It was a busy two days for B&A at the City of Calgary Council Meeting where we achieved approval on seven land development applications. The approvals were an accumulation of comprehensive planning and community engagement undertaken by B&A and our respective clients. The applications represent a dynamic and broad range of projects that will help continue to shape the future of Calgary.
CornerBrook comprises a complete neighbourhood within the Cornerstone community of northeast Calgary. A total of 144 acres, its ambition is to create a centralized Neighbourhood Activity Centre with main floor retail, apartments located above ground, adjacent townhouses, and a significant public open space realm, offering a gathering place for local residents. Significant wetlands, a stormpond, and associated park space form a north-south spine with a variety of housing forms surrounding it, all designed to address the Area Structure Plan and the New Community Planning Guidebook`s metrics.
The land, located one block west of the famous Garrison Woods High Street, was designated for multi-family residential development and didn’t allow for uses other than large scale townhomes. The Land Use Amendment Application supported the developer’s desire to cater to a wider mix of market. Thoughtful consideration was given for an architecturally pleasing modern 4 storey building with a mixture of small one bedroom to three bedroom apartments. Nestled in close proximity to 4 transit routes and near the popular Marda Loop Corridor, it is an ideal location for new home buyers who wish to live, work and play in their community. Care and attention was given to the neighbours’ concerns about building height and over-looking. The application proposed a relaxation of 8 parking stalls and a Smart Car Strata Car for the building – a new innovation for the City of Calgary.
An original Land Use Amendment was approved by City Council in May 2015 for the Currie Barracks project being developed by Canada Lands Corporation (CLC). The 2015 Land Use Approval included several Direct Control Districts (DC’s) that were tailored to the future vision for a livable and vibrant urban village. This Land Use Amendment accommodates the ongoing use of existing buildings and open spaces within Currie Barracks and CLC’s desire to continue to provide services in the area. It will replace the approved 2015 DC’s with new DC’s that allow for greater flexibility for on-going commercial and light industrial uses on an interim basis, while keeping the provisions for the ultimate redevelopment vision otherwise intact.
This Land Use Amendment Application was intended to make better use of an underutilized site that consists of four 1970’s era buildings. The sloping nature of the site and existing retaining walls coupled with the existing building location presented limitations for maneuvering large transport vehicles and resulted in significant constraints to attracting typical I-G industrial users.
Recognizing the transitional nature of the Manchester area, B&A Planning Group worked closely with the client to develop a unique Direct Control District which strives to maintain the industrial nature of the site while providing the opportunity for a broader range of uses including commercial, institutional and live work uses within the existing buildings. Despite City Administration’s refusal recommendation due to lack of policy in the area; B&A worked with the client to develop a strong rationale that with the support of the Area Councillor resulted in the approval of the land use amendment.
The existing land use had prescriptive provisions for the preservation of the majority of trees on site. In September 2014, or “Snowtember” as it has become known, the unexpected snow event severely damaged the aging deciduous trees on site. This event combined with challenges of implementing the approved Outline Plan to City standards and creating a contextually appropriate and market supportable development resulted in the need to prepare a Land Use Amendment. Cardel and Genstar worked closely with the community supported by B&A Planning Group to achieve a balanced approach to addressing community issues while delivering on the original vision of the community. B&A’s approach to working closely with the client to achieve their objectives while providing City administration with a strong rationale to confidently move forward with an approval recommendation was key to project success.
This project entailed a Land Use Amendment for a 3 hectare site in Walden from R-2M (Low Density Multiple Dwelling District) to M-1d85 (Multi Residential Low Profile District). An increase in density was supported by City policy due to the site’s location adjacent to a Community Activity Centre and South Macleod Centre as well as transit and amenities.
This piece of land is envisioned to accommodate three luxury homes on a significantly sloped site with views into the Rocky Mountains. Related Development Permit and subdivision applications are concurrently in process with the City.
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