LDA23-0188 Highlands

Engagement has concluded

October 19 Update: You can now access the What We Heard Report.

Get involved!

You are invited to learn more about the application and share feedback online. The following engagement opportunities are open from September 18 until October 2, 2023.

What Happens Next

We will use feedback shared to make sure our review of the application is as complete as possible. After engagement is closed, feedback received will be summarized in a What We Heard report for City Council so that they know your perspective prior to making a decision.

October 19 Update: You can now access the What We Heard Report.

Get involved!

You are invited to learn more about the application and share feedback online. The following engagement opportunities are open from September 18 until October 2, 2023.

What Happens Next

We will use feedback shared to make sure our review of the application is as complete as possible. After engagement is closed, feedback received will be summarized in a What We Heard report for City Council so that they know your perspective prior to making a decision.

Tell Us What You Think About The Application

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

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Engagement has concluded

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

In the interest of openness and tansparency, I think it would be important to know whether the proposed developer made campaign contributions to those running in the last election, particularly the Councillor for Métis Ward.

BruceMack 7 months ago

In the interest of sharing with my fellow neighbors my views, I thought I might show you the 5 questions that I have posed on this site and am breathlessly awaiting responses to:

1. The city is proposing a total overhaul to the zoning bylaw, allowing commercial developments like this one, saying “it will make the city more vibrant, affordable, climate-friendly and economically successful.” Can you please tell us HOW, precisely our having any commercial establishment at this location in Highlands WILL make our neighborhoods more affordable, climate resilient, and economically successful?

2. Our city is proposing a total overhaul to the zoning bylaw, which will now allow commercial developments like this one in the middle of one of Edmonton's oldest neighborhoods. Our Mayor says ““I firmly believe that Edmontonians are ready to embrace this change.” Given that there is survey research that shows the vast majority of our citizens do NOT even know about these zoning changes, on the basis of what specific facts, is our mayor basing his strong beliefs?

3. The observation was made that once these zoning changes gets passed they are irreversible. BUT, Ashley Salvador says that’s not the case. “This is not a one and done. It’s not like we pass the zoning bylaw and never talk about it again. There is an iterative process that will happen afterwards if adjustments need to be made.” Now, that may sound good in theory, but how is that going to realistically work? Where are the specific safe guards for reviewing these kinds of zoning changes after they have been made and for undoing mistakes that have then been discovered?

4. We are being told: “We are trying to really lean into the idea of 15-minute communities. We want people to be able to walk to a corner store, to be able to have easy access to daycare, and everyday amenities they need in close proximity to their home,” QUESTION: How many city blocks can the average person walk in 15 minutes? About 5 to 10 blocks, realistically, in any direction. To accomplish that means that our city must be planning to have a grocery store, daycare, medical clinic, and other amenities all in very close proximity. Therefore, that would require an INCREDIBLY DENSIFIED residential neighborhoods to support the commercial development. Does the city have targeted numbers for the level of commercial densification that they are trying to achieve - and specifically throughout our residential Highlands Community?

5. With the demolition of Northlands Coliseum along with the Edmonton EXPO Centre and the Northlands horseracing track, you have 160-acre area that could be transformed into housing and commercial spaces. One acre is enough for five single-family homes, such that we have enough space there for at least 800 single-family homes or a HUGE number of multi-residential properties plus commercial developments. Then if you add in other areas in central Edmonton that sit vacant and could be transformed into residential developments, like our former Municipal Airport with 536 acres, where up to 30,000 Edmontonians were supposed to live - there is ample opportunities for inner city densification.
Therefore, WHY are these (and other) potential and ideal sites for densification NOT a much higher priority, that could serve as a template for developing city council’s idealized inner core, rather than disrupting existing, established residential neighborhoods like Highlands?

