City Plan back before council, developers
By: Christina Waldner
| Posted: Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 10:03 am
Airdrie’s City Plan was back before City council on July 7. A first draft of the plan was presented to council on May 20 by Tracy Corbett, manager of Planning and Sustainable Development.
The extensive document is a long-range strategic plan that sets the direction for new development throughout the city, including the future development of annexed lands.
A public hearing took place during the May 20 meeting, during which a number of developers and residents voiced their concerns with the original plan.
Corbett returned to council July 7 to present the revised plan that incorporates some of the changes and recommendations from the initial public hearing and council discussion.
A number of changes have been made to the map showing the city’s plan for future growth, including the addition of two extra parcels of land north of Veteran’s Blvd. and adjacent to Highway 2, and the removal of two parcels to the city’s southwest near the Hillcrest neighbourhood. The changes were made based on requests made by developers at the May 20 meeting.
Corbett asked council to retain a portion of the plan that requires 30 per cent of the housing stock within a Neighbourhood Structure Plan area be comprised of a mix of duplex, semi-detached, townhome, apartment and other attached housing styles, and a policy that restricts the development of small and narrow lot single-detached development to no more than 45 per cent.
However, Corbett suggested the addition of a policy that would give the City permission to override the aforementioned policies when there’s an application from a developer that is particularly innovative or is in the best interest of the City’s development and follows good planning practices.
Corbett said the addition was in response to some of the concerns raised by developers at the May 20 public hearing. For instance, WestMark Holdings, a company that builds higher-end, large estate homes, found these requirements too restrictive.
“This will allow the City to show some flexibility in the interpretation of (these policies),” said Corbett.
After some discussion, council decided to approve first reading of the revised City Plan.
Alderman Fred Burley said the City Plan sets the bar higher for developers.
“We do need small lots out there for first-time home buyers,” said Burley. “We need a mix. (These changes) make a better, more well-rounded community.”
The City Plan will return to council on Aug. 5.
To view the complete draft City Plan, visit www.airdrie.ca