East Junction | 86m | 25s | Regency Developments | DER + Associates

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Information session for revised Holyrood Gardens rezoning proposal
June 20, 2018

Drop in to an information session about the final version of a proposed rezoning at 8310 and 8311 93 Avenue, known as Holyrood Gardens. The proposed rezoning would allow for a mixed use, transit oriented development containing a maximum of 1200 residential units in 8 buildings ranging in height from 8 to 25 storeys.

Date: Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Time: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Location: Holyrood School Gymnasium, 7920 94 Avenue

Learn more about how feedback previously gathered from the public, the Holyrood Development Committee and the Edmonton Design Committee informed the final version of the proposal. There will also be a chance to learn more about the City Council Public Hearing process and how to participate when the proposed rezoning goes to Public Hearing for a decision on July 9, 2018.

In November 2017, City Council referred the initial application back to City administration and the applicant to make revisions to address concerns related to traffic congestion, height and shape of the buildings and transition of the development to the surrounding community. After working with the City and the Holyrood Development Committee, the applicant presented a revised version of the proposal at a public engagement session on May 2, 2018. Based on feedback from that session and from the Edmonton Design Committee, more revisions were made that have resulted in the final version that is going to Public Hearing.

For more information:

Media contact:
Karen Burgess
Communications Advisor
Development Services
Latest DC2 and admin report is up:
http://sirepub.edmonton.ca/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=2110&doctype=AGENDA (5.2)

EDC report:

B.4. Holyrood Master Plan (Rezoning)
Jimmy Amichandwala - Der Architects.

A. Zepp and W. Sims left the meeting due to conflicts.

MOVED: J. Mills Motion of Non-support

In general the Edmonton Design Committee continues to support higher densities for Transit Oriented Developments in this area but significant refinement and / or redesign of this project is still needed.

The Committee appreciates how this project has evolved since the presentation on May 2, 2018, however the Committee still has a number of concerns which require further refinement at a design quality consistent with best contemporary urban design practices:
● The project advances design features aiming to mitigate impacts rather than integrating existing neighbourhood with the future development in a seamless manner as expected when designed through a holistic master plan approach.
● The submission lacked graphic representation of proposed urban design principles expressed in the DC2 text at a level of detail that they could be adequately considered. The Committee looks at applicants to provide certainty of urban design outcomes in their submissions to evaluate the merits of a project.

The Committee also has a number of specific concerns related to the following outcomes as identified by the Applicant, that require further resolution:

1. Site Layout and Planning
○ While there has been some identification of open space type and function, the proposed design continues to lack an integrated open space and public realm, with no identification of the hierarchy of open spaces. The Committee considers a master planning approach to a site of this size to be essential to achieve good urban design.
○ While the package includes some analysis of the existing community context, additional identification of basic placemaking elements linking the analysis to the proposed urban design features would be beneficial.

2. Overall Massing and Built Form
○ Additional variation in building types, not just building heights, should be pursued.
○ The Committee continues to support the exploration of alternative built forms for the provision of family-oriented housing, particularly along the back alley (e.g. row housing housing).
○ Rather than an extensive list of provisions that may be better suited for individual buildings, the Committee is of the opinion that the DC2 text should describe and define essential elements of master plan for a site of this size (i.e.: block patterns, mobility network, open space, street interface, etc). The Applicant is further encouraged to consider these elements to refine sub-areas and/or precincts, as verbally described during the presentation, to define densities, massing, and built forms, that reflect site-specific conditions, complete stages, as well as the realities of construction phasing.

3. Integration into the Community
○ The proposed design continues to lack a sufficient consideration of edge conditions. Although the site dimensions presents challenges to balance the overall massing on all edges of the proposed development, the Committee remains of the opinion that the appropriate master planning solution requires built forms along the eastern edge of the site abutting the existing neighbourhood.
○ The Committee appreciates the Applicant’s explanation for not addressing the above mentioned issue as provided in the letter date May 3, 2018; however, the Applicant is encouraged to continue to discuss with Administration operational solutions to serve buildings that could front the back alley.
○ The Applicant is further encouraged to consider how 93 Avenue will be used daily by the community; i.e. how is the transit plaza accessed, is there appropriate bicycle parking, interaction between vehicles and pedestrians, etc. Similar considerations are required at the southwest corner of the site.

4. Access to and From the Site
○ While improvements have been made to connectivity into and through the site, the Committee feels more refinement is needed to ensure the proposed pathways and walkways to adjacent neighbourhoods respond to site-specific place-making elements while providing good connectivity.

5. Enhanced Pedestrian Realm
○ The proposed design continues to show little evidence of an enhanced pedestrian realm, with little design support within the package in the form of cross sections, precedent images, etc.
○ The proposed design does not yet sufficiently explore the open space and landscape opportunities within the large areas of landscape over structure (i.e. green roof).
○ The Committee is not convinced that these open space elements can be appropriately refined at Development Permit stage without the master plan framework described in previous points of this letter.

