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EVAN WOOLLEY 

WARD 8 COUNCILLOR

Email: ward08@calgary.ca

Phone: +1 (403) 268-2431

DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

Richmond Knob Hill is experiencing a significant redevelopment activity as we transition from a 1950s bungalow community to a denser infill community.  The members of the RKHCA Development Committee monitor this redevelopment activity by reviewing all rezoning, subdivision and development permit applications that are circulated to us by the City of Calgary Planning & Development Department, providing comments thereon in an effort to ensure that redevelopment projects in our community are respectful of the neighbouring properties, of the streetscape, and of the community as a whole.  To facilitate this process, and ian effort to ensure both consistency and transparency, the Development Committee created a set of Residential Development Design Guidelines which it encourages new developments in Richmond/Knob Hill to follow.

Check out the Development & Subdivision Permit Application List, which shows all applications for redevelopment projects in Richmond/Knob Hill which are either currently going through the approval process or which have completed the approval process since the beginning of this year.  This list gives an indication of the number of development-related applications that the Committee monitors and comments on.

Other documents relevant to redevelopment projects in our community include:

    1. Richmond Area Redevelopment Plan
    2. Marda Loop Area Redevelopment Plan
    3. City of Calgary Land Use Bylaw 1P2007

Thank you to this very industrious and busy group for helping to keep our neighbourhood a place to call home. 

MOBILITY COMMITTEE

Richmond Knob Hill is an evolving community and increasing density brings change to how the street network is used. Attention to multi-modal transportation and safety for all road users should be considered in our planning. The following projects have potential to change how our streets are used: the City of Calgary’s Urban streetscape project and Mobility Plan for 33 Ave., the SW BRT (Bus Rapid Transit), ongoing development in Currie Barracks and continued redevelopment of the area’s original homes.

In planning for the future and trying to improve safety on our roads, understanding where challenges exist in the movement around our community from people who use the streets in their daily life seems like a way to get a conversation started. A map is a great way to represent resident’s concerns spatially and to give us meaningful input for stakeholder discussions.

So, what should you do if you have a mobility concern (traffic, bike, pedestrian, other mode, parking)?

First, make sure you are safe and report it to the City @ 311 or the Police depending on the severity - follow this link to see the appropriate level.

Next, please send  a short email to the RKHCA Mobility committee with a description of your concern and it’ll be added anonymously to the map if appropriate. Thanks for your help.

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  • April 13, 2018 1:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On February 7 representatives of the RKHCA, MLCA and MLBIA met with City of Calgary Transportation officials to discuss the proposed 33 Avenue SW BRT stations, including where best to locate the stations and how best to provide safe and comfortable access to, from and between the stations, given that they will be located at or near what is currently a freeway interchange.  Below is a summary of the discussion:

    • The preferred location for the SB station is at the NW corner of the signalized intersection on the west side of the overpass
      • This is the same location as the existing transit stop.
      • Advantages of this location include:
        • Closer to the Marda Loop business district, the likely primary source/destination of station users
        • Eliminates the need for stations users travelling to/from the Marda Loop business district to cross the right slip lane from SB Crowchild Trail to WB 33 Avenue SW (which we understand cannot be eliminated due to the volume of vehicle traffic it handles during the evening rush hour period, which would otherwise end up backing up on to SB Crowchild Trail)
        • Allows the station to be used by other transit routes
    • The preferred location for the NB station is at the NE corner of the signalized intersection on the east side of the overpass.
      • To make sufficient room for the station at this location the existing right slip lane from WB 33 Avenue SW to NB Crowchild Trail would need to be closed
      • To compensate for the closure of the right slip lane:
        • The curb lane on WB 33 Avenue SW approaching the signalized intersection on the east side of the overpass could be turned into a forced right turn onto NB Crowchild Trail; and
        • The left turn bay on WB 33 Avenue SW approaching the signalized intersection on the east side of the overpass could be lengthened to accommodate more vehicles wanting to turn left onto SB Crowchild Trail
      • Advantages of this location include:
        • Closer to the Marda Loop business district, the likely primary source/destination of station users
        • Eliminates a dangerous right slip lane that has already left at least one RKH resident permanently disabled 
    • The preferred access would be via a separate pedestrian/cycle overpass connecting the NB and SB stations, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to access both stations from either direction without any need to interact with vehicles
    • If a pedestrian overpass is not possible, then:
      • The right slip lane from WB 33 Avenue SW to NB Crowchild Trail should be eliminated, as described above;
      • The WB curb lane on the overpass (which vehicles no longer have much need for since the interchange’s traffic signals were changed from the previous “first load the overpass then clear the overpass” approach to the current “free flow” approach) should be eliminated (or both WB lanes narrowed as much as possible) and the space repurposed to create a wider, buffered pedestrian/cycle pathway along the north side of the overpass between the NB and SB stations;
      • The right slip lane from SB Crowchild Trail to WB 33 Avenue SW should be reconfigured as a “Smart Right”, to make crossing safer for station users travelling to/from the residential areas on the west side of Crowchild Trail
    • All pedestrian and cycle access to, from and between the stations should be coordinated with, and may be partially funded from, the 33/34 Avenue SW Main Streets streetscape plan 

    Our understanding is that the City of Calgary officials that attended the meeting will be looking into the feasibility of these station locations and potential access solutions and will be getting back to ourselves, the MLCA, the MLBIA and the Ward 8 Councillor’s office.  As always, we would love to hear your thoughts on this, or any other development-related issue in RKH.  Email us at development@richmondknobhill.ca.

