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.



Sun shadows impacts of proposed Holyrood Gardens

Many people have asked for information about the sun shadow impacts of Regency Developments proposed development at Holyrood Gardens which will be discussed on November 27, 2017 at the extension of the November 17 public hearing. We made an animation to share our interpretation of the data provided on the City of Edmonton’s website.

The images supplied to the City do not show the full view of the neighbourhoods, but we know that the shadows cast by the buildings reach farther into Strathearn and Holyrood than shown. Why? There are even longer shadows before 9:30 in the morning and after 4:30 in the afternoon. Our requests for the missing data were unanswered, so this is the best information we can provide.


December Sun Shadow Impacts


March to September Sun Shadow Impacts


Below are the sun rise and sunset times, as well as the length of the daylight hours on key calendar dates. How many hours of sun does your neighbour lose?

Mar. 21 – Sunrise (7:33 AM), Sunset (6:50 PM), Daylight Hours (12 hours, 17 minutes)

June 21 – Sunrise (5:04 AM), Sunset (10:07 PM), Daylight Hours (17 hours, 3 minutes)

Sep 21 – Sunrise (7:18 AM), Sunset (7:34 PM), Daylight Hours (12 hours, 16 minutes)

Dec. 21 – Sunrise (8:48 AM), Sunset (4:16 PM), Daylight Hours (7 hours, 28 minutes)


Watch your mailbox!

NovFlyerThis weekend Holyrood Development Committee members and community volunteers will deliver this flyer to your mailbox. You will also receive a letter that you can use or customize to share your feedback on the proposed rezoning of Holyrood Gardens with City Council.

The purpose of a Public Hearing is to allow citizens the chance to voice opinions and concerns over a decision facing City Council. Public Hearings are a critical forum for sharing your voice. It is also the LAST opportunity you have to offer comments to city officials.

The September Public Hearing was postponed to November 17, 2017. At that hearing 69 letters were on hand speaking against the proposal and 29 people registered to speak against the proposal.

After people speak for or against the proposal at the Public Hearing:

  • City Council will pass the bylaw as presented; or
  • City Council will make amendments to the bylaw it deems necessary and proceed to pass it; or
  • City Council may defeat the bylaw.


Write your letter to City Council in advance of the Public Hearing, Nov. 17

The Holyrood Development Committee is inviting residents to send a letter to City Council expressing your perspectives on the Holyrood Rezoning proposal. These letters will be made available at the Public Hearing on November 17, 2017. Anyone affected by upcoming transit oriented development in mature neighbourhoods is also invited to weigh in on this proposal.

You may cut and paste the following text into your own desktop publishing software. Downloads are available in the following formats: Microsoft Word | PDF


Office of the Mayor and Office of the Councillors
Care of the Office of the City Clerk
2nd Floor, City Hall, 1 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, AB, T5J 2R7

I am writing to share my perspective on Bylaw 18178 – Holyrood Gardens which is being brought to a Public Hearing on November 17, 2017. I trust you will scrutinize all letters and information presented regarding this re-development proposal.

On October 26, 2017, the City Administration, Regency Developments and the Holyrood Development Committee met to share their experiences leading up to the first Public Hearing. All parties agreed this project was fraught with problems including: poor communication, disrespectful engagement, swift pace and lack of support for community volunteers. Foundational relationships were not built. All perspectives were not secured. As a result this project was not informed by the best available information. This evidence should be enough for City Council to send the project back for additional rework.

Densification and precedent-setting large site developments require good urban design principles and exceptional public engagement. This project departs from the intent of City guidelines, policies, and plans. There are numerous variances in the DC2 application. While the technical background on variances will be presented by the Holyrood Development Committee at the Public Hearing, as a resident of Holyrood, I am concerned about:

  • Lack of a site vision/context plan developed with an educational and participatory planning process
  • Transparency of financial analysis, community contribution and affordable housing
  • Sustainability goals and integration with City strategies (e.g., Energy Transition, Winter Cities)
  • Site permeability, mobility and safety for young/old and community access to facilities for bicycles
  • Best practices & guidelines that recommend 2-7 storey development at neighbourhood stops
  • Fulsome exploration of approaches to meet density targets without highrises
  • Engagement on built form, green space, commercial activities, missing middle and height transitions
  • Need for an independent peer review by urban design specialists

My letter to adds to 69 letters City Council received opposing the Holyrood Gardens rezoning application prior to the September 11, 2017 Public Hearing. Many residents of my community support redevelopment and densification, however many residents also feel the current proposal represents overdevelopment of the site. In order for Edmontonians to embrace infill and densification, it is critical to model exceptional urban design principles.  

For these reasons, please return the proposal to the developer to ensure meaningful community engagement and exploration of new building forms for densification and traffic management. After community engagement, an independent review by the Edmonton Design Committee is necessary to create a well-informed urban design that ensures livability and integration with my community.

There is a better solution for Holyrood, one that is an inspirational model for future developments. Please support Holyrood by offering an opportunity to co-create this vision and be an advocate for high density transit oriented development development in the City of Edmonton.


Linda Cochrane, City Manager
Carolyn Campbell, Public Engagement

Join the HDC at a community check-in on Nov. 8, 2017


Since the disappointing postponement of the public hearing by City Council on September 11, 2017, your Holyrood Development Committee (HDC) has been hard at work. We produced a “Fast Facts” postcard with information about the Holyrood Gardens redevelopment. HDC members attended many public forums for the Mayoral and Ward Candidates to raise awareness about the redevelopment proposal and concerns around the City’s approach to transit oriented development. HDC member Mike Baran also wrote the song Vision 2020 about the development process. We profiled the song through Twitter on all major radio stations and to key radio celebrities October 7-11, 2017.

