“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

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Edmonton Journal Article: Highrise developments, city consultation irk residents of Ward 8

Journalist Keith Gerein wrote an article addressing the concerns of Ward 8 with respect to the Holyrood Gardens proposal. Highlights of this article include:

  • Kirsten Goa, Ward 8 candidate, indicating she would like a more robust consultation process that engages residents earlier in the process and features real conversations over surveys.
  • Maureen Duguay, president of the Strathcona Community League asks. “Why does density have to equal highrise?” and that the “…biggest concern has been the consultation process. We get very frustrated going against a big machine that has unlimited resources when we work with the city and developers.”
  • Ben Henderson saying he is irritated at the city’s willingness to blow up its plan.

The article is available here:

Highrise developments, city consultation irk residents of Ward 8, Edmonton Journal, October 6, 2017.

Edmonton Journal – Ward 8 candidate forum: development controversies ignite passions

Last night several members of the HDC attending the Ward 8 candidates forum. When someone asked about what candidates would do to address the power imbalance between developers and city staff on one side, and citizens on the other side, the audience broke into applause.

The Edmonton Journal published the following article late October 2, 2017: Ward 8 candidate forum: development controversies ignite passions. 

We encourage all residents of neighbourhoods to raise this issue with candidates at all forums over the coming weeks. Please visit the City of Edmonton’s website to learn about the time, date and location of many forums.

Edmonton Journal article: Industry expert urges council to learn from Holyrood Gardens scramble

City council’s last-minute scrambling on the Holyrood Gardens redevelopment has one industry expert calling for a new approach to planning these new mini-downtowns around LRT stations. Read more…