  • April 13, 2018 1:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thank you to everyone who attended the 33/34 Avenue SW Streetscape Master Plan Project information session on the evening of Monday February 26 at the Marda Loop Community Hall, as well as to everyone who provided input through the online engagement portal.  It was great to see so many people reading the display boards, chatting with City personnel and providing their input.  We look forward to seeing a report from the City summarizing the input that was received, and then to working together with the City, the Marda Loop Communities Association (MLCA), the Marda Loop Business Improvement Area (MLBIA) and area residents and businesses to come up with a great Streetscape Master Plan for 33 and 34 Avenues SW from 14 Street SW to Crowchild Trail, and for portions of several cross streets.  With all the new development taking place along the Marda Loop main streets and surrounding area, a new pedestrian, bike, transit and vehicle-friendly public realm is sorely needed, and, if done well, will go a long way to helping Marda Loop become the best place in Calgary to live, work, shop and just chill out!  Stay tuned for the next engagement opportunity!

  • April 13, 2018 1:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     R-CG Spot Rezoning in Richmond Knob/Hill

    Spot rezoning of existing R-C1 (1 home) or R-C2 (2 homes, or 1 home + 1 suite) corner parcels to R-CG (up to 4 homes + 4 suites on a standard 50ft wide parcel) is becoming an issue in Richmond/Knob Hill (RKH), and in other communities in our area.  Unlike inner-city communities such as Banff Trail, Capitol Hill, Inglewood and Bridgeland/Riverside, RKH has not yet been provided with a community engagement opportunity to review the aging Richmond Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP) and provide input on where in our community it might be appropriate for parcels to be upzoned to R-CG or other higher-density or mixed-use land use districts.  Until recently this was not a particular problem, as it seemed that the only upzoning applications that we were seeing were for corner parcels located along one of our collector roads or otherwise in a location where higher density developments made sense, so we were not opposed.  However, in the last few months we have begun to receive applications to upzone non-collector R-C1 or R-C2 corner parcels to R-CG to allow 4-unit rowhouse developments to be built, in locations that to us, and to many of the surrounding residents, do not seem appropriate for higher density developments.  The first of these applications, for the corner parcel at 2403 28 Avenue SW, was approved by the Calgary Planning Commission in February, without even any discussion or debate despite thoughtful letters of opposition being submitted by the RKHCA and several surrounding residents, and is now scheduled to go to City Council for a public hearing and a final decision on April 16 (the “28 AV Application”).  Despite the fact that there is nothing about the 2403 28 Avenue SW corner parcel that makes it any more suitable for higher density developments than any other corner parcel in our community, based on what we are seeing it would appear that the 28 AV Application is likely to be approved by Council, without hesitation.  If so, then that would suggest that that ANY corner parcel in RKH could be upzoned to R-CG and redeveloped as a 4-unit rowhouse development.


    We also understand that developers have complained to the City that the R-CG rules as currently written make it impossible to get 4 units in on a standard width mid-block parcel, and even 3-unit developments on mid-block parcels end up with units that are so skinny that they are difficult to sell.  The developers are therefore lobbying to have changes made to the R-CG rules that would allow 4-unit developments with adequate width units (eg. 2 in the front, 2 in the back over the garages) to be constructed on mid-block parcels.  If these changes end up being made, then it would seem that ANY yet to be redeveloped parcel in RKH, whether corner or mid-block, would become a target to be upzoned to R-CG and redeveloped as a 4-unit rowhouse development.


    We do not consider it to be appropriate for the City to be making such radical changes to what can be built in our community without first going through a community engagement process that:

    1. establishes the need for our community to take on more densification than it already is (the population of RKH has increased 23% in the last 9 years since the City’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP) was put in place, more than triple the growth rate expected of established communities under the policies of the MDP); and
    2. gives the residents of our community a say on how and where we would like to accommodate that additional densification, instead of letting developers decide.

    Please share your thoughts on the 28 AV Application, R-CG spot rezoning generally and the need for the City to engage with RKH residents over how much denser our community should be expected to become, and how and where that additional densification should be accommodated, not only with us (development@richmondknobhill.ca), but also with City Council (publicsubmissions@calgary.ca).  To be included in the materials for the April 16 City Council meeting at which the 28 AV Application is to be considered, submissions must refer to land use redesignation application LOC2017-0325 (2403 28 AV SW) and be received by the City Clerk no later than noon on Monday April 9.  Members of the public may also address City Council at the April 16 public hearing for the 28 AV Application.  We look forward to receiving your input!