Public Hearing

The public hearing is scheduled for November 17, 2017. Holyrood residents and any Edmonton citizen with an interest in transit oriented development is encouraged to sign up to speak at the hearing. This is the final and most important step in the development re-zoning process. City staff have told us that the hearing is considered part of the engagement process, therefore it is critical we convey that we want to engage. Attendance at the hearing is a factor that City Council considers when making decisions. By attending you show the City you care about the effects of this proposed development. Speaking to City Council ensures they are aware of citizen’s concerns.

If you are unable to attend the public hearing, you can sign up to have someone else speak on your behalf. You can write a letter and have someone else read it into the record, so that your voice is heard. Your speaker will be limited to 5 minutes. Call 311 for details. If you were signed up to speak at the September public hearing, please indicate that your letter.

Form Letter

HDC will prepare a form letter for community members to model their own letters for City Council and our Ward 8 councilor. The letter will be distributed online, so keep your eyes peeled for it! The HDC is also planning to distribute a flyer to your mailbox reminding you to voice your opinions about the Holyrood Gardens rezoning proposal. This flyer drop is planned the first weekend of November. Volunteers to help with the flyer drop are welcome. Please email us at hdc@holyroodcommunity.org if you are available.

Community Check-In, November 8

Finally, the HDC will host a community information/prep session on November 8, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. at the Holyrood Community Hall. This event will give everyone a chance to catch up on the latest news about the proposed redevelopment and an opportunity to practice and refine speeches for the public hearing. Join your neighbours to learn more about the development and hear what the HDC and community speeches will sound like!

Donate to Holyrood Professional Advisors Fund

There is one more way you can help. Please donate to the HDC Professional Advisors Fund. Your donation will allow us to retain legal and professional advice concerning the development and development process. Your donation will also offset printing costs for flyers and posters. Donate at: www.tinyurl.com/fundhdc



Open letter to City Manager urges the City of Edmonton to consider expert advice and community input

Linda Cochrane, City Manager
City of Edmonton
3rd Floor, 1 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, Alberta
c/o city.clerk@edmonton.ca

Holyrood Development Committee urges the City of Edmonton to consider expert advice and community input

As concerned citizens and representatives of a highly impacted neighbourhood, Holyrood Development Committee urges City Manager Linda Cochrane to refer Regency Developments’ proposal to develop the Holyrood Gardens site into high rise, high density development to the Edmonton Design Committee. We also request that the City engage independent facilitators to support meetings between our community, the developer and the City.

City Council’s September 11, 2017 decision to postpone the Public Hearing on the redevelopment of the Holyrood Gardens site until November, creates a window of time that can be used to gain expert input and to conduct open, meaningful public engagement. It is an opportunity to right some wrongs, including a Council decision that seemingly implies Regency’s proposed high density development is a foregone conclusion.

At 10:30 p.m. on September 11, City Council voted to delay the Public Hearing on the development. Less than a day and half later, City Administration endorsed new underground infrastructure for the site.  While this decision was positioned as a prerequisite for any future development, it is hard to interpret it anything less than support for the current proposal.

For everyone who sat through eight hours of City Council discussion on September 11, the evening concluded with nothing more than a hand up to Regency Developments. When Council debated on when to re-schedule the Public Hearing, the CEO of Regency Developments was, in a highly unusual procedure, invited to speak. He used this platform to make a plea to allow new underground infrastructure to proceed. No public input was obtained. This was a stunning example of political manipulation and a sad day for our city’s governance process.

Effective, transparent, and fair public engagement was an election issue in 2013. It led to the creation of the Council Initiative on Public Engagement. Four years later, are we any further ahead when a precedent-setting development could proceed without meaningful and, at times, even respectful engagement with members of the impacted community? As a community directly affected by this proposed development, we say absolutely not. We believe that any intention to consider a precedent-setting development demands that we are also precedent-setting with exceptional public engagement. The process to date overly compromises many of the policies, plans, and independent design review processes the City established to ensure well-informed and well-supported urban design, livability, and integration with existing communities.

Upon careful review, it is evident that Regency Developments is selectively using the City of Edmonton’s TOD and Residential Infill guidelines for their own benefit and the City of Edmonton’s Planning Department is supporting this practice. The only question that remains is whether City leadership will stand behind its commitment to the public by ensuring that developers are guided to build developments that follow established guidelines. We should expect nothing less than a detailed review of the proposal by the City’s panel of urban design experts and a demonstration of true public engagement.

Holyrood Development Committee

Sept. 7 letter to City Council & reminder to register for public hearing

Sept7LetterOn September 7, 2017, the HDC sent a letter to City Council asking for Regency Developments’ proposal for Holyrood Gardens to be referred back to City Administration for rework and for peer review by the Edmonton Design Committee.

On September 11, 2017 the rezoning proposal will be presented to City Council at a Public Hearing.

Holyrood residents are encouraged to register to present. This development proposal is precedent-setting for all communities along the proposed LRT corridor where future transit oriented development will be located. For this reason, residents from these neighbourhoods are also encouraged to present feedback to City Council.

Visit this link to register:


You will need the following information to register:

  • City Council Public Hearing, September 11, 2017
  • Agenda Item 5.7
  • Bylaw 18178 – To allow for a mixed use, high density, transit oriented development with underground parking integrated with a future LRT stop, Holyrood