional category in terms of land mass.
- CUE could be more similar to those institutions if they were able to cross over to the north side of 112 ave. But that will take some time.
- universities put exceptional strains but also certain opportunities on adjacent neighbourhoods and what would CUE be considering whether a community garden or other viable amenity to enhance the community at large
- at present the setbacks of 3 m and 6 m are similar, and in some cases shorter, than setbacks of our homes from the street or avenue.
- if they build to their setback limits, which they need to since they have so little land, the buildings will feel very close to our sidewalks and roads if not overshadowing.
-are there plans to increase their land as the entire block between 74 and 73 streets and 112 and 111 avenues sees also adjacent properties being considered.
A main concern for us is that the continued growth of CUE on the south side of 112 ave in Virginia Park will simply overwhelm Virginia Park and irreversibly change the nature of a neighbourhood that has a small 6 classroom elementary school, 100 resident senior's lodge and less than 200 households and the river valley with parks and forests

Please consider how this will impact the community and for your review there has most certainly been more than enough developers who had provided that they would be mutually responsible for projects in or close to the river valley that have caused more than their share of disturbance.

Dangergirl 4 months ago

Upon reading the outline for Concordia’s Rezoning and the comments of fellow concerned citizens, I am left with a few thoughts:

First, this is a small community. We are isolated by park land and roadways. The presence of the river valley and Concordia University already have a particular strain on the neighbourhood’s ability to deal with traffic (people, vehicle, and bike), parking, and garbage. Secondly, it appears as though there may be a solution in exploring the institutions development to the north of 112. This would allow for the neighbourhood to avoid being dwarfed by the University establishment and congestion. I’m hoping this compromise will be recognized as mutually beneficial to residents and institutions alike.

BA 4 months ago

While recognizing the need for continued sustainable growth, I do not support the proposed rezoning as presented. In general, I am supportive of expansion and growth both south and north of 112 Ave for Concordia University (CU). The existing surface level parking lots are an eyesore and this space can be utilized much more impactfully. I would encourage the City of Edmonton (CoE) and CU to collaborate on this exciting opportunity for expansion and integration into the Northlands redevelopment, and strongly suggest an integrated approach. My review of the proposal is limited in nature, and a more detailed long term development plan from CU would have been greatly appreciated. My comments on the plan as proposed are the following:

Sub-area 1 (max 14.5m height buildings) must be extended across the full south side of the Area of Application.

Front setback (along Ada Blvd.) must be increased to not less than the current setback of the Wangerin House (approximately 10m).

The current greenspace from Ada Blvd. to the existing architecturally significant buildings shall be preserved. In Concordia's immediate plans, buildings identified as A2 and A4 should not be allowed, nor any similar development. The views of the front facade of CU shall be preserved from the perspective of Ada Blvd.

West setbacks should be increased to 10m. Entrances and exits of buildings on the west perimeter shall primarily be accessed (by both vehicles and foot traffic) from the east. The CoE should consider the addition of a pedestrian sidewalk along the east side of 73 street from Ada Blvd to 109 Ave.

I would be supportive of increasing the max building height to 55m in a limited zone, currently identified as sub-area 3, in the immediate triangle shaped section north of Bright Horizons Daycare.

The proposal does not adequately address traffic. Vehicle traffic shall not connect to 109 Ave at Virginia Park Elementary School, this is for the safety of all students. A comprehensive, long term plan from CU (in conjunction with the CoE) should be required to minimize vehicle traffic to and from the site.

Buildings along Ada Blvd. shall not have ground level parkades. No vehicle access from Ada Blvd should be permitted. 

CU's long term plans should consider the addition of a community garden and expanded recreational space (reference UofA faculty St. Jean spaces along 84 Ave).

Again, I am overall supportive of growth, and I am thankful to the City of Edmonton for providing the opportunity to give feedback. I trust CU, the CoE planners, and CoE council will take the community feedback into consideration. 

V.P. Resident 4 months ago