Redevelopment in inner-city neighbourhoods is happening at record speed. As the City of Edmonton manages the plethora of development permits, informing residents and community stakeholders of the latest developments has proved challenging. That’s why the City has put all current information about infill construction on a new website.
Brand new housing developments underway in many of Edmonton’s older communities are on the website at cityofedmontoninfill.ca with details for neighbourhood residents and how they can get involved. This website is part of the City’s evolving policy about infills in mature neighbourhoods as it tries to grapple with rapid redevelopment. Feedback from Edmonton residents on the issue of infill construction has been mostly positive but most people feel that the standards for construction in established neighbourhoods needs to be higher than new construction in emerging neighbourhoods.
Livia Balone of the City of Edmonton’s development and zoning services department says infill construction is a sensitive issue because building is taking place in areas where people live, affecting long-established communities. She told Edmonton media that the new website will keep residents up-to-date on the process, changes to infill policies and encourage discussion among stakeholders about what’s happening in Edmonton’s mature communities.
The website has several sub-sections for the particular interest groups involved, from residents to potential buyers to those thinking of purchasing a home/lot, knocking it down and building.
Some of the reading available on the website includes how infills are important to the evolution of Edmonton’s inner-city, how residents can be heard during the planning stages, what zoning by-laws apply in specific circumstances, how buyers can choose and engage a builder and the types of design that work well in an infill setting.
The City of Edmonton says that information will be added on an ongoing basis.
This website is just one initiative from the City as they navigate inner-city redevelopment. It’s part and parcel of the Edmonton Infill Roadmap, which is a work plan that covers off the next two years.
Where Edmonton’s infills are being built
Ritchie is a mature community on the south side of the City where developers are very busy with infill construction. Developers say that the most important aspect of the entire process, before knock-down occurs or pouring new foundations, is to open the lines of communication with the community and next-door neighbours. Many residents have been in Ritchie for several decades and want to be kept in the loop. Many aren’t aware of zoning by-laws in place and wise is the developer/builder that keeps these neighbours in the loop.
Rio Terrace, Glenora and Highlands are also neighbourhoods were older homes are disappearing in favourite of single-family or attached homes on mature lots. A lot of the issues that need to be worked out with neighbours in these communities are about fencing between properties, grading and water run-off, noise, length of construction, height of homes and more. Fencing around new construction is a From a developer point of view, taking an application to the city for approval and obtaining all the proper permits is a quicker, smoother process when the neighbours have already been consulted prior to the application. It shows due diligence and concern for the community.