  • April 01, 2018 8:24 AM | Anonymous

    1.     R-CG Spot Rezoning in Richmond/Knob Hill

    Spot rezoning of existing R-C1 (1 home) or R-C2 (2 homes, or 1 home + 1 suite) corner parcels to R-CG (up to 4 homes + 4 suites on a standard 50ft wide parcel) is becoming an issue in Richmond/Knob Hill (RKH), and in other communities in our area.  Unlike inner-city communities such as Banff Trail, Capitol Hill, Inglewood and Bridgeland/Riverside, RKH has not yet been provided with a community engagement opportunity to review the aging Richmond Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP) and provide input on where in our community it might be appropriate for parcels to be upzoned to R-CG or other higher-density or mixed-use land use districts.  Until recently this was not a particular problem, as it seemed that the only upzoning applications that we were seeing were for corner parcels located along one of our collector roads or otherwise in a location where higher density developments made sense, so we were not opposed.  However, in the last few months we have begun to receive applications to upzone non-collector R-C1 or R-C2 corner parcels to R-CG to allow 4-unit rowhouse developments to be built, in locations that to us, and to many of the surrounding residents, do not seem appropriate for higher density developments.  The first of these applications, for the corner parcel at 2403 28 Avenue SW, was approved by the Calgary Planning Commission in February, without even any discussion or debate despite thoughtful letters of opposition being submitted by the RKHCA and several surrounding residents, and is now scheduled to go to City Council for a public hearing and a final decision on April 16 (the “28 AV Application”).  Despite the fact that there is nothing about the 2403 28 Avenue SW corner parcel that makes it any more suitable for higher density developments than any other corner parcel in our community, based on what we are seeing it would appear that the 28 AV Application is likely to be approved by Council, without hesitation.  If so, then that would suggest that that ANY corner parcel in RKH could be upzoned to R-CG and redeveloped as a 4-unit rowhouse development.

    We also understand that developers have complained to the City that the R-CG rules as currently written make it impossible to get 4 units in on a standard width mid-block parcel, and even 3-unit developments on mid-block parcels end up with units that are so skinny that they are difficult to sell.  The developers are therefore lobbying to have changes made to the R-CG rules that would allow 4-unit developments with adequate width units (eg. 2 in the front, 2 in the back over the garages) to be constructed on mid-block parcels.  If these changes end up being made, then it would seem that ANY yet to be redeveloped parcel in RKH, whether corner or mid-block, would become a target to be upzoned to R-CG and redeveloped as a 4-unit rowhouse development.

    We do not consider it to be appropriate for the City to be making such radical changes to what can be built in our community without first going through a community engagement process that:

    1. establishes the need for our community to take on more densification than it already is (the population of RKH has increased 23% in the last 9 years since the City’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP) was put in place, more than triple the growth rate expected of established communities under the policies of the MDP); and
    2. gives the residents of our community a say on how and where we would like to accommodate that additional densification, instead of letting developers decide.

    Please share your thoughts on the 28 AV Application, R-CG spot rezoning generally and the need for the City to engage with RKH residents over how much denser our community should be expected to become, and how and where that additional densification should be accommodated, not only with us (development@richmondknobhill.ca), but also with City Council (publicsubmissions@calgary.ca).  To be included in the materials for the April 16 City Council meeting at which the 28 AV Application is to be considered, submissions must refer to land use redesignation application LOC2017-0325 (2403 28 AV SW) and be received by the City Clerk no later than noon on Monday April 9.  Members of the public may also address City Council at the April 16 public hearing for the 28 AV Application.  We look forward to receiving your input!


    2.     33/34 AV SW Streetscape Master Plan Project

    Thank you to everyone who attended the 33/34 Avenue SW Streetscape Master Plan Project information session on the evening of Monday February 26 at the Marda Loop Community Hall, as well as to everyone who provided input through the online engagement portal.  It was great to see so many people reading the display boards, chatting with City personnel and providing their input.  We look forward to seeing a report from the City summarizing the input that was received, and then to working together with the City, the Marda Loop Communities Association (MLCA), the Marda Loop Business Improvement Area (MLBIA) and area residents and businesses to come up with a great Streetscape Master Plan for 33 and 34 Avenues SW from 14 Street SW to Crowchild Trail, and for portions of several cross streets.  With all the new development taking place along the Marda Loop main streets and surrounding area, a new pedestrian, bike, transit and vehicle-friendly public realm is sorely needed, and, if done well, will go a long way to helping Marda Loop become the best place in Calgary to live, work, shop and just chill out!  Stay tuned for the next engagement opportunity!


