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Suburban Development and Sprawl

Was this ever built?
resident6.jpg

 
Discussion at public hearings yesterday regarding a 4 unit and 3 unit row housing proposal on two lots in Hazeldean.

There was a petition of 43 homeowners opposing it, in large part, due to the already stressed street parking situation.

It's interesting, in the 70s Hazeldean had more than 5,000 residents council heard and now it's something like 3,600. And yet, people have more cars and residents don't want to give up their parking space for themselves and their guest in front of their home. What about your garage, one homeowner was asked. Apparently more people are using their garages for storage and not parking.
So there's less residents in the community, but parking is more of a squeeze because of more cars per household. I guess neighbourhood parking used to be regulated.

Coun. Knack talked about this as ongoing challenge in infill neighbourhoods where there is a growing issue of more parked cars for the streets.

He also highlighted that if the city was to build out to its borders in the northeast, southeast and southwest, it would result in a $1.4 billion loss to city due to the costs of building infrastructure- that's after revenues from property taxes. And that doesn't include ongoing operational costs of snow removal, providing transit, police, fire, libraries, rec, etc.
 
Discussion at public hearings yesterday regarding a 4 unit and 3 unit row housing proposal on two lots in Hazeldean.

There was a petition of 43 homeowners opposing it, in large part, due to the already stressed street parking situation.

It's interesting, in the 70s Hazeldean had more than 5,000 residents council heard and now it's something like 3,600. And yet, people have more cars and residents don't want to give up their parking space for themselves and their guest in front of their home. What about your garage, one homeowner was asked. Apparently more people are using their garages for storage and not parking.
So there's less residents in the community, but parking is more of a squeeze because of more cars per household. I guess neighbourhood parking used to be regulated.

Coun. Knack talked about this as ongoing challenge in infill neighbourhoods where there is a growing issue of more parked cars for the streets.

He also highlighted that if the city was to build out to its borders in the northeast, southeast and southwest, it would result in a $1.4 billion loss to city due to the costs of building infrastructure- that's after revenues from property taxes. And that doesn't include ongoing operational costs of snow removal, providing transit, police, fire, libraries, rec, etc.

Were the rezoning proposals approved?
*Edit: I found the minutes, approved 13-0.*

Speaking as someone who lives in Hazeldean, the neighbourhood can and should support a lot more people. It’s a great area.

Also, once the Zoning Bylaw Renewal Initiative is passed, South Hazeldean will no longer be zoned RF1 (only single family homes) and such projects will be able to be built without going through the rezoning process. (Most of North Hazeldean is RF3 so these projects can already move forward without rezoning.)

This is a good thing!
 
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Saw this on Reddit, and it's apparently from Ashley Salvador's blog

d9261d_cd8e6637f54442238bd263392304c7b4~mv2.png


There's also this, which I snagged from her blog post. https://www.ashleysalvador.com/post/guiding-growth-for-complete-communities

d9261d_0b153efe3440417a8d01174c99440218~mv2.png



Frankly, it's REALLY nice to finally have a visual of this.
I don't think spreading this information around without context is helpful. Low tax areas can be a net amenity/plus to the overall city. If we use the logic that only high-tax generating areas deserve maintenance/investment/upkeep, then we'd better stop maintaining our river valley - the map shows it generates almost no direct tax revenue. I think some nice low density areas are still essential for the overall health of the city - i.e. there is an argument for subsidizing some areas. In other words, you have to look at the indirect tax effects of an area, not just the direct tax revenue from a particular 'hexagon'. Equally true, if downtown were more attractive, it would generate even more in taxes, which would be a huge net benefit to the entire city.
 
I am confused after reading that blog. I get the substantial completion bit to a degree but isn't that mostly taken care of by the market in that developers and builders want to see their neighborhoods fairly built out before opening up further lands. In terms of the shortfalls in revenue vs. cost to the city for new areas I don't see substantial completion improving that either. It would appear to me the solution is 1. raise taxes, 2. lower costs 3. increase density requirements further.
 
I like the blog myself and I see she is also making the case that the city should not just track newer developments in terms of substantial completion (being a 15 min community) but also that the city track older neighbourhoods to ensure the city is moving towards its goal of 50% of new builds as infill- but currently these are neither tracked nor required in the substantial completion framework.

She makes the case that new suburban developments should not be approved unless the city is meeting its infill targets. Understandably, greenfield developers do not want their lines of business to be tied to the success of another part of the industry. However, she says, there is the possibility that if we do not tie opening future lands to the redevelopment of existing lands, we could miss our targets entirely with significant economic consequences.

Just in terms of roads (how may more kms are we going to continue to add?)

Screenshot_20230829-124754_Gallery.jpg


The figure below was determined using 11,000km, and now the cost would be more as our volume of roads are expanding fast - and this is just replacement, not including maintenance and snow clearing).

Screenshot_20230829-173439_Gallery.jpg
 
I don't think spreading this information around without context is helpful. Low tax areas can be a net amenity/plus to the overall city. If we use the logic that only high-tax generating areas deserve maintenance/investment/upkeep, then we'd better stop maintaining our river valley - the map shows it generates almost no direct tax revenue. I think some nice low density areas are still essential for the overall health of the city - i.e. there is an argument for subsidizing some areas. In other words, you have to look at the indirect tax effects of an area, not just the direct tax revenue from a particular 'hexagon'. Equally true, if downtown were more attractive, it would generate even more in taxes, which would be a huge net benefit to the entire city.
I don't think anyone is looking at this and coming to that conclusion. Parks and green space are essentially excluded from the diagrams as they have no development or development potential.

The empty white space doesn't seem to imply to me that that is an economic opportunity or drain, just that it's not really part of the conversation.
 
I really appreciate images like this that are provided, I think they will be key to getting people on board with new infill, showing how it doesn't have to change the neighbourhood.

View attachment 505648
I’d also argue that many of the white homes seem overly small. Most mature neighborhoods seeing increased density already have larger 2 story homes that make skinnies/towns/duplexes, even stacked towns not seem at all bigger than the existing neighborhood form. Apartments 4+ are really all that make a street feel different.
 
True. And if we didn't allow for infill, many of these old small homes would be replaced by Mcmansions that maximize the existing lot. Maybe they should have included a few of those as well haha, to show that changes will happen either way, so you might as well allow for some density.
 

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