PMcK 7 months ago

I’m supportive of some additional commercial along 112 avenue as an extension of the business district. It really depends on what it is- no pharmacies/ medi centres. Traffic can be challenging and pedestrian safety should be a consideration.

kylaf 7 months ago

Would love to see a nice little coffe shop, diner, or eatery. There is not enough in the area and the right place would bring people together that are always in the area walking and biking anyways

Twh 7 months ago

It’s so hard to provide feedback on zoning without having the full picture. Other historical neighbourhoods like ours have great restaurants, shops and amenities and this could be a great continuation of the businesses a few blocks away. I encourage planners to consider how this project fits into the bigger picture and footprint of Highlands and surrounding community, keeping in mind traffic and other neighbourhood safety concerns.

leannestroh 7 months ago

The Highlands is a historic residential neighborhood with beautiful, mature trees near the River valley. Adding commercial development takes away from this neighborhoods unique charm. The last thing this neighborhood needs is a commercial building that could be a pot shop, liquor store or convenience store to draw traffic to.

Stephanie 7 months ago

The project height will topple the sky line of the neighborhood. This is a heritage valued area of the city. The building Height is too tall. I don't agree with the self serving need of a new commercial/multi-tenant development while there are serious traffic speed and safety concerns along 112 avenue. The city needs to address the lack of safe vehicle use in the area and speed limits, prior to approving more people in to this exploited corridor. In one year alone on 112ave and 64 street there have been two vehicle collisions. Each are due to traffic speeds and poor parking blocking vision and creating dangers of safe traffic flow. This ties to people and drivers. More people and drivers prior to appropriate traffic control is not a best and safe practice.
Edmonton lacks in enforcing mature neighborhood architectural controls. This project should be enforced with such and all exterior materials should be fire rated to the highest standard to protect other long term buildings present. Especially considering the logistics of the predominant winds in this location being NW.
The city needs more (private and commercial) investment in the down town. Please clean these areas up first before damaging the community fabric of mature close knit communities. The city planners and council are terrible at taking care of projects and do not focus to do them right before just moving ahead with another "experiment". Please stop the continual damage to the quality and appeal of our City. Zoning should not be a one rule fits all neighborhood. I do not support this project.

Marco Simpatico 7 months ago

Absolutely not. Why have a stand alone business building in the middle of the neighbourhood? What about the residents behind?
Very odd spot to squash a business into. Highlands already has a business area, the peace and quiet of the rest of the neighborhood is not worth plopping another business(es??) in the middle of it