    3.     33 AV SW Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Stations

    On February 7 representatives of the RKHCA, MLCA and MLBIA met with City of Calgary Transportation officials to discuss the proposed 33 Avenue SW BRT stations, including where best to locate the stations and how best to provide safe and comfortable access to, from and between the stations, given that they will be located at or near what is currently a freeway interchange.  Below is a summary of the discussion:

    • The preferred location for the SB station is at the NW corner of the signalized intersection on the west side of the overpass
      • This is the same location as the existing transit stop.
      • Advantages of this location include:
        • Closer to the Marda Loop business district, the likely primary source/destination of station users
        • Eliminates the need for stations users travelling to/from the Marda Loop business district to cross the right slip lane from SB Crowchild Trail to WB 33 Avenue SW (which we understand cannot be eliminated due to the volume of vehicle traffic it handles during the evening rush hour period, which would otherwise end up backing up on to SB Crowchild Trail)
        • Allows the station to be used by other transit routes
    • The preferred location for the NB station is at the NE corner of the signalized intersection on the east side of the overpass.
      • To make sufficient room for the station at this location the existing right slip lane from WB 33 Avenue SW to NB Crowchild Trail would need to be closed
      • To compensate for the closure of the right slip lane:
        • The curb lane on WB 33 Avenue SW approaching the signalized intersection on the east side of the overpass could be turned into a forced right turn onto NB Crowchild Trail; and
        • The left turn bay on WB 33 Avenue SW approaching the signalized intersection on the east side of the overpass could be lengthened to accommodate more vehicles wanting to turn left onto SB Crowchild Trail
      • Advantages of this location include:
        • Closer to the Marda Loop business district, the likely primary source/destination of station users
        • Eliminates a dangerous right slip lane that has already left at least one RKH resident permanently disabled 
    • The preferred access would be via a separate pedestrian/cycle overpass connecting the NB and SB stations, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to access both stations from either direction without any need to interact with vehicles
    • If a pedestrian overpass is not possible, then:
      • The right slip lane from WB 33 Avenue SW to NB Crowchild Trail should be eliminated, as described above;
      • The WB curb lane on the overpass (which vehicles no longer have much need for since the interchange’s traffic signals were changed from the previous “first load the overpass then clear the overpass” approach to the current “free flow” approach) should be eliminated (or both WB lanes narrowed as much as possible) and the space repurposed to create a wider, buffered pedestrian/cycle pathway along the north side of the overpass between the NB and SB stations;
      • The right slip lane from SB Crowchild Trail to WB 33 Avenue SW should be reconfigured as a “Smart Right”, to make crossing safer for station users travelling to/from the residential areas on the west side of Crowchild Trail
    • All pedestrian and cycle access to, from and between the stations should be coordinated with, and may be partially funded from, the 33/34 Avenue SW Main Streets streetscape plan 

    Our understanding is that the City of Calgary officials that attended the meeting will be looking into the feasibility of these station locations and potential access solutions and will be getting back to ourselves, the MLCA, the MLBIA and the Ward 8 Councillor’s office.

    As always, we would love to hear your thoughts on these, or any other development-related issue in RKH.  Email us at development@richmondknobhill.ca.


  • March 05, 2018 8:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Board of Directors of the Richmond – Knob Hill community association has set a new direction for the organization by landing a new strategic plan this past fall. Over the course of a series of meetings, the team looked at our current strengths and weaknesses, de- mographic make-up of our community and potential opportunities and threats, to determine a future vision for the organization and how best to achieve it. It was time to carry out this work, as the organization’s last plan was already out-of-date.

    As part of the new plan, we also looked at and amended our Vision Statement – our new statement reads: The Best Place for Neighbours to Connect! The new vision sets a target future state for our community.

    The core of the strategic plan focuses on three key ar- eas which will make us a better organization that better meets the needs of the residents of our community. The three areas we want to focus on are as follows:

    1. Improving our Governance – we want to improve how we work as an organization. Hence, we are look- ing to add more folks to our board of directors, im- prove director skillsets, sharpen our processes – in particular, a re-vamp of our volunteer management process.

    2. Improving our Programs – We want to ensure that the programs we o er residents meet their needs and not just what we “think” people might want. As a re- sult, we are embarking on some market research this spring – so look for a survey coming your way soon! Armed with this information, we can start enhancing our programs in future.

    3. Improving our Advocacy e orts – In uencing City of Calgary decisions on development and transporta- tion is an important role our Board ful lls. As a result, we see improving relations with our City Councillor and key City sta as an important area to focus on over the coming years.

    Armed with this new plan, we are keen to move our organization and community forward. We are always looking for passionate people to assist in achieving our goals; if you should have an interest in joining us in de- livering on this new plan, please feel free to contact Pe- ter Grobauer at 403-246-2551 or peter-paul@telus.net for more information. 

  • March 01, 2018 8:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Crowchild Trail Upgrades Project continues on this year with the estimated date of completion being Fall 2019. Given that a good majority of the construction work will take place this year, and that the construction zone will be expanding from Bow Trail up to 5 Avenue N.W., we'd like to invite you to come chat with us in-person at the following events:

    1. Noise wall engagement

    What? Public Noise Wall Engagement Session (Drop-in)

    When?Tuesday, March 20 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

    Where?Alexander Ferguson School, Main Gymnasium (1704 26 Street S.W.)

    Description: Noise wall engagement, based on the recommendations being implemented as part of the approved Crowchild Trail short-term plan, will begin in March and be completed by the third week of April. We will begin by first contacting the directly-impacted homeowners, and then complete this process by giving all neighbouring communities the opportunity to provide feedback on noise wall location, look, colour, and area landscaping. 

    Please Note: If you are unavailable to attend this session, you can provide your feedback online between March 20 - April 10. The engagement website will be live on March 20 and accessible via the main Crowchild Trail project page.

