Regional Communities - Current Issues

City of Edmonton:

  • Current Planning Business Advisory Committee: Committee led by Chamber of Commerce and includes representatives from Chamber, CHBA-ER, UDI, BOMA and NAIOP.

  • Leadership Dinners: The Association holds an annual leadership dinner with the City of Edmonton. Last Dinner was held on February 19th with the Mayor and Council.

  • Meeting with Current Planning Branch: Last meeting was on February 12, 2014. Engaged Chairs of Builder Technical, Renovation, Government Relations, Health and Safety, and Industry Advisory Committees. Next meeting is planned for October 24 – with agenda to be developed mid-October. Working to a schedule of two meetings a year.

  • Zoning Amendment for Medium and High Density zones: The City is reviewing the amendments in light of the concerns expressed and no date set for hearing (was originally set for spring 2013, but level of issues has pushed that back significantly). Affects: RF5, RF6, RA7, RA8 and RA9 zones.

  • Evolving Infill Initiative: Draft Infill Plan accepted by City Council on September 19.

  • Way-finding Signage: City has adopted guideline protocols for way-finding signage.

  • Zoning Bylaw review of Ground Oriented Multi-unit: A draft zoning amendment was circulated and discussed with the City planners on April 17, 2014. City’s web site notes draft amendment would be posted in summer 2014 but nothing yet posted.

  • Energy Transition Strategy and Action Plan: Working group will be meeting in September to review and develop position.

  • Zoning Amendment to Section 160.4.20: In March of 2013, the City adopted a zoning amendment to allow 50 foot lots to be subdivided. The amendment included provisions to this specific section of the land use bylaw and they have caused significant concerns and challenges related to semi-detached and row housing developments.

  • Zoning review of Green Building Initiatives: Preliminary meeting held with the City in summer of 2013 to define the project. Very unclear where the City intends to take this initiative (and whether or not it will proceed any further).

  • Zoning Bylaw review of the High Rise Apartment Zone (RA9): Preliminary meeting held with the City to define the project. Meeting with the City to place on July 23, 2014. City Planner advised that their goal is to have amendment done by year’s end.

  • Review of Drainage requirements for high density multi-family developments: Association has been advised that internal project scoping underway and that CHBA-ER will be engaged as project proceeds. Last contact in November 2013.

  • Zoning review of Family Oriented dwelling definition: The Association was advised informally (October 2013) that an internal review of this matter has been initiated. There has been no further contact on the issue since then.

  • Height and Grade Zoning Review: Meeting held with Builders and City planner to help define issues and review drafts. Very complex procedures are proposed to become even more complex.

  • Seasonal Road Ban: For the number of years, the City’s spring road bans have caused significant challenges for concrete pumper trucks and cranes to access new development areas. Some local vendors have invested in smaller trucks that can operate in areas subject to road ban limitations.

  • Restriction of Mechanical Devices in Side yards: City amended Zoning to restrict ‘mechanical devices’ (e.g., air conditioners) in side yards of narrow lots or lots adjacent to narrow lots.

  • Information to be provided to future home owners via Show Homes: In response to City motion, a detailed response has been provided to city planner. Report to Council via Executive Committee was submitted on September 2nd. Further discussions with city planner to take place to clarify Council direction.

  • Footing and Foundation Self-Verification process: Process to allow builders to self-verify that foundations are in compliance with code has moved from pilot project to standard process for single family, semi-detached and three unit row houses.

  • Self-Verification Options: Following up on success of Footing and Foundation Self-Verification process, City and Association are discussing other self-verification options (including process for third party inspections, improvement to processes and harmonization of inspections).

  • Elevate Initiative: Association hosted Councilor Walters to Government Relations Committee to discuss opportunities to work together on the initiative.

  • Growth Coordination Strategy: Association has representative on the Growth Coordination Committee.

  • Permit Timeframes: Current Planning providing monthly permit timeframe information to Association. Association is collecting similar data from members to allow for comparison. Both teams are looking to confirm that an apple to apple comparison is occurring and to look at ways to improve the process (e.g., expedited permits, self-compliance, effectiveness of inspections, improved quality of permit applications, etc.).

  • Social Housing Regeneration Advisory Group: Greg Christensen is the Association’s representative on this City initiative. Greg will serve as the Co-chair of the Advisory Group.

  • Cornerstones: Association has reconnected with Housing and Economic Sustainability and is looking to be engaged where expertise will help.
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Fort Saskatchewan:

  • Zoning Amendments: The City recently adopted new provisions to address concerns raised by industry when their Zoning Bylaw was adopted in 2013.

 

Leduc:

  • Leadership Dinners: The Association holds an annual leadership dinner with the City of Leduc. Last Dinner was held on April 28th with the Mayor and Council.

 

Spruce Grove:

  • Leadership Dinners: The Association holds an annual leadership dinner with the City of Leduc.  Dinner was held on September 29th with the Mayor and Council.

  • Meeting with Administration: The Association’s objective is to arrange for regular meetings with members of the City’s administrative staff responsible for the issuance of development and building permits.

 

St. Albert:

  • Housing Options – Housing Mix: City Council was presented a report on “St. Albert Housing Options – Housing Mix and Residential Housing Priorities Update” on June 23rd, 2014 and a further report to Council is anticipated in October 2014.