Nicole 7 months ago

I do not support the proposed rezoning. There are multiple reasons:
1. Preservation of Historic Character: Rezoning a former residential lot to a commercial storefront will compromise the historic character of the surrounding neighbourhood. The mature 75-plus-year-old historic neighbourhood holds significant cultural and architectural value, and converting a residential lot to commercial use will disrupt and compromise the overall aesthetic and charm of the area. One need only consider the many historic properties in the Highlands: Marshall McLuhan house, Buttercup Farm, Ash Residence, Chown Residence, Holgate and McGrath residences to name a few. Allowing quick stop convenience, cannabis shops etc., is entirely inconsistent with the environ. Allowing a three storey building at this location would look like a ten gallon hat on a chihuahua. Allowing a convenience store or cannabis shop at this location would be as charming as a flashing neon light at a candlelight dinner.
2. Parking is currently at a significant premium. The majority of houses within a five block radius of the area are an average of around 1200 sq ft. Many residences have no garages, or very small garages. In fact, some of the much older homes have garages that were made for 1920's type cars (e.g Buttercup Farm). The end result is insufficient parking for existing residents let alone, adding parking for those attracted to a commercial shop on 112th.
3. Speeding on 112th and feeder streets, e.g. 55th, 56th, 57th, 60th, 61st etc. Currently, crossing a street (any street, not just 112th) as a pedestrian in the Highlands presents considerable risk. Commuters north of 118th and those coming from 50th street, like to use 112th as their main route toward the City Centre. When they see a break in traffic on 118th they race across 118th with a speed that makes one think they are trying to reach escape velocity. The Stop Signs on these streets are ignored more often than they are obeyed. These conditions are exacerbated by the City's current policy of 50km speed zones, which also is ignored. To put this into context, vehicles crossing 118th, enter the neighbourhoods south of 118th at 60-70km per hour as they try and reach escape velocity and get onto 112th. The conditions are worse on those streets on which the City has only approved parking on one side of the street e.g. 54th, 55th, 56th, 57th, 60th, as commuters see these streets as better options to get onto 112th without delay.
4. Crime and Social Disorder have been increasing considerably within the Highlands area. It is a common occurrence to see non-residents walking down Highlands alleys late at night, looking for a quick opportunity, open or easy-to-access gates, unlocked back doors, easy to-access-garages, every night of the week. For a short time, I thought perhaps there were new episodes of the Last of Us, or the Walking Dead, being filmed, but then I realized it was the result of poor planning and ineffective municipal policies. The EPS does not respond to garage break-ins or trespassing and as a consequence, residents frequently have to contend with drug addicts and criminals seeking opportunity. Having storefront fast food opportunities or cannabis retail for example will act as a catalyst for more activity of this nature.
6. Noise and Disruption: Commercial activities often generate noise, especially if the proposed storefronts includes fast food, convenience stores (which often act as congregation opportunities), cannabis, liquor stores, or venues with outdoor seating, all of which would disrupt the peace and tranquility of the residential neighbourhood, negatively impacting the quality of life for nearby residents.
7. Alternative Locations: there are better alternative locations, especially on 118th avenue, which would offer better synergy and compatibility with the existing zoning and surrounding businesses. Promoting and utilizing these locations, including recently developed buildings available for lease, buildings that are currently vacant (and attracting crime), or dilapidated commercial buildings on 118th (which would better promote the aesthetic on 118th) would be a better policy. In contrast, the proposed rezoning alternative is inconsistent with the Highlands community, and would not leverage other available opportunities that are more synergistic and compatible with the surrounding businesses and zoning, while still meeting the demand for commercial spaces.
8. Impact on Property Values: The rezoning and introduction of a commercial storefront will likely have a negative impact on property values in the surrounding area. Residential properties near commercial establishments often experience a decrease in value due to factors such as increased noise, traffic, and potential changes in the neighborhood's character.

BruceMack 7 months ago

I would ask decision-makers to consider how this fits into the surrounding community. Presently, there is a business district at 65 street and 112 ave. To have this as a stand-alone commercial property will likely interrupt the flow, cadence and walkability of the community. I am not supportive of this proposed development as it does not add value to the existing surrounding area.

mbaydack 7 months ago

I am writing to express my disappointment and concern for Edmonton’s rezoning plans, particularly as it relates to a home on the corner of 112 Ave and 60 Street. The rezoning sign describes the home and property as being re-zoned for a cannabis retail outlet. How does this change add value to the neighbourhood or contribute to your densification plans for the area?
Below are several reasons why a retail outlet or business is not a good idea and rezoning in mature areas (namely Highlands in this case):
- It’s in the middle of a quiet family-oriented neighbourhood and 112 Avenue is already a busy feeder road (which it apparently was never meant to be, according to the city).
- The store will not have much parking so parking will overflow to the surrounding areas.
- Cars turning into the property will impact the traffic flow especially during rush hour times.
- There are already existing shopping areas further west that may serve the business better.
- 118th Avenue has more daycares that we can already access within 15 min so how will this add value to the area?
- The houses surrounding the land in question will have their property values lowered because of the new zoning.
- The Highlands is a historic area and should be preserved as such just like Glenora. I understand Glenora has applied to the city for special status so the area will not be impacted by development. I also understand the Glenora project is on hold currently, but I would appreciate an explanation as to why the Highlands would not qualify for the same designation.
- The rezoning project would be better served in Blatchford or when the coliseum is torn down or in new areas. Blatchford and the coliseum have excellent access to the LRT and bus routes. Blatchford is very central and the best reason is that then the city can decide exactly how they would like it built – high density, wide variety of housing for all incomes, bike lanes, few roads. That way you don’t have to mess with mature neighbourhoods and the infrastructure, upset people and property values. People who want to live there can choose to live there and developers can build it to suit the city’s vision.
- Because of the age of the Highlands, we have an aged infrastructure. Has someone thought about how the area would handle a huge influx of homes and people? Would the city be responsible for upgrading the sewer, storm systems and power sources?
- The infill project in the city did not provide affordable housing like it promised it would. Is the city sure that densification would ensure affordability?
- Our LRT and bus system continue to be plagued with problems. Isn’t building communities that rely on it putting the horse before cart?
- What about your regard for mature trees? Homes that take up the whole lot will not be able to have mature trees or maybe no trees. That surely doesn’t fit the concern for the environment and keeping our city green. The city has always been proud of our mature elm trees. Taking those down would impact our quality of life is many ways including air quality and protection from the heat of the summer.
- why is Edmonton proposing such high density when other major cities are encouraging "gentle redevelopment"? ?? I challenge you to admit growth is your focus - not existing residents & communities. Developers are the only party who will benefit from this disasterous project.

