LDA19-0297 - 86 Avenue Mid-rise Rezoning (11023-11045 86 Avenue NW)

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Consultation has concluded

** The discussion has concluded, and the What We Heard Report is available for viewing. This application was approved by council on April 19 2021.**

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 this fall, with the exact date still to be determined. For more information, please visit these FAQs for Council meetings.

** The discussion has concluded, and the What We Heard Report is available for viewing. This application was approved by council on April 19 2021.**

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 this fall, with the exact date still to be determined. For more information, please visit these FAQs for Council meetings.

Tell us what you think a​bout the application.

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

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

This building is still much too high. Garneau is an historical neighbourhood and should be protected. Allowing a taller building will open the floodgates for more high rises and the development of even taller buildings at the expense of the character homes in the area. I’m all for infill, but not when the buildings don’t fit the neighbourhood. This building should not exceed four storeys! Four regular storeys. Not the Shoppers on whyte and 109th that is “two” storeys but each storey is above the average height for the area...

Mburch 11 months ago

I approve the construction of a mid-rise apartment complex as opposed to a highrise apartment complex so as to remain considerate of surrounding houses. My concerns lie in access to green space and the proportion of family housing. The Garneau area boasts plenty of green spaces which - to my understanding - isn't featured in this new plan. Green space is important in the health and lives of all people, but especially young people, and should be prioritized. As for family housing, this neighbourhood is ideal for families and increasing the proportion of multi-bedroom apartments in the complex should be considered.

Briar 11 months ago

I am highly opposed to this development. This is not about densification, this is about intensification for a developer to maximize profits, on the backs of neighbouring properties that have invested under a different set of standards/bylaws. This proposal remains to require, not minimal but, substantial variances to both the zoning for this site and the Garneau Redevelopment Plan and as such places massive inconveniences to the adjacent properties and the community as a whole. How is this fair? There is no character matching with the architecture of the neighbourhood. 159 more vehicles, or around 300 more daily trips with alley access to parking and no immediate access to an arterial roadway. Let's turn the alley into a freeway too. Bad planning. Bad design.

GarneauRider 11 months ago

So, it would seem the initial skyscraper design for this site was a trojan horse concealing this high-density horizontal edifice and its basement full of accompanying cars? I oppose this application as much too dense for its site and predict that, if constructed, it will cause massive traffic problems and great detriment to the character of Garneau. I resent that so little respect was give to GARP since once our heritage neighbourhoods disappear, they can not be brought back to life!

Adnerb 11 months ago

I am a long time resident of the 85 Avenue block immediately south of the proposed development site. Thank you for the opportunity to voice my concerns with and opposition to the proposed amendment to the Garneau Area Redevelopment Plan (GARP) and the DC2 rezoning application.


The information that has been circulated seems to view the ARP amendment as an afterthought; in my view seeing this proposal though the ARP's lens is critical. Community plans are so important to a neighbourhood’s livability and should be seen as a critical element in city-wide planning. The merits of any proposed GARP amendment should be the first matter to be reviewed; the appropriate zoning would be the outcome. Many of us who live in Garneau have put a lot of faith in our community plan which was built on neighbourhood participation, prepared by City Planning and approved by City Council. Homes were purchased, houses were renovated or rebuilt, schools were selected, trips to work were planned, properties were enjoyed, friendships were made, and communities were developed.

The GARP’s planning strategy envisions medium density residential development on this 86 Avenue block. There is a vision and a set of planning goals behind the land use pattern established by the GARP - the intention was to contribute to the maintenance of an active community, one that continued to provide a good quality of life for all of its residents - children, university students, families, seniors- and to recognize the impact of the two large institutions (the university and the hospital) located adjacent to our community. A change of the magnitude proposed by Westrich should only be considered as part of a comprehensive review of the ARP, and not as a one-off.

The proponent was, or should have been, fully aware of the GARP’s policies, intent and long standing direction and the RF6 zoning as the site was being assembled. Residents expect that new development will be consistent with the neighbourhood plan, and that infill development “will be compatible with the characteristics of the existing area” as directed by the Edmonton’s Municipal Development Plan (p.109).