     2. Information Session

    What? Crowchild Trail Upgrades: 2018 Public Information Session (Drop-in)

    When? Wednesday, May 9 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

    Where? Hillhurst-Sunnyside CA, South Social Hall (1320 5 Avenue N.W.)

    Description: Similar to last year, we will be providing neighbouring communities with the opportunity to review the 2018 Crowchild Trail detailed construction plans and ask questions of the project team.

    RSVPs are not required for either event listed above

    MORE INFORMATION

    For bi-weekly construction updates and the most up-to-date information on this project, please visit calgary.ca/crowchild or call 311.

  • February 23, 2018 1:59 PM | Anonymous
    Below for your information is a letter that we  received from the Federation of Calgary Communities regarding the City's proposed reform of secondary suites.  A full copy of City Administration's report to City Council can be found here.

    ==========================================

    Administration’s Secondary Suite Recommendations for March 12 Public Hearing

    A few weeks ago, we provided you with some background information to clarify the proposed changes to secondary suites and what they mean for community associations. The report that will be presented to Council on March 12 has been released. We wanted to share it with you and provide a quick summary. There will also be an opportunity to provide input at the hearing on March 12th, and more details can be found at the bottom of this letter.

    The Changes at a Glance

    On March 12th, Council will be looking at several separate pieces of work about secondary suites. They are NOW as follows:
    1. Land Use Bylaw (LUB) amendments that add Secondary Suite and Backyard Suite as discretionary uses in the R-1, R-C1 and R-C1L districts.
    2. Develop a policy to guide Administration’s discretion when reviewing Development Permits for suites.
    3. Reinstate application fees for suites.
    4. Changes to the Suite Registry Program requiring mandatory registration.
    5. Develop implementation plans for an illegal suite amnesty, registry fees, rebate program, application guidebook, and guidelines on advertising and engagement.

    BACKGROUND

    What is a Secondary Suite?
    In the context of this project, a secondary suite can be either a basement suites or a laneway suite. A basement suite is a separate dwelling inside a single detached house with separate cooking, sleeping and bathroom facilities. A laneway suite is a self-contained living space on the same property as a single-detached house, and is often accessed from the back alley or laneway.

    What does this mean for communities?
    In the past, secondary suite applicants applied for a land use amendment if their parcel was within one of the districts above. This was sent to council for public hearing, and there was an opportunity for the public to provide input. If council approved the land use amendment, a development permit was issued without opportunity for consultation.
    With the proposed changes, applicants will apply for a discretionary development permit in R-1, R-C1, and R-C1L districts. As a result, community associations will be circulated the development permits and be able to provide comments. Development permits for a suite in these districts will also be notice posted. This means that a sign is placed on the property advising the neighbouring residents of the development permit application and how to make comments on the application. Decisions on development permit applications may be appealed.
    The proposed changes would mean property owners would have the ability to develop a suite without City Council approval, but would still work with Planning and Development staff at the City of Calgary to obtain development and building permits.

    Fee Waiver
    At the beginning of 2014, Administration removed the Land Use Amendment and Development Permit fees associated with suites. Administration is recommending that fees be brought back, and more information is available below.

    NEW: REPORT SUMMARY

    Below is a quick summary of some of the key changes that are being proposed by Administration. Please be sure to read the attached report to Council for further information.

    Land Use Bylaw Amendments
    The proposed Bylaw amendments add Secondary Suite and Backyard Suite as discretionary uses in the R-1, R-C1, and R-C1L districts. Currently suites are allowed either as permitted or discretionary uses in every residential district except R-1, R-C1 and R-C1L.

    Policy to Guide Discretionary Suite Applications
    The proposed policy will guide planners that review discretionary secondary suite applications. Guidance is provided on items such as parking, amenity space, and privacy for Backyard Suites. Attachment 1 in the PDF adds more detail to the proposed policy.

    Mandatory Suite Registry and Development of a Suite Registry Bylaw
    A proposed Suite Registry Bylaw (Attachment 4) has been made to turn the voluntary Registry into a mandatory Registry. The Registry includes a database of suites that have been approved. A suite will be added once it has obtained the required permits and passed inspection. Any suite that is made available to the public to rent that is not on the Registry is subject to a fine. The Registry will make it easier to identify and report potentially unsafe suites being offered for rent. Issues related to land use, safety, community standards, or landlord-tenant disputes would be dealt with under other existing Bylaws.

    Fee Reinstatement
    If these changes are approved, there may still be a rare occasion where someone applies for a land use amendment requiring Council approval. An owner would redesignate their property to a district where Secondary Suites are a permitted use, meaning a Development Permit would not be required. The Land Use Amendment fees would be brought back at a similar rate to other redesignation applications, amounting to $5,050.

    Development permit fees would also be brought back to cost $471. Similar permits cost approximately $570. Fees for Building Permits will also be collected, including inspections to verify that the suite complies with safety standards. Refer to attachment 6 for the fee schedule.

    Implementation Plans
    Administration was directed to develop recommendations for the items listed below.

