FORMAL PRESENTATIONS (Open to the Public)
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.
SECONDED: D. Brown
FOR THE MOTION: M. Figueira, R. Labonte, J. Mills, D. Brown, B. Nolan, D. Deshpande
AGAINST: T. Antoniuk, S. Kaznacheeva, C. Holmes