The DC2 designation being sought has characteristics similar to and/or exceeding those of an RA8 or RA9 high density district. The proposed project is too massive and has too many dwelling units for its proposed location; it is completely out of proportion with its surroundings, has no regard for its impact on the immediate area or on the community, and is not anywhere close to what is envisioned for this block. It seems to be an effort solely to achieve the maximum number of housing units on the site. Two indicators of the magnitude of the proponent’s request are shown below:

Dwelling Units per Hectare
• RF6 Zone Maximum: 105; GARP Maximum: 125; Westrich Proposal: 491

Site Coverage
• RF6 Zone Maximum: 40%; GARP Maximum: 60%; Westrich Proposal: 74.4%.

If constructed as proposed the building will overwhelm both the blocks to the north and to the south.
In the Design Brief (Sec. 3, Design Analysis) the proponent has supported the proposed amendments by referencing a GARP provision: The plan (i.e. GARP) supports the development of high density residential housing to accommodate the high demand….. Yes this is a GARP goal, but it is not meant to apply to every block and every lot in the entire neighbourhood – this is cherry picking of the ARP provisions by the proponent rather than recognizing the ARP’s comprehensive nature.

The GARP was 30 years ahead of its time recognizing the need for more intensive development close to the City Centre, close to transit routes, and close to major employers such as the University and University Hospital, and designating areas for higher density and medium density development. The high density locations are on or near arterial roadways and/or west of 111 Street; many have ample redevelopment capacity. Furthermore, the GARP is consistent with Edmonton’s current Municipal Development Plan (MDP) by providing for a combination of single detached and multi-unit housing for a broad range of demographic groups and directing the location, and at times the design, of infill.
There is no sound planning reason to amend the GARP and allow high density development on a residential (local) road at the centre of the community adjacent to its designated historical core. Suitable and appropriately designated locations are available and a large proportion of Garneau’s housing is in high density apartment buildings.
Edmonton has taken steps to increase medium density residential development. The July 18, 2020 Edmonton Journal features an article on the Missing Middle Design Competition and the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) Award granted to the City for the project. The CIP Jury stated the initiative is an excellent example of how good planning can bring neighbours together and inspire builders and architects to create out-of-the-box designs that enrich our cities and neighbourhoods.
The article reported the following statement from Jason Syvixay (City Missing Middle Project Manager): Our goal is to create urban places where Edmonton neighbourhoods are more vibrant as density increases; where people and businesses thrive; and where housing and mobility options are plentiful.
The 86th Avenue site presents such an opportunity to showcase a Missing Middle project that would add to Garneau’s existing vibrancy, increase our community’s housing and mobility options, and further support our local businesses while still adhering to the GARP long range planning concepts and limiting the impact on surrounding properties. The current RF6 zoning provisions may not be practical for what the Missing Middle concept is trying to achieve, but the adjustments needed to allow for an exemplary medium density project would be minimal.
Instead of taking advantage of the central Garneau location and designing a project that would exemplify the City’s Missing Middle initiative, the proponent has presented the community with an apartment block covering almost the entire site. Trying to accommodate 159 units on the site is excessive; it leaves no open space on the property and adds too many vehicles to our already busy internal roads and lanes. This is certainly not the out-of-the-box design that would enrich our neighbourhood that the CIP jury envisioned.
The proponent mentions that the building will be "pedestrian oriented." This is not new for our community - the whole neighbourhood is pedestrian oriented – medium density developments can be pedestrian oriented just as easily if not more so. Furthermore, there is no way to determine if future residents of the proposed building would be any more likely to use public transit or travel by foot than any of Garneau's current 10,000 plus residents. This is not a reason to support such a massive intrusion.

The proposed building setback is only 3m from all property lines with balconies extending into this limited space. This means the balconies may be only 1.4m from the sidewalk or lane and the east and west property lines; this cannot be good design. How can these balconies provide an enjoyable space for the building’s residents? How can the east facing windows provide any kind of view?

