The following is a letter sent on behalf of the Oliver Community League. It relates to a rezoning proposal going to council on Monday March 24, 2014.
March 16, 2014
Re: Proposed Hendrix Development (98 Ave & 111 St)
To City Council, Sustainable Development, Edgar Developments:
On November 20, 2013 Edgar Developments presented to the Oliver Community League Planning and Development Committee.
The league’s regular monthly board meeting overlapped with the Public Open House on December 4, 2013. Therefore a representative from the league was not in attendance. It was brought to our attention that there were a considerable number of concerned residents in attendance.
As such a meeting was held on the evening of March 6th, 2014 to discuss the development with residents who had various problems with the development and with the consultation process. It was brought up at the meeting and it bears repeating; the views of Oliver Community League are generated by a member-elected board and do not necessarily represent the views of all residents of the neighbourhood.
The following is the position of the Oliver Community League:
We are encouraged by the following elements:
The development includes 13 units in the townhouse podium that would be suitable for families. Currently there are only four planned three-bedroom units in the podium. We would like to see an increase in the amount of three bedroom units in this development as well as in all future developments in Oliver. The league strongly supports more family friendly housing options in our neighbourhood and moving forward would like to see a higher overall percentage of units meet this criteria.
The Community League understands that if urban sprawl is to be slowed, all neighbourhoods need to see an increase in density. If we can’t put a dense development a half a block from an LRT station within an already dense neighborhood then I would suggest that the City of Edmonton is not serious about curbing urban sprawl or about meeting it’s Way We Grow goals.
Based on the above, and weighing the concerns of residents with the benefits of the proposed development, the Oliver Community League supports the re-zoning application.
It’s worth noting that regardless of this conclusion the League is still is opposition to the manner in which the Sustainable Development conducts their public engagement. The current process is broken. We found this during the Molson Brewery/Crosstown rezoning and again with this rezoning. In both cases the League has used extensive volunteer resources to rectify the shortcomings. We are willing to work with the city to make the consultation process better.
Finally, if the above rezoning indeed passes it will require an amendment to the Oliver Area Redevelopment Plan. By the leagues count there has been over 20 such amendments since the plan was updated in 1997. This reflects the inadequacy of the ARP as a planning document. Residents are told a story by the ARP that does reflect the reality of the neighbourhood or current development patterns. As we have inquired about numerous times, we would like to see the ARP updated. If this is not possible within a reasonable time frame we ask that the plan be scrapped.
If you would like clarification on any of the points, please feel free to contact us.
Jarrett Campbell, President
Oliver Community League