Richmond-Knob Hill Development Update – September


33/34 AV SW Main Streets Project — Thank you to those of you who attended the public engagement sessions that the City held for the 33/34 AV SW Main Streets Project back in May in the new Avenue 33 building. The City was very pleased with the turnout at each of the 3 sessions, and they interpret good turnout as a clear sign that the surrounding residents are engaged and interested, which will help this project move up the City’s priority ladder. The City will be holding another public engagement session in September, at which they will be revealing and looking for feedback on the proposed streetscape plan for the 33/34 AV SW Main Streets, as well as the proposed land use plan for the area. Unfortunately, the date and location of the September engagement session was not known at the submission deadline for this article, so please watch for flyer or email notifications or check the RKHCA website to find out when and where to go. This will likely be our last opportunity to provide feedback before the plans go to City Council for approval, so please make a point of attending the September engagement session and providing your feedback. Let’s help make the 33/34 AV SW Main Streets amazing!

Proposed Amendments to the Land Use Bylaw Rules for Infill Developments — The City is looking at making several amendments to the Land Use Bylaw rules for infill developments to address issues relating to front porches, subterranean developments and the new R-CG land use district. To encourage more front porches the City is proposing to both exclude front porches from the parcel coverage limit (45% for R-C1 and R-C2 parcels) and allow the front porch to project up to 1.8m into the required front setback area. These changes will help do away with having to reduce the amount of the home’s interior square footage to “make room” for a front porch, and will make it possible for many existing homes, that are already at the maximum parcel coverage, to add a front porch. Subterranean (ie. underground) developments are not currently subject to any setback restrictions, so they are technically allowed to extend right up to a parcel’s front, side and rear property lines. The City is proposing to preclude subterranean developments from extending into the required front setback area, to minimize the construction impact of any such developments on the root systems of public trees that may be located on the adjacent front boulevard. No minimum side or rear setbacks are proposed. The City is also proposing to amend the R-CG rules to, among other things, have the maximum building height measured from grade in all cases and to allow rowhouse and other developments on R-CG corner parcels to be built closer to the front and side streets and to potentially have larger 3rd storeys. These changes are expected to go to a public hearing before City Council on September 3. We encourage you to learn more about these proposed changes by reviewing the agenda materials for either the July 26 Calgary Planning Commission meeting or the September 3 City Council meeting, and to share your thoughts with City Council, or at least with the Ward 8 Councillor’s office.

Courtyard33 — The land use redesignation application for the proposed Courtyard33 development on the NE corner of the 33 AV and 22 ST SW intersection will have gone to Calgary Planning Commission on August 23 and will likely go to a public hearing before City Council on October 1. The application is asking for a a height limit of 22m/6 storeys and a floor area ratio (FAR) of 4.0, significantly beyond the 16m/4 storey height limit and 2.5 FAR contemplated in the recently enacted Marda Loop Area Redevelopment Plan. The applicant’s position is that the additional height and FAR is warranted because of the proposed development’s “gateway” location, internal courtyard and high quality design. The application is asking City Council to assign the parcel a special Direct Control land use district under which the developer’s proposed 6-storey building would be a “permitted use”. Because of special rules that apply to Direct Control land use districts and “permitted uses”, if City Council approves this unusual land use application it will be virtually impossible for affected persons to appeal the project to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (eg. for exceeding the height limit and FAR contemplated in the Marda Loop Area Redevelopment Plan). We encourage you to learn more about this application by reviewing the agenda materials for either the August 23 Calgary Planning Commission meeting or the October 1 City Council meeting, and to share your thoughts with City Council, or at least with the Ward 8 Councillor’s office.

Other New/Proposed Projects — Several new rowhouse developments are currently under construction in our community — at 2104 Richmond Road SW, 2803 25 ST SW, 2804 25A ST SW, 2403 28 AV SW and 2403 32 AV SW — what do you think about these slightly higher-density developments? A development permit has recently been issued for a new 8-unit development on 2 contiguous parcels at 2220 and 2224 26 AV SW — these are unusually deep parcels and the development will consist of 2 separate 4-unit rowhouse buildings, one in front of the other, and an 8-bay garage across the back. Land use redesignation and development permit applications have been submitted to replace the existing bungalow on the NW corner of 20 ST and 26 AV SW with a flat-roofed 10m/2-storey high office/retail building — the proposed development features a shallow main floor consisting of 2 retail bays with surface parking for 14 vehicles at the rear, wth office space above in a deeper 2nd storey that extends back over a portion of the rear parking area. By the time you read this the ML33 condo project at 2418 33 AV SW will likely be fully framed, and will create a much different “feel” as you enter the Marda Loop business district from the west.

We would love to hear your thoughts on these or other development issues affecting our community — email us at [email protected]