The proponent has supported the setback provisions by stating that Street oriented units will have individual outdoor amenity space which provides sufficient building setbacks that match the setback of the neighbouring structures ….. (See Design Brief, Sec. 3, Design Overview.) This is not the case: the five story apartment building to the east of the development site has a 10m rear yard setback and a 7m front yard setback while the 5 story apartment building at 85 Ave. and 111 St. has an 8m rear yard setback and a 5m front yard setback. Surely these are minimal requirements which contribute to a more pleasant streetscape, a functional lane environment, and less impact on surrounding properties especially those directly across the lane to the south?
The development site is 264 feet in width; with 10 foot side yards the proposed building will be 244 feet or over 80 yards wide. To imagine this dimension I ask City Council and City planners to picture the field at Commonwealth – if a team has the ball on its own 30, this is the distance that would have to be gained to score a touchdown. Imagine being a fan seated on the 30 yard line, and then picture your view to the distant end zone. How can a building of this length compliment the City’s Winter Design Guidelines and contribute the pedestrian realm along the streets as the proponent suggests? The pedestrian environment along 86th Avenue and in the lane could only worsen, especially in winter.

A goal of the Edmonton Municipal Development Plan (The Way We Grow) is “enriching and maintaining existing neighbourhoods” (Executive Summary, p.4). The proposed project neither “enriches” nor “maintains” our community despite the proponent’s words to the contrary. My request is for the City to reject the proposal as submitted, to be proactive with its Missing Middle initiative, and to require the developer to take advantage of a prime Missing Middle (Medium Density) site by pursuing an out-of-the-box project that would meet the GARP intent and be compatible with its surroundings.

NOTE: I am respectively requesting that the review and evaluation of this proposed development consider it as a distinct stand-alone submission and not as some sort of acceptable compromise from the previously submitted high rise proposal.

WJ 11 months ago

I do not agree with this proposal. Rezoning this area makes no sense. And the variances suggested are massive.

Please revised the plan to align with existing zoning. I believe that row housing is what is envisioned here.

Resident and Homeowner, 88 Ave.

Linda 11 months ago

GARP rules are mandatory, not discretionary. This development completely conflicts with GARP, and should not be allowed. Garneau does not need more density as it is the second densest neighbourhood in Edmonton with more than 80% of dwellings being multifamily.

Lynette Stanley-Maddocks 11 months ago

I oppose this change in zoning as does my husband. This structure is out of keeping with a residential area, will destroy trees and add to parking problems, traffic, and noise. It is too high and sets an unwelcome precedent.

RM 11 months ago

I DO NOT SUPPORT THIS PROPOSAL. We have a development plan for the area. Let's stick to it! 159 units in this small area without appropriate space or services, not to mention an abandoning of the height restrictions set forth in the ARP, is not a forward-looking healthy approach to development. I am all for development while respecting the guidelines set forth in the ARP!
Thank you for your consideration and consultation in this important matter for our neighbourhood.

Homeowner - 85 AVE 11 months ago

I do NOT believe in, or support this development. One can argue that we need more of this kind of housing in Edmonton. However, development should be in accordance with visions for specific areas of the city. Stantec should abide by and respect the Garneau Area Redevelopment Plan.

RU 11 months ago

I strongly support this development. I’ve lived in several apartment buildings in Strathcona and Garneau, and there’s such limited choice on quiet roads. I don’t own a vehicle, and it’s frustrating that I have to deal with all the air pollution, noise pollution, and general lack of safety of living on a major road, just because I live in an apartment building. This is exactly the type of housing that we need more of in Edmonton.