I understand change is inevitable but I really don’t think the changes the city has proposed have been thought out well and I think our time and money would be better spent thinking it out properly and from different lenses (citizens, tax payers and developers). I look forward to your responses.

Lori Mena

Lori Mena 7 months ago

I also do not agree with the rezoning of this property. Highlands is a historic community and it's charm and appeal as a family friendly neighborhood should be preserved. This is also an example of what could be an affordable house for a family, which Edmonton does not have an abundant supply of, being destroyed. There seems to be a plethora of vacant commercial properties in the vicinity that could be utilized for any business opportunity this developer is trying to establish. Resources need to be put into redeveloping existing commercial areas adjacent to this community, not creating new ones at the cost of destroying a residential property. The developer who proposed this rezoning has no interest in bettering our community, only profiting from it. Changing the zoning of this property also places increased security risks for existing residents on this block who have non-traditional lots that cannot be fenced. The re-zoning of this property also makes this block less attractive for families to live in due to increased risk of crime, poor road/alley access, decreased access to parking, and the likelihood of more motor vehicle accidents due to increased traffic and congestion at an intersection that already has been proven susceptible to collisions. I honestly hope the city choses to act on behalf of the people that live in our community and take our concerns seriously. As a mother with young children, we chose to live in this community as it has many amenities that a family would desire, including the newly renovated Highlands school. Why destroy an affordable residential property that a family can live in that is in close vicinity to a school?

Marnie W 7 months ago

I do not agree with this proposal whatsoever. It is just shoved into the middle of nowhere and is NOT a node. It is intrusive to the current residents and is prone to more crime, parking and noise, concerns. Telling us it is going to be a kindergarten does not abate our concerns because as a CB1 and with the ultimate failure of an initial business, it can become anything else under the CB1 designate. The alley is a ridiculous and hugely invasive use for this property. It will increase traffic where there are families using this as an access in and out of their property. The alley itself is not maintained to include snow removal. It has huge divots and being told this developer will repair the entire driveway to alleviate our concerns is insulting. It will end up looking like a disaster moreso with the new found usage. 100 percent NO. Put it up further on 65th street and 112th Ave. where currently there are businesses, this makes more sense. Use North of 118th Avenue where the old Maple Leaf Warehouse is. There are MANY empty buildings not being utilized. Why take a reasonably priced home away from someone to put a business in it when there are tons of empty buildings close by.

Janeh 7 months ago

I would not agree to changes to my community. Highlands is a historic neighborhood and should remain that way. Businesses are near enough to access without taking out affordable hosing to be replaced with any of 51 possible buildings. Leave our homes and trees alone please

Cdavyduke 7 months ago