-submitted by Caitlin Brandon, Belgravia resident and member of Belgravia’s Planning & Development Committee. Thanks, Caitlin.
Implementation of the McKernan/Belgravia Transit Oriented Development (TOD) has the potential to create significant change in our neighborhood. The City is now in phase II of the project: exploration and evaluation of alternatives (Dec 2011 – Mar 2012). The next phase, preparation of draft station area plan and zoning changes, begins in April. Now is an excellent time to consider the changing land use options, and talk the TOD planners.
As outlined in the November Open House presentation documents (available on the City website given below), there are two distinct areas that change is being considered. The first area is along the community perimeter at 76 Ave and 114 St, roughly one-half block in from 76th and a few houses in along 114 St. This first area also includes city land currently used as the Arts Park. The second area is enclosed by 114 St to 116 St, from 76th Ave to Fox Drive. The boundary on the second area meanders slightly – being as far into the community as 118 St at 74th Ave. Land use changes being considered for the perimeter include multi-unit housing forms, such as condominiums or stacked row houses. Land use changes being considered for the inner area include side-by-side duplex structures, triplex structures and townhouses (row housing) as well as smaller lot single family homes.
Some questions you may want to ask yourself are: – How can TOD best maintain the traditional spirit of Belgravia characterized by a high density of families and home ownership? – Do we want to keep the Arts Park for green space? Should we add a small open (unwalled) skating rink, for family use (ie no-hockey)? – How best can TOD implement a gradual transition in density that respects the considerable number of newer builds and renovations already completed? – Could TOD include senior housing so that people choosing not to live in their houses can continue to stay within the community? – How best can TOD and the community discourage the spread of rooming-house rental properties common in duplex structures along 76th Ave? – What housing forms would best support new families to move into our community? The cost of land is prohibitive to rebuilding near the LRT. Houses sold within the area near the LRT often end up as student rental properties – without land use change, this trend will likely worsen not improve.
Some comments on lot division and urban character row housing have been written here. At it’s heart, TOD has the objective to create livable, vibrant and walkable communities. Our community is fortunate in many many ways. Change is good. Informed, involved and guided change is best.
View the November Presentation materials online: http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/urban_planning_and_design/mckernan-belgravia-station-area-plan.aspx Speak to the TOD planners by email or phone:
Principal planner, Michael Strong, City of Edmonton
Planner, Sara McCartney
Plan to attend the next TOD workshop in March: If you see ideas for building forms suitable to the neighborhood – bring pictures to discuss at your workshop table. Email your community league with ideas or concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org