Daja 11 months ago

My wife and I are completely opposed to this project and the required revision to the GARP. This project will build a 2 storey underground concrete parkade that will be 4 feet above ground 5 meters (16 Feet) from my north property line. The main structure is another 3 meters (10 Feet) with this 6 storey structure's South Wall running east to west for 244 feet. The projects own studies show the traffic volumes are currently at Traffic volumes on the local roads adjacent to the site are very low, and no capacity issues were observed, (not true). Current volumes (as per Edmonton web site) for traffic South bound on 111 St at 81 (AM Peak 0700-0900 AM) with 1740 (PM Peak 3 – 6 PM) vehicles per day, North bound on 110 Street at 116 (AM Peak) with 1600 VPD (PM Peak) these numbers will only increase when if this project is approved. The existing width of the alley is 5 m wide, which is wider than the standard 4m for a residential alley, two vehicles traveling in opposing directions will not be able to pass due to the 4 Foot high concrete wall on the north side of the ally. The one-way traffic control is well-signed, and no wrong-way or illegal movements were observed (again not true). Overall the traffic volumes in the alley are extremely low and capacity or operational issues were not observed and are not expected (again not true as alley is used a short cut to 109 street). Based on the traffic volume information from the City’s website and the Maclab TIA, the current traffic volumes on 86 Avenue are approximately 1,350 vehicles per day (vpd) east of 111 Street. But, based on the traffic counts above, the current traffic volumes are approximately 1,700 vpd on 111 Street and 1,600 vpd on 110 Street. These volumes along the roadways in the study area exceed the TAC daily threshold for local roads, which is 1,000 vpd. Daily traffic volumes on 111 Street are projected to increase to approximately 2,450 vpd, due in large part to the adjacent Maclab Development. Suggest some come out and sit on 85 Avenue and watch how much traffic there really is, which is currently higher than the allowed 1000 VPD as per city standards. Final note is the construction stage for this project, they have to install a new sewage drain line in the alley which will close the complete alley for this phase, also our life style will be greatly impacted for an extended period. Westrich is not a good corporate citizen as they are not maintaining the 8 properties they purchased for this project, look like they are abanoned

MD+LA 11 months ago

So...I guess we're supposed to be grateful for the developers' revision from 80 meters to 22 meters...? This is dismaying on so many levels: the inappropriateness of a development of this scale in a residential heritage neighbourhood, the destruction of the tree canopy, the lack of outdoor space, and an initial plan that was such a blatant, inappropriate overbuild that anything less would elicit a sigh of relief. I'm not relieved, however. It seems that the Garneau Redevelopment Plan can be discarded by any developer who has the funds to go big.

KH 11 months ago

Stick to GARP,

Sabrina 11 months ago

I am adamantly opposed to this change in zoning. This project is far too large for the community; please do not allow it to be built.

Sabrina 11 months ago

There is plenty of rental vacancy in the neighbourhood and in the University residences. I live in Garneau and am opposed to this too large development. 120% against!

AP 11 months ago

I am firmly opposed to this development. The presentation notes that there should be consideration of the transition to the single family homes. This is higher and denser than the transition rules currently allow. I also believe that the developer intentionally proposed a high building initially so that this building would be acceptable, which is still too dense and high. I liked the City's comment about this section of the neighborhood being townhouses (for the missing middle). Also I think that the online engagement has to be rethought - how do you know people affected are those commenting?

Homeowner 11 months ago

I do NOT support this request for an amendment to the Garneau Redevelopment Plan. It is a level of density that is not intended for this area and with 159 units - over half being 2 bedrooms - will only increase traffic congestion and place significant pressures on the already strained (and in great need of maintenance and upgrades with existing pressures) sewer and water systems. Let's also remember that the Maclab project (for the 111 block of 86 Avenue) will also be increasing neighbourhood density quite significantly in the near future and will be well positioned to meet demands for housing in this area for some time to come.

Furthermore, If the City of Edmonton truly has an interest in encouraging "the retention and rehabilitation of existing older houses", they would not support any adjustment to the Garneau ARP for this application as it only serves to encourage other developers to explore additional opportunities to demolish these "older houses" the city purports to want to preserve. This is the thin end of the wedge.

Jump 11 months ago

I fully support this application, and think it will be an excellent addition to the neighborhood. A more distinct architectural appearance or use of higher-quality exterior materials which are more compatible with the historical character of the neighborhood would improve the project.

OF 11 months ago

I think it is a great idea. We need more density and the new proposal is an excellent compromise. I hope they maintain all the trees and provide greenscaoes and architectural elements in keeping with the area. Such as brick.

CM 11 months ago