Update on four development proposals

Holyrood Gardens

The Holyrood Gardens redevelopment proposal was reviewed by the Edmonton Design Committee (EDC) on May 1, 2018. The EDC provided a letter of non-support and pointed to a number of general concerns including: errors in the numerical calculations within the review package, and discrepancies between some of the DC2 text and the graphics. The HDC indicated the revised proposal appeared to be aimed at providing density rather than creating a sense of place or addressing the character of Holyrood. They also felt the revised proposal was a literal interpretation of the City of Edmonton’s guidelines (e.g. angular plane guideline) without exploring a more creative and integrated built form that fit with the existing neighborhood. To review all of EDC’s comments, please visit the minutes of the May 1, 2018 meeting on the City of Edmonton’s website.

Regency Developments presented their revised proposal to the community at a public open house on May 2, 2018. The HDC designed, printed and delivered flyers to homes in Holyrood and Strathearn encouraging community members to attend the open house and provide their feedback. HDC attended the open house and had many conversations with the community. The week following the Holyrood Gardens open house, Regency Developments chose to revise and submit a different version of the proposal for review by the City Planning department. This revised proposal is tentatively scheduled to be presented to City Council at a Public Hearing on July 9, 2018. HDC will continue to keep the lines of communication open with Regency Developments. We hope to have discussions with City Planning and Regency surrounding this newly revised version of the proposal. HDC would like to see any revised proposal be reviewed by the EDC and presented to community for their feedback.

9412 – 9430 83 Street

The rezoning application for 9412, 9418, 9424 and 9430 83 Street went to Public Hearing on Monday, May 7. Bylaw 18389 was unanimously approved by council. No one signed up to speak in opposition of the redevelopment. HDC would like to thank the developer; Stuart Reid of Infinity Capital Developments, who worked together with HDC to understand issues and resolve concerns.

Infinity has also entered into a “Good Neighbour Agreement” with the Holyrood Community League. A Good Neighbour Agreements sets out the expectations the developer agrees to comply with during construction, including adherence to City bylaws. These agreements identify community concerns, establish how issues will be dealt with, and who should be contacted if there are issues. The agreement also states that the developer will communicate timelines, major milestones and in the future, sit down with HDC to have discussions surrounding landscaping and ways to integrate new residents into the community.

8302 95 Avenue

Prior to a pre-application notice being sent to neighboring property owners, HDC and representatives from St. Luke’s Church sat down to discuss a rezoning application for 8302 95 Avenue with Urbis Developments and their consultants, Pario Plan. Urbis Developments, a local company owned and operated by Edmonton architect Rick Ardnt, distributed a thorough and informative notification letter with their intentions to rezone the land from RA3 to DC2 (Site Specific Direct Control). The DC2 will be based off of the RA7 zone with some minor changes. The proposal will take into account the city’s Transit Oriented Guidelines and the Medium Scale Residential Infill Overlay.

The proposed redevelopment would be a 4-story building with townhomes that face 95 Avenue on the lower level. It would encompasses 12 units and provide above ground parking. Urbis and Pario Plan are requesting feedback from HDC and have provided us an information package with the details of the proposal. More information and further details about this redevelopment will be available soon.

Connect Bonnie Doon/Bonnie Doon Mall

An application has been submitted to rezone the Bonnie Doon Centre shopping mall site, and the nearby property at 8715 85 Street and 8420 85 Street. The proposed upzoning would allow for a high-density, mixed-use, transit-oriented development. This would consist of up to 6,000 residential units along with up to 93,000 m2 of retail, office, and commercial space. The proposed development would create a number of districts on the site, including a commercial district, a garden district, a health and wellness district, a retail and entertainment district along with a pedestrian focused boutique district including a unique central park in the heart of the site. Parking for the development will be primarily underground, and new streets throughout the site would provide bicycle lanes and pedestrian priority to the Bonnie Doon LRT stop.

The City held a public open house on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. Many people from the communities surrounding Bonnie Doon Mall attended the event. There was a substantial amount of information provided for guests and attendees were encouraged to provide feedback. Additionally, Morguard Developments continued to seek public feedback by re-opening their “Inspiration Center” located inside Bonnie Doon Mall on the weekend following the open house. Information from the May 16, 2018 open house is available online at https://connectbonniedoon.com

Note: The Holyrood Development Committee is a subcommittee of the Holyrood Community League. We ask that community members wishing to continue to support the Holyrood Development Committee purchase a 2018/2019 Holyrood Community League membership. Your membership supports the league and provides you with access to community programs and events!  Memberships can be purchased at: SEESA (9350-82 St); efcl.org/membership; Servus Credit Union locations and at most Holyrood Community League events.



News roundup from May 2, 2018 information session for Holyrood Gardens



Here’s the news roundup covering the Holyrood Gardens Information Session on May 2, 2018. The Holyrood Development Committee delivered a flyer to virtually every residence in Holyrood. Thank you to the hundreds of people who came out to share their thoughts.

Do you have things you would like the Holyrood Development Committee to know before this goes to City Council? It’s not too late to add your voice. Share below in the comments section below.

“‘A step backwards:’ Holyrood residents disappointed with developer’s new design”

“Revised proposal for Holyrood Gardens doesn’t win over neighbours”

“‘It looks like a slum’: Holyrood neighbours disappointed at project’s new design”

“Holyrood Gardens revised plan misses mark again, residents say”



Developer and HDC to collaborate on updating the Holyrood Gardens proposal

The Holyrood Development Committee is beginning to together with City Administration and Regency Developments to address the motion made by City Council to refer the Holyrood Gardens proposal back to the developer.