    1. Amnesty
    Administration is recommending a two-year grace period to encourage owners of existing illegal suites to apply for the required permits to bring their suites up to minimum safety standards. Attachment 7 has more details. During this period, Development Permit fees would be waived, and suite owners would not be prosecuted for not being registered. This is to encourage the creation of as many safe and legal suites as possible. A Building Permit and its fee will still be required in all cases.

    Council asked for a Registry fee to be introduced. The Registry fee also be waived during the amnesty period, and owners already on the voluntary Registry would be exempted from paying the fee after the grace period. After the grace period, future suites would be subject to the fees for a Development Permit, Building Permit, Electrical Permit, Plumbing and Gas Permits, and the Registry.

    The amnesty strategy (Attachment 8) explains the process that Administration will take to:

    • Make it easier for owners of suites to comply with the Land Use Bylaw and the Alberta Safety Codes;
    • Help people easily understand the process to develop a compliant suite; and
    • Encourage owners of suites to legalize and register them during the amnesty period.

    2. Fees for Registry
    The registry fee would be a one-time charge of $232. The cost would go towards ongoing enforcement. There would be no renewal fees. All suite owners would be directed to complete an annual self-declaration to declare if anything related to the suite has changed. If changes are made, a new Building Permit may be required.

    3. Fee rebate for owner occupied properties
    Administration recommends charging the same one-time Registry fee to all properties with suites with no rebates for owner occupied properties.

    4. Suite Application Guide
    Once a decision is made on the changes, new online information will be added. This will help people understand the requirements for having a legal and safe suite. This information could include illustrations of suite design options. A communications plan will be developed as part of this as well. This strategy will include updates to online tools, instructions for the suites process, and will inform people of the changes and how they can apply for suites.

    5. Inclusion of all suites, new and existing, in the mandatory Registry
    All suites on the voluntary Registry will carry over into the mandatory Registry. The old Registry stickers will still be valid. These existing suites will not have to pay a fee after the amnesty period. They will still have to complete the annual self-declaration on whether anything related to the suite has changed.

    6. Guidelines on advertising and engagement
    Discretionary Development Permits will be notice posted on the property for two weeks; adjacent neighbours will be advised by letter of the proposed suite; the Community Association will receive a Development Permit circulation package and the decision on the application will be advertised and subject to a three week appeal period.

    Timeline and Next Steps
    This report will be brought to the March 12 Council meeting. Administration will present each of these recommendations separately and Council will decide if they want to implement each of these changes at the Public Hearing.

    There will be an opportunity to speak at council during the March 12 public hearing. The three issues will be voted on separately. Submissions must be received by noon on March 5th. Here is more information on how to participate: City Council will hold a Public Hearing in the Council Chambers at the Calgary Municipal Building (800 Macleod Trail S.E.,) on Monday March 12, 2018 commencing at 9:30 a.m. Read through this document for information about how to submit your letter.

    In light of the sensitivities around “Community Representation”, if your community association is going to present on this topic we recommend that you have broad resident engagement evidence of your position. We believe that you may be asked about how you informed your position.

    The Federation of Calgary Communities works to support community associations, and recognizes that there are as many different positions on secondary suites as there are communities. Nonetheless, something we all agree on is the value of community. Communities are not static; they adapt and change over time, in response to the world around them. Diverse housing forms, including secondary suites, are one of the many tools that create space for a broad range of people, increase population density, and ensure communities remain vibrant. Let’s consider how we can contribute to a city that takes care of its people, something that all communities should be proud to do.

    If you have any questions or concerns, Dane, the planner working on the project at dane.morris@calgary.ca
  • February 22, 2018 7:44 PM | Anonymous

    RKHCA has received notice of a court application on March 7 to remove restrictive covenant 9685GC from the title to the property located at 2531 19A Street SW (the “Subject Property”), and has been asked to post a copy of the notice on the bulletin board next to the front entrance to the RKH Community Hall (which has been done). Click on these links to see PDF copies of the notice, the restrictive covenant and a map that we created showing the properties that may still be subject to, and have the benefit of, that restrictive covenant (the Subject Property is outlined in pen). Only the 8 homes that immediately surround the Subject Property have been provided with a copy of the notice.  All other affected property owners are supposed to find out about the court application by reading the copy of the notice posted at the Community Hall.  We do not consider posting a copy of the notice at the Community Hall to be an overly effective way of letting the other affected property owners know about the court application, so we thought we should also post this note on the RKHCA Development blog.

    The restrictive covenant dates back to 1950 and was put in place by the City of Calgary.  The restrictions imposed by the restrictive covenant include:

    1. only one single or two family dwelling house (and a private garage) per lot;
    2. minimum footprint sizes for single and multi-level dwelling houses; and
    3. no lot or any building erected thereon may be used for any trade or business or otherwise than for private residential purposes.
    The lawyer claims that the owner of the Subject Property simply wants to clean up the title to his property, but there may be more to it than that.  The Subject Property was created a few years ago when two contiguous 50ft wide parcels were combined and resubdivided into three 33.33ft wide parcels and a new 2-storey single detached dwelling was constructed on each new parcel.  The owner may be concerned that this redevelopment may have technically breached the first restriction, as his home is one of 3 single family dwelling houses that were constructed on what was originally 2 lots.  Alternatively, the owner may wish to carry on a trade or business from the Subject Property, which is prohibited by the third restriction.


