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.