6. Pedestrian Experience
○ Although the regulations indicate a larger ‘transit plaza, as illustrated it does not appear to be of sufficient size or configuration to function much differently as a widened sidewalk. The package lacks detail on how the plaza is to be used or programmed. Rather than defer to future development permit stages, the Committee is of the opinion that Administration could further facilitate the discussion with the Applicant about the design and function of the plaza at this stage of the process to provide certainty of urban design outcome to all parties.
○ In addition to glazing requirements, the Applicant is further encouraged to include requirements for active frontages to activate the public realm.
○ While there has been some differentiation in the types of open spaces, more refinement is needed to establish connectivity (e.g.: connectivity between the plaza and the publicly accessible park).

7. Sun Shadows / Wind Impacts
○ The Committee recommends that the DC2 text be revised so that at the Development Permit stage, all buildings 20 metres tall and higher require wind impact studies.

While the Committee appreciates the significant amount of effort that has been directed to address the concerns listed on the letter dated May 3, 2018, the Edmonton Design Committee has the responsibility of reviewing projects in a comprehensive manner which includes building, site and surrounding context. It is evident that this project would have greatly benefited from the standard EDC review framework where applicants have opportunities to engage with EDC at both an Informal and Formal Presentation. Furthermore, it would be of benefit for the applicant to further discuss with EDC any required design refinements at the Development Permit stage.

FOR THE MOTION: M. Figueira, R. Labonte, J. Mills, D. Brown, B. Nolan, D. Deshpande
AGAINST: T. Antoniuk, S. Kaznacheeva, C. Holmes

Rezoning passed with amendments. Unanimously.


More details later.


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So what was approved is:
Holyrood Gardens Redevelopment | 86m | 25s | Regency Developments | DER + Associates



A = 2s
B = 4s
C = 6s
D = 12s
E = 25s
  • 1,200 units
  • ~1 parking stall per unit (all underground)
  • ~0.5 bike parking stalls per unit
  • Minimum 120 family-oriented units
  • Retail on the corner of 93 Avenue facing a transit plaza
  • 10/85 affordable housing commitment (10% of units of each building will be offered to the city for 85% market rate; normal policy is 5/85)
  • Towers have a maximum floorplate of 750m²
  • Setbacks and stepbacks now generally comply with large site infill guidelines
  • Connectivity from the community through to the LRT stop is enhanced

During the hearing, here's what our committee managed to get amended:
  1. Each phase of the development will be subject to EDC review at the DP stage
  2. Each building over 20m requires a wind study
  3. A minimum of 20% of the family-oriented housing must be built on the south half of the site
  4. Separate sunset clause on the north half of the site (south half is one building within 10 years, north half is one building within 15 years)
  5. Specific parameters for negotiating a Good Neighbour Agreement
  6. Parking ramps on 93 Ave will be right-in right-out only (with the intent of having traffic flow clockwise around each half of the site, with the rear lane made one-way southbound)
  7. Community will be involved in the second TIA to be done before starting north half of the site

We had also requested, but did not get:
  1. Minimum 60 units that are 2 bedroom + den (flexible family-oriented)
  2. Maximum 700 units on either half of the site (to ensure a more even spread of density)

We also got a motion passed that instructs city Admin to continue working with the community to address traffic mitigation, including changing the laneway to one-way southbound and implementing community-driven traffic calming on 93 Avenue where it enters the neighbourhood.

It's been a journey to try and get the best possible development on this site. We didn't get everything we hoped, and still have a lot of concerns about what is proposed, but it's vastly improved from where we started. We have done our best to keep the bar at a reasonable level when it comes to design, process, and community contributions. We've set some precedents for other future rezonings, pointed out gaps in city policy, and even brought about changes to city policy. And we've set an example for other communities on how to deal with major rezonings in their own neighbourhoods. It's actually kind of unreal at how much we've accomplished.


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Oh and a big 'ole middle finger to Councillors Nickel and Caterina for attempting to shut down debate on our amendments by moving to close the hearing before debating them. You were rightfully given a dressing-down by the Mayor, and your motion was rightfully shot down by every other Councillor. Unbelievable level of disrespect to all the hard work we put in.

(Nickel disappeared after that and did not return to vote on any amendment or the three readings)
Thank you Dave for you involvement in this! Your ammendments are very reasonable, and I'm glad the city agreed to most of them. Too bad they wouldn't accept the last two, did they give reasoning?
Glad there will be some retail (93 ave.), however is there really no other retail on site, such as on 90th ave. or closer to 95th? A small retail area like that may provide walkable amenities to the new community, but it's hit or miss on who leases it out, and having more retail spaces would definitely improve those chances.
@seamusmcuffs We knew those ones would be tough sells as they affect the economics of the project. We thought we'd give it a shot, especially since family housing in mature areas is something important to a lot of Councillors, the community, and the city, but unfortunately they couldn't agree that this is the way to do it.

Personally I would love to have seen more retail stretch along both 93 Ave and 83 St, but then you have added challenges finding parking for it (I know, I know), plus it could be further challenged by the Bonnie Doon redevelopment when that gets going.
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