Public Hearing on Proposed Rezone from RF7 to DC2 on 76 Ave and 115th Street

You’ve likely noticed the large fenced area at the corner of 76 Avenue and 115 Street. Niche Developers is proposing a large project on this, and are seeking approval from City Council at a Public Hearing on Monday, February 26, at 2:00 pm.

Whatever you think of it, this project affects you.

Two key issues you should know:

1. The developer wants the building placed 3 m from the city property line, closer than what the current RA7 zoning allows. As well there’s the possibility of extending the underground parkade to the property line, less than 2 m from the trunks of the boulevard trees. This means significant cut backs to the tree canopy and roots. (In comparison, the building and underground parkade across the street are set back 6 m from the city property line).

SOLUTION: That Council require the current minimum setback (5.4 m) along 76 Avenue, met by every other building on that avenue.

2. The developer has promoted this project with promises of energy reduction building techniques like solar electricity & geo-thermal heating as well as concrete and steel construction. These are NOT specified in their application. If the application is approved without these requirements in place there is no obligation on the developer to follow them.

SOLUTION: That Council require the specific commitments for reducing energy consumption in the development application.

Many of us shared our concerns with the developers and city planners over the past nine months. Changes to the original proposal are minimal as summarized here:

    Current RA7 Allows Proposed DC2 Wants
1 Maximum Density 125 dwellings/hectare 288 dwellings/hectare (down from 291)
2 Maximum Units 30 70    (down from 71)
3 Floor to Area Ratio 1.4 2.2   (down from 2.5)
4 Min. setback north City property line (76 Ave) 5.4 m 3.0 m   (no change)
5 Min. setback south City property line (alley) 7.5 m 6.0 m  (no change)
6 Min. setback east City property line (115 St) 4.5 m 3.0 m   (no change)
7 Min. setback west City property line (116 St) 3.0 m 4.5 m   (no change)

Other changes from the original DC2 proposal include 5 on-site visitor parking, 10 on-site visitor bike parking stalls, and designating 6 of the fourteen, 2 bedroom units the two 3 bedroom units as Family Oriented Dwellings.

Belgravians are not opposed to development – we are not NIMBYs. A great deal of change is already underway in Belgravia with:

  • 35 active construction sites in Belgravia at this moment; 
  • 40 split lots, with more coming; 
  • one-sixth of all dwellings in Belgravia replaced in the past five years

The Public Hearing is in City Hall Council Chambers at 2:00 pm February 26. The Belgravia Community League is coordinating a response for this hearing so community concerns are fully and efficiently addressed. We encourage you to be part of this coordinated effort and ask that you contact Susan Kamp (BCL Planning Director) at planning@belgraviaedmonton.ca

Anyone planning to present at the Public Hearing must register in advance (http://coewebapps.edmonton.ca/rqspeak/). You are allowed 5 minutes. From past experiences, we know it is important to prepare as carefully as possible.

We are hoping that many Belgravians will attend the Public Hearing to show support for our presenters and to make clear to Council that our neighbourhood wants the DC2 to be modified.  Please attend the hearing if you can!

2 thoughts on “Public Hearing on Proposed Rezone from RF7 to DC2 on 76 Ave and 115th Street

  1. Those old buildings on 76th ave. are an embarrassment. No upgrades in 25 years falling apart.

    Let’s let go of the past Belgravians.

    Why do we care how they achieve their energy efficient building ?

    Sounds like a cool project if they protect those trees. let’s proceed with some innovation close to the LRT.

    • Thanks Cory. The boulevard trees are definitely a priority. The developer’s request for a 3 m front set back from the City property line instead of the current 5.4 m means a major cutback to the tree canopies, and the request to extend the underground parkade north wall to two meters from the tree trunks means a dangerous cutback to the tree roots.

      Developers have a habit of over-promising and under-delivering on things like energy efficiency. The DC2 application calls for a “target” of 30% better than building code but in our view allows a lot of wiggle room. The developer’s request for reduced set backs on all sides for increasing the density from 125 dwellings per hectare to 288 was initially explained to be necessary to cover their costs of geothermal/solar systems. If those aren’t ultimately required in the DC2 application and the 3 m front set back goes through, the roots and canopies of the boulevard trees will all be cut back simply for an oversized building. That, along with the street renewal this spring/summer on 76 Ave, adds greatly to the risks to the viability of those trees … a slow death over 3 – 5 years.

      Thanks again for your comments and inquiries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *