Development Meeting: November 17, 2014

Request for rezoning 2820 33rd St SW

A developer has requested CA support for this lot, which borders MC-3 (higher density) lots behind the strip mall on 26th avenue.  This application meets most of the city's non-statutory guidelines for multi residential infill.  It is close to amenities, close to transit, it's adjacent to existing multifamily development.  The only question is the roadway itself-  It is on a feeder street and not on a collector like 37th st or Richmond Road, although 33rd is likely to be redesigned a collector in the near future.  At the moment, the development committee will not be supporting this redesignation, but it's likely that the city will look on this redesignation more favourably than we do.

3404 Richmond Road update

This rezoning is contentious with the surrounding neighbours, citing parking, traffic, overshadowing, and unnecessary density concerns.

Calgary Planning Commission (CPC) has approved the rezoning from RC-2 to MC-2, which would permit building up to 6 units on this oversized RC-2 lot.  The surrounding neighbours are strenuously in objection to this redesignation and will presumably be appealing the CPC decision prior to the matter arriving in front of council. Committee member Gijs is continuing to liaise with the concerned neighbours and will be meeting with the developer to see if neighbourhood concerns and future construction challenges can be addressed.

The neighbours also were involved in this Metro article that spoke more about tree preservation than development issues.  Loss of mature tree canopy is a discussion that can be found throughout the development blog.

Design brochure/Community Character Statement

The committee had a presentation last week on drafting a community character statement, which is important in defining what community character is.  This can be later be added to any amendment to our aging ARP (Area Redevelopment Plan).  This would make community character a component of the statutory building requirements.

U of C visioning project

Keren will be touring the design faculty at the U of C and meeting with professors and advisors tomorrow.  The committee had been discussing what areas of study we'd like our student designates to look at on our behalf.

Design Brochure:

Karen is working with the webpage redesign team to flesh out more development content.

Future meeting dates: Meetings are open to anyone interested in development in Killarney-Glengarry.  We hope to see you there!

  • Monday Dec 1/2014
  • Monday Dec 15/2014
  • Monday Jan 12/2015
  • Tuesday Jan 27/2015

Development Meeting: November 3, 2014

7pm, KGCA Hall Downstairs

Item 1: Statement of Significance (SOS)

Karen from Britannia Community Association (BCA) joined us.  She presented BCA's Statement of Significance. This is a document that defines community character.  She's been presenting it via the Federation of Calgary Communities (FCC) to various interested community associations that share many characteristics.  Killarney is one such neighbourhood. While it speaks to things like heritage preservation and development, it's designed to communicate a broader vision for a community.The history of development in Calgary in the post war period is an interesting one. One of the issues is that development has shifted from being city-led to being developer-led.  This is no doubt due to the speed at which development pressures (like population growth) force cities to abandon their historical role in development.  Some will see this as a loss, since it kneecaps urban planning.  Others may view it as a boon, since whatever gets built gets built because it makes straight up economic sense for the developer.But most of us on development committees think that there needs to be balance.  For sure, development needs to make economic sense for the developer.  But the developer isn't under any obligation to think about the impact on complete community development, transit, parking, walkability, parks, and a whole host of other concerns that you and I might reasonably have about a development.

One of the things that Britannians treasure is their local shopping plaza.  With both daycare and a funeral home, it truly is a 'cradle to grave' shopping experience.

Brittannia Plaza is an excellent illustration of a community 'High Street' that provides a range of small businesses within walking distance of home.  Many of the businesses are original.
Brittannia Plaza is an excellent illustration of a community 'High Street' that provides a range of small businesses within walking distance of home. Many of the businesses are original.

Britannia also values some of the excellent examples of midcentury architecture.  While they don't define what materials or finishes houses can use, they do have an additional caveat on sideboard clearance.  By adding additional restrictions on height, side yard clearance, and front yard clearance, it's intended to minimize the jarring impact of large single family homes dwarfing over the legacy homes surrounding it.

This is an excellent example of midcentury modern.  Did Mike Brady design this one?
This is an excellent example of midcentury modern. Did Mike Brady design this one?
The Windsor Block is proposed for the intersection of 50th avenue and Elbow drive, once the high voltage ATCO right-of-way has been buried.  The CA is disappointed that the project is almost entirely commercial, when there is a significant demand for residential living in the neighbourhood.  There are also challenges with issues like traffic and parking.
The Windsor Block is proposed for the intersection of 50th avenue and Elbow drive, once the high voltage ATCO right-of-way has been buried. The CA is disappointed that the project is almost entirely commercial, when there is a significant demand for residential living in the neighbourhood. There are also challenges with issues like traffic and parking.

Britannia also embraces its namesake.  It was named around the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and she actually toured the area during that era, shortly after the birth of Prince Andrew.  Street and place names throughout Britannia reflect this commitment.So what, really, is the value of doing a Statement of Significance?  The problem with documents like this is that they lack any real weight.  Even when a community has put a great deal of thought, effort, and community consultation into deciding what they want their neighbourhoods to look like, there is no obligation for development interests to necessarily respect that.  Such documents aren't statutory, unlike an Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP).