    Owners of other properties that are subject to the same restrictive covenant have the right to oppose the court application, if they feel that the restrictive covenant sets out a valid “building scheme” and that its restrictions are not inconsistent with the Subject Property’s R-C2 land use district.  If you own a property that is subject to the same restrictive covenant and do not wish to see the restrictive covenant discharged from the Subject Property, then we would recommend speaking to other owners of affected properties and possibly retain a lawyer to appear on your behalf at the March 7 court application.  Failing to oppose this court application may make it more difficult for the restrictive covenant to be enforced at some point in the future, such as to prevent a higher density development from being constructed on a parcel that is subject to the restrictive covenant.

  • February 06, 2018 10:10 AM | Anonymous

    We, and other inner-city communities around us, are being told by both the City and developers that the Richmond Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP) is woefully out-of-date, and that it is not enough for our community to continue densifying by:

    1. having our old bungalows replaced with 2 skinny single detached infills or semi-detached infill units;
    2. accepting 4-plexes and other slightly higher density residential developments along on our collector roads and in other areas designated for such under the ARP; and
    3. accepting mid-rise residential and mixed-use developments along our Main Streets, being 17 Avenue SW and 33 Avenue SW,

    and that developers should be allowed to rezone ANY corner parcel in our community from either R-C1 (only 1 dwelling unit allowed) or R-C2 (only 2 dwelling units allowed) to R-CG so that 4-unit rowhouse developments can be built on them.  The City and developers are also looking at the rules of the R-CG land use district to see if there is a way to tweak them so that developers would also be allowed to use those rules to build 4-unit developments on interior parcels.  As far as the City is concerned, 4-unit rowhouse developments under the R-CG rules are completely compatible with, and appropriate to be built beside, any single family home or semi in our community.

    Our sense is that RKH is already doing its fair share to absorb more population density within established communities (eg. RKH's population has increased by 31% over the past 30 years), and we do not see the need to have all of our corner parcels, and possibly also all of our interior parcels, opened up to 4-unit rowhouse developments that have significant potential to be out-of-context with the streetscape (particularly if they are 3-storeys/11m tall and are built next to single-storey bungalows), as well as to create privacy, shadowing, drainage and parking issues for the adjacent properties.

    These 4-unit rowhouse developments cannot even be supported on the grounds that they create a new category of lower-cost housing options in our community, as the current asking prices for new 3-storey rowhouse units in our community seem to start at $699,000, which actually makes them LESS affordable than many of our remaining bungalows, even though those bungalows are freehold properties on 50ft wide lots!

    We came across an interesting article on this issue on Buildzoom.com, an excerpt from which is reproduced below.  We encourage all RKH residents to read the full article, which can be found at the following web address:

     https://www.buildzoom.com/blog/pockets-of-dense-construction-in-a-dormant-suburban-interior 

    As you will have seen in other recent Development Blog posts, we have asked Councillor Woolley and City Administration to hold a community-wide engagement session to revisit the Richmond ARP and determine the extent to which it should be updated to allow higher density developments, if at all, and if so, what forms and where in our community they should be allowed.  We would appreciate your support in this regard by contacting Councillor Woolley’s office and pushing for that engagement to take place.  The residents of RKH were given the opportunity to provide input when the Richmond ARP was originally created back in 1986 — we should be given another opportunity to do so before such a fundamental change is made to the ARP.

    See below excerpt from “America’s New Metropolitan Landscape: Pockets Of Dense Construction In A Dormant Suburban Interior”, on Buildzoom.com (annotations in red are ours):

    . . .

    Pockets of dense construction, or modest densification everywhere?

    City planners tend to favor concentrating residential development in dense hubs because they lend themselves to service by public transit, which helps reduce the impact of new residents on emissions and traffic congestion. Yet this rationale for limiting densification to transit hubs and corridors amounts to acquiescing the battle for development elsewhere. The current battleground is in the pockets of dense construction, whereas the dormant suburban interior is conceded territory in which dense housing is never debated because it is never proposed. It is taboo. 

    Confining development to dense hubs is a sensible approach, but it has come at a great cost. Over recent decades, America’s expensive coastal cities have slowed down their outward expansion and increasingly come to rely on residential densification within the developed footprint to accommodate the people drawn to them. Yet rather than pick up its pace, densification has become less common. As a result, residential construction in the expensive coastal cities has failed to meet demand and prevent runaway housing price appreciation, resulting in an affordability crisis with profound implications for younger generations’ ability to put down roots, live near family, raise children and prosper. 

    This doesn’t mean that the expensive coastal cities can’t deliver much greater amounts of housing. They can. But to meaningfully stem housing price appreciation would require them to regularly produce far more housing than they have for decades. The track record of the current paradigm – minimize metropolitan expansion and concentrate new housing in dense hubs – suggests they will keep under-producing housing in the future as well.