The motion called for the developer to ensure that building heights and massing comply with the City’s guidelines for Residential Infill. The motion also directed the developer to work with the community to address and mitigate the traffic impacts of the development. HDC will be collaborating with Regency and seek to co-create a positive outcome for all stakeholders.

The HDC’s is seeking a thoughtful proposal that addresses these items and recommendations received after review of the proposal by the Edmonton Design Committee. The HDC will be engaging in conversations and design workshops with the developer to provide positive, proactive suggestions to address the specifics of the referral motion.

A community event will be planned in between the design workshops to inform about the design considerations and to secure additional input into the design workshops. The dates for the design workshops are being finalized and the date for the community event will be determined soon. The community event likely be at the end of March or the beginning of April. The hope is to complete the Holyrood Gardens project to June 25, 2018. Stay tuned for more details.




Holyrood Gardens update from city councillor Ben Henderson

Councillor Henderson send the following email on the afternoon of December 14, 2017 to update people who messaged him about the Holyrood Gardens proposal.

===start of email===

Thank you all for emailing me abut the Holyrood Gardens proposal and once again an apology for the group email but there were once again too many to reply individually.

I wanted to let you know what had happened at the public hearing about this proposal and what I believe will happen next.

We ended up taking two days to do the public hearing and I wanted to thank the many people who came out and made presentations to Council. In large part we heard that although people were supportive of a development on the land there were concerns about the details of this particular proposal and a strong feeling that it could be done better. The particular concerns were about the height of the buildings and the way they interfaced with the neighbouring single family properties and worries about traffic spill over and its impacts on the local roads within the community. There were also many who felt strongly that to ensure a quality development the project should go through the Edmonton Design Committee for their response.

Based on this I put forward a motion to refer the project back to our administration with some very specific parameters for improvement. The precise motion is as follows:

That the September 11, 2017, Urban Form and Corporate Strategic Development report CR_5108 be referred back to Administration to return with a proposal that generally meets the large site guidelines for the 35 percent plane, the tower floor plate size, and work with the community on potential road closures to mitigate traffic cutting back into the community including concerns about ramp design and pedestrian access on 93 Avenue and refer the revised proposal to the Edmonton Design Committee.

In simple terms this means that the height of the buildings will have to adjust to make sure that they are no higher than what would be captured from a 35 degree angle from the edge of the neighbouring properties. This angle was worked out as part of our existing city policy to protect the neighbours access to sunlight and sky. The smaller floor plates (basic size of every floor) also means that tall buildings are narrower also allowing for sun and view penetration. The points on the traffic are self explanatory.

The motion passed 8 to 5.

The applicant now has two choices. They can either walk away from the project or they can go back to work on it to come back with something that fits within these parameters. My understanding is that they are interested in doing the latter and that conversations with our planning department and the community should start up again soon. My hope is that at the end of the process we will have a development that can move forward, that will be something the majority will be happy with, can see the site get developed and working as a good transit oriented development, will mitigate the negative effects on the neighbourhood,  and can be a real benefit to the community.

Please let me know if any of you have any questions.


===end of email===


“Holyrood decision bodes well for future”, Edmonton Journal, Dec. 2, 201

Below is our “letter to the editor” response to the Edmonton Journal article written by David Staples on November 29, 2017. You can also view our response online. Comments are welcome on the Edmonton Journal’s webpage.

On Nov. 27, the Holyrood Development Committee (HDC) and community members stood before city council at a public hearing regarding Regency Developments’ up-zoning proposal for Holyrood Gardens.

At the community’s request, council referred the proposal back to administration to “… return with a proposal that generally meets the large site guidelines for the 35-per-cent plane, the tower floor plate size, and work with the community on potential road closures to mitigate traffic cutting back into the community … .”

Council also started the process to require all future large infill sites and transit oriented developments (TOD) be referred to the Edmonton Design Committee. This landmark decision will see an independent panel of urban design experts provide best practice recommendations for all future high-density TOD projects.

The HDC would like the city to prepare a neighbourhood plan to account for more densification and development in Holyrood. Our community is expected to grow rapidly and this plan will set clear expectations for land-use alternatives.

The community league hopes this inclusive, holistic approach to planning will create spaces that welcome new families and embrace seniors who want to age in place.

We look forward to a robust and meaningful community-engagement process that includes all key stakeholders. With better collaboration, in-depth analysis and discussion, between residents, the city and Regency Developments, the Holyrood Stop will become a great transit-oriented place and a model TOD for Edmonton.

Sherri Shorten, Holyrood Development Committee

We did it! Holyrood Gardens proposal referred back to developer for rework.

At the Public Hearing on November 27, 2017, City Council made a motion to refer the Holyrood Gardens proposal back to the developer and City Administration for rework. This is a fantastic accomplishment. We are pleased to have created time and opportunities to work with the City and developer to come up with a transit oriented development solution that is a best practice model in mature neighbourhoods. We are also pleased to report that City Council passed a motion to refer all future transit oriented development proposals to the Edmonton Design Committee.

For additional background, please refer to these two media stories:

Thank you to everyone in the community who helped amplify awareness about the many variances from guidelines that were associated with this project. The Holyrood Development Committee estimates about 3,000 hours were invested in this work since April 2017.

We still need your help. We’re seeking to reach our fundraising goal of $2500. Please donate to the Holyrood Professional Advisors Fund to help us offset costs and help us prepare for engagement opportunities associated with creating a new development proposal.