One of the things that documents like this do is speak to style and design of development. This sort of thing is often considered outside of the role of community development, since being 'arbiters of style' is often a very subjective thing.  Developers rightly have an interest in knowing that if they complete any reasonable development checklist of requirements, that they won't have their development opposed simply because a community member arbitrarily determines that it's ugly.

It makes sense to develop this sort of document for Killarney.  Even if the document is not widely respected by the city or developers, it at least forces us to consider what we truly hold dearly about our community, and what is worth preserving.

To that end, we want your input - let us know what you think in the comments!

Item 2: Currie Barracks Open House:

A number of community members attended the Currie Barracks open house at the Military Museums last week.  For the uninitiated, this is the undeveloped part of the Currie Barracks site that will have an additional 5500 living spaces, so up to 11,000 residents and a whole While we're all interested in the changes to design that Canada Lands has come up with for this site, we're especially interested in what the transportation plan will be.

Unfortunately, this version of the presentation that was sponsored by the city couldn't offer more answers around transportation. There is still a BRT to downtown, a light (!) traffic passage north out to 33rd past Richmond Green golf course, and upgrades to the Flanders avenue interchange.

Item 3: Community Visioning project:

In conjunction with Richmond/Knob Hill community association, KGCA has access to the urban design faculty at the U of C.  They are looking to us for ideas on what needs study.  Here's where you can offer your input - email us if you have suggestions on an aspect of life in Killarney that could warrant study.  It could be social, demographic, economic, you name it.  If it's about community development, it's available for study.

Item 4: Land use redesignation lot at Richmond Road and 30th street update:

Gijs has volunteered to coordinate communication with the community association and community members surrounding this proposed land use redesignation.  The developer is proposing to change the designation to allow the building of up to 6 units on a 75x120' lot.  Neighbours are heavily opposed to the proposed redesignation, and are coordinating a response to the city.

Item 5: Update to Review of development at 2827 30th st SWDeveloper has reduced lot coverage from 49% to 45%, has eliminated the garage-top decks, received neighbour approval, and generally brought this property into conformation with the development bylaw.  We do not have to have further comment on this property.

Development Meeting: October 6, 2014

The agenda tonight includes the following elements: Review of draft document of development committee organization, goals, and purpose

This will be published in this space once textual revisions have taken place.

Review of development at 2827 30th St SW

This is an interesting proposal- It's a semidetached development, as most new builds in the neighbourhood are.  However, the two structures are offsetting- one has the house near the front of the lot, while the one next door is set back with the garage attached and a deck atop the garage.

2827 30th St SW
2827 30th St SW

It's an unusual design- the net effect is that there is building covering the lot at some point from front to back.  On top of that unusual configuration, the total development is almost 10% larger than permitted.  (45% permitted, 49% proposed).

Decks above garages are not typically permitted, nor is 49% lot coverage.  As a matter of course, the development alwayspushes back on lot coverage- we believe that the houses permitted under the existing bylaw are plenty big enough.

The decks above the garage had a bit more discussion.  There was some disagreement on whether these sorts of developments are universally a problem, or whether they should be permitted in situations where it is sensitive and sensible.

For the purpose of this development, we'll be pushing back on both.

Review of home based business requirements

A resident with a home based business.  This business, which is health care related, is hoping to run said business from their Killarney residence.  The question is whether the business would be categorized as a class 1 or class 2 business.  The distinction between the two is how many visits were expected, as well as the impact on parking.  In this case, the business looks like it won't have a significant impact on privacy, parking, or traffic.  Given that, our position is not to object.

Business repurposing inside of existing structure

A Killarney church is applying to run a 35-kid daycare and pre and post school care from within their facility.  This change-of-use has several requirements- parking, drop off and pickup location, outdoor playground screening.

The site is amenable for this purpose and there is lots of parking.  Given that, our position is not to object.  The committee agreed that this is a very suitable location for this sort of service.

Review of development plan for 2239 31st SW

This is a sensitive two storey Cardel semidetached that meets all of our development requirements.  There are some trees onsite that we would have previously liked to have seen retained, but they suffered extreme damage in the September treepocalypse, and aren't likely to survive.


Review of development plan for  3011 34th St SWThe design of this house is a little unconventional- it's a two story with a peaked roof, but with a false front that presents more as a modern finish.  It also has a number of unusual side yard cantilevers.  One of the things we really liked in these plans was a garage foundation with full depth frost walls.  Slab on grade garages have two serious problems- one is slab cracking, and the second is unsuitability to be developed into secondary suites down the road.  Our understanding is that with side-by-side double garages, this sort of foundation will be mandated as a standard in the near future.


Many committee members commented that they didn't find this design particularly attractive.  Amongst other things, it looks pretty bulky from the street.  But unfortunately, we're not arbiters of style, so that's not grounds under which we can or should object to the development.