    I am not advocating a return to vigorous sprawl. That would be wasteful, unhealthy and unsustainable. Moreover, the rising value of central locations in the eyes of both people and employers suggests that sprawl may offer a less appealing substitute to housing in the metropolitan interior than in the past, especially in the largest metros.

    I am suggesting that, while cities continue to fight the battle for development in dense hubs, they also question the de facto exemption granted to low-density suburban areas from the onus to produce more housing. The dormant suburban sea is so vast that if the taboo on densification there were broken, even modest gradual redevelopment – tearing down one single-family home at a time and replacing it with a duplex [RKH has been doing this for years!] or a small apartment building [This as well along our collector roads, Main Streets in and other areas where we consider such developments to be appropriate!] – could grow the housing stock immensely. Distributing the necessary amounts of new housing over vast low-density suburban areas instead of just concentrating them in dense hubs would dilute the local impact on neighborhoods. It would make a large increase in housing more palatable vis-a-vis neighborhood character, and more gradual. Of course, building in these areas could have different implications for congestion than building in dense hubs, but the affordability crisis in America’s expensive coastal cities is so acute that the tradeoff between worsening affordability and congestion should be evaluated with fresh eyes.

    In order to nurture new residential development in the dormant suburban interior, local land use policy would need to undergo a revolution. The construction industry and the financial ecosystem would need to evolve as well, and infrastructure would need to be greatly upgraded. The very first step, however, involves grasping America’s new metropolitan landscape and realizing just how much of it has gone dormant. That is where the problem is, as well as the opportunity.

    ===========================================================

  • January 14, 2018 12:30 PM | Anonymous

    A couple of years ago the City of Calgary designated 24 of its streets as “Main Streets” and is looking to upgrade those streets into vibrant, pedestrian-friendly strips that people will want to visit and spend time at.  RKH is “bookended” by 2 of these Main Streets — 17 Avenue SW, which forms our community’s north boundary, and 33 & 34 Avenues SW (east of Crowchild Trail), which form a portion of our south boundary.

    Last year the City’s Main Streets group initiated a rezoning of parcels along the portion of 17 Avenue SW west of Crowchild Trail, to encourage the construction of new commercial and higher-density developments in the area, and to encourage developments along 17th Avenue SW to include shops, cafes and restaurants on their main floors.  Later this year the City will begin the process of creating a Streetscape Master Plan for that portion of 17th Avenue SW, and will be seeking input from the public on what the new streetscape should include and how it should be designed to help make that strip more inviting for people to visit and spend time at.  The portion of 17th Avenue SW east of Crowchild Trail will undergo a similar process at some point in the near future.

    33 and 34 Avenues SW, and in particular the portions within the Marda Loop business district, are not merely ripe for redevelopment, they are literally exploding with redevelopment.  Fueled by the recent enactment of the Marda Loop Area Redevelopment Plan (the “MLARP”) and the announcement that South West Bus Rapid Transit (SWBRT) stations will be located at the west end of the business district, 2 mid-rise developments have recently been completed, 3 more are currently under construction, yet another 3 have been approved for development and at least 2 more are currently in the planning approval process.  It is therefore great to see that the City has already begun the process of creating a Streetscape Master Plan for 33 and 34 Avenues SW, to ensure that the public realm surrounding these and future developments achieves the City’s Main Streets vision for retail vitality and pedestrian- and cycle-friendliness.
     
    Section 6.2.1 of the MLARP similarly calls for the City to undertake “a comprehensive streetscape design concept for 33 and 34 Avenues SW and intersecting side streets (18 Street SW, 19 Street SW, 20 Street SW, 21 Street SW and 22 Street SW)”.  Accordingly, creating a Streetscape Master Plan for 33 and 34 Avenues SW will not only help to achieve the City’s Main Streets vision for this area, but will hopefully also fulfill this MLARP public realm requirement – two birds with one stone, so to speak.  In this regard we look forward to the Streetscape Master Plan addressing, among other things, each of the following areas identified in Section 6.2.1 of the MLARP:

    • Thorough review and assessment of the existing condition for the above mentioned avenues and the intersecting streets
    • Transportation analysis of the current condition with regards to pedestrian, vehicular, bicycle and transit movement
    • Public realm concepts in consultation with the community and businesses
    • Street furniture handbook that will define style, design, colour and character of all the elements of the street furniture for example (benches, litter and recycling bins, pedestrian lights, street lights, trees, public art, surface material)
    • Phasing plan to define priority areas for implementation 
    The City will be holding an Information Session for the 33 and 34 Avenues SW Streetscape Master Plan on Monday, February 26 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Marda Loop Community Hall (3130 16 Street SW).  Please take the time to attend the Information Session to find out more and to provide your input on what you would like to see included in the 33 and 34 Avenue SW Streetscape Master Plan.


    33 and 34 Avenues SW have huge potential to become a vibrant urban village that will help the surrounding communities of Richmond/Knob Hill, South Calgary, Altadore and Garrison Woods to become complete, highly walkable inner-city communities.  To get it right, we need your input.

    Thanks, and we look forward to seeing you there!

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