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my 2 cents from a twitter user:
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I listened to about 8 hours of the public hearing yesterday.
Lots of complaining about change but if you ignore that I heard almost all supported the guidebook in principle, and then that was split between wanting it delayed, wanting amendments, and wanting it passed as is asap.

I think some fine tuning would satisfy the vast majority. I think council should debate amendments and get it passed and not leave it until the election.
I should note that "exclude our communities" is not a valid amendment, I'm thinking more specific improvements/adjustments to sentences basically.
I found I was much more engaged with people who had read the proposed guidebook carefully enough that they referenced specific subsections and suggested improvements than those who talked about the destruction of their neighbourhoods.
 
I do wonder if the Elbow Park residents have basically shot themselves in the foot by coming out so strongly against this. It's very easy to paint them as a small group of out-of-touch elitists who think that anyone who can't afford a $2 million house is likely a murderer. It's distracted from the other potential stereotype that could have emerged in this debate: the out-of-touch progressives who are trying to force everyone to give up their car and move into a high-rise apartment.
 
I do wonder if the Elbow Park residents have basically shot themselves in the foot by coming out so strongly against this. It's very easy to paint them as a small group of out-of-touch elitists who think that anyone who can't afford a $2 million house is likely a murderer. It's distracted from the other potential stereotype that could have emerged in this debate: the out-of-touch progressives who are trying to force everyone to give up their car and move into a high-rise apartment.

I think they definitely shot themselves in the foot. If they hadn't come out so strong I think it would have seemed a more reasonable engagement. I did notice a few speakers of the latter type you mentioned but it seemed they were only a handful. One thing kind of interesting is there were two progressive types that were almost "yelly" in their presentations. I was impressed by their passion but then I checked out who they were and they were both lawyers or in law school so I think that was a bit of "persuasion theatre".
 
I really hope council passes it today. I think there's some room for amendments but I'd prefer to see those implemented after the fact. If the guidebook becomes and election issue I think we could be in for a real bloodbath. NIMBY candidates could have a real shot of pulling ahead if this becomes the defining election issue.
 
I think Councillor Gondek will put forward a motion to simply allow a built form typology that maintains detached housing and semi-detached. The current lowest density typology in the guidebook allows for 3 storey apartments if I remember. Introducing a newer, lower density typology, that can then be applied to the new local area plans, should calm a lot of the fears.

That said, this typology should have some strong criteria about when and where it applies. Something like at least 2 blocks removed from any collector (transit route), so not fronting these corridors. Nothing adjacent to any commercial or activity center. Really, the center of neighbourhoods like Elbow Park or Britannia, sure. But the homes fronting Elbow Drive (and the alleyway behind those homes) can be the next step up. That would preserve lots of single family homes, but still provide a lot of properties that would allow to be upzoned and redeveloped with intensity.
 
I think Councillor Gondek will put forward a motion to simply allow a built form typology that maintains detached housing and semi-detached. The current lowest density typology in the guidebook allows for 3 storey apartments if I remember. Introducing a newer, lower density typology, that can then be applied to the new local area plans, should calm a lot of the fears.

That said, this typology should have some strong criteria about when and where it applies. Something like at least 2 blocks removed from any collector (transit route), so not fronting these corridors. Nothing adjacent to any commercial or activity center. Really, the center of neighbourhoods like Elbow Park or Britannia, sure. But the homes fronting Elbow Drive (and the alleyway behind those homes) can be the next step up. That would preserve lots of single family homes, but still provide a lot of properties that would allow to be upzoned and redeveloped with intensity.
Yeah I agree that at some level it would be appropriate to allow for lower density typology, but I think the concern is that given the option communities will be far to excessive in applying the least dense option, which is already the case with current ARP's. Which would just end up being ignored anyways. Not to mention there will be really contentious debates within communities because everyone is going to want their streets to be selected as the lowest density.

The thing I actually like most about the guidebook is that the lowest option includes more than just single and two dwelling units.

If council includes that option I'm concerned that it will largely gut a lot of what makes the guidebook a really good document for creating sensitive density.
 
Thing is groups of residents can already restrict density to RC1 in many areas of the innercity - by applying for historical designation. It could be considered telling that those gushing about protecting their heritage communities aren't scrambling to protect them using those existing tools.
 
For anyone watching in real time, they have switched now to the North Hills multi-community Local Area Plan. The first LAP that was done concurrently with the Guidebook. More information on this plan here:

First up is the community of Renfrew group, who are opposed to the plan. When you see what is proposed, I can understand why they would be questioning what is infront of them. The plan is calling for 6 storey buildings along "connector" streets, so 8th Avenue and 12th Avenue NE.
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Is this really where we need to have policy supporting 6 storey buildings? Given that we have so much undeveloped / underdeveloped properties along the actual Main Streets in the area (Edmonton Trail, Center Street, 16th Avenue), should we be further flooding the market?
 
I agree, constantly allowing higher density in the middle of these communities while the main streets remain mostly unredeveloped feels backwards. Specifically 6 story. My community can redevelop as 3 story duplex and row housing all day long as far as I'm concerned.
 
If council includes that option I'm concerned that it will largely gut a lot of what makes the guidebook a really good document for creating sensitive density.
The grerat thing is if the guidebook passes, as the guidebook process goes on, or at the end of the 10 year process, when the LAPs are done and the guidebook can be put into the MDP as a chapter (much like the guidebook for new communities), it can be removed across the city with one amendment if it is too much of a hinderence. Poof.
 
Is this really where we need to have policy supporting 6 storey buildings? Given that we have so much undeveloped / underdeveloped properties along the actual Main Streets in the area (Edmonton Trail, Center Street, 16th Avenue), should we be further flooding the market?
Zoning doesn't flood the market. In fact, it will LOWER prices for land to build 6 story units, which all other things being equal should lead to somewhat higher demand.

It also isn't council's job to maintain the price of land speculatively banked for development.
 

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