Regency Developments’ proposal fails citizens in three ways

Regency Developments’ proposal for Holyrood Gardens is failing citizens in three ways: policy, planning, and process.

Policy  

  • COE Guidelines. Regency Developments’ proposal does not meet the City of Edmonton’s Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Guidelines or Infill Guidelines for Large Sites. The towers are too tall for the site (22 and 18 storeys). Guidelines suggest housing should be low to mid-rise apartments NOT high-rises.  
  • Urban form/City strategy. Insufficient details are provided demonstrating the development is a quality, sustainable design that fits with its surroundings. The developer refused to share information with the Edmonton Design Committee, a panel of independent design experts that are helping bring the City’s vision to life.
  • Floor plate. The floor plate of the towers is 25-60% bigger than established norms.
  • Site Vision & Community Context Plan. No neighbourhood plan was created with the community to guide or assess the developer’s proposal.  

Planning

  • Planning. Underground parkades, retail shops, LRT Station, and 85 Street crosswalks are all located within the same half-block on 93 Ave.
  • Traffic. Traffic impact assessment did not evaluate the impacts of the Valley LRT line and its predicted traffic congestion. No assessment of traffic impacts during peak school times were completed.
  • Safety. No pedestrian counts were done at the school during busy times of day.  
  • Population and Demographics. 1200 units could double neighbourhood population in 10 years.
  • The proposal will not replace the family-friendly housing of Holyrood Gardens. Only 36 family-friendly units (3 bedrooms) will be built. Of the remaining units, 204 will have 1 bedroom and 960 units will be 2-bedroom and 2-bath units. Units will be priced $450-500k with additional condo fees.
  • Loss of Holyrood Gardens residents will affect the Holyrood school; of the 50 English language program students, 30 live in Holyrood Gardens. Losing these students could mean the loss of the English language program.

Process

  • Developer. The developer is failing citizens by:
  • Ignoring community requests to lower building heights; instead they propose taller buildings.
  • Inadequate community compensation compared to other communities.
  • Not informing Holyrood Gardens tenants about their activities or future impacts.
  • City of Edmonton. City Administration is failing citizens by:
        • Lack of details. The community has not been able to provide valuable feedback that could be included in the design.
        • Sidestepping TOD guidelines and infill controls. Why is Planning not guiding developers to follow the city’s current guidelines and policies?
        • Ineffective public engagement process, with fast-tracked timeline and limited community collaboration.

       

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Author: HolyroodDevComm

The Holyrood Development Committee was created by the Holyrood Community League to address development activities in the neighbourhood.