Update from Gian-Carlo Carra
In talking with and receiving emails from scores of Erltonians, there seem to be tremendous amounts of misinformation circulating about the Anthem Development site’s proposed land use changes and its associated Area Redevelopment Plan amendments. Concerns that there are major changes being requested by the applicant are simply wrong. As I understand the proposal, there are two minor changes to the Land Use being sought and one clarification of the policy within the Erlton Area Redevelopment Plan. Additionally, and beyond the misunderstandings surrounding what is being proposed, the valid concerns about how the site will function are unfortunately not part of the considerations at this stage of the process: they are issues to be addressed and solved at the next step, the Development Permit application. At issue in this application are:
- The first bylaw change proposed is that the minimum office requirement be removed. This will certainly result in a larger, and potentially exclusively, residential component in the towers that the applicant is already allowed to build, but it will in no way change the form of the allowed development.
- The second bylaw change proposed is to increase the size of the grocery store so that it meets the requirements of the tenant that they’ve secured – rumored to be Sobeys. This has precipitated fears that the commercial component of the site will draw customers from a wide trade area and increase traffic within the neighbourhood. While this is invariably true, the fact is that successful neighbourhood main streets are only successful in providing adequate services to local residents if they significantly bolster their trade by expanding their customer-base beyond the neighbourhood; the question before Erlton is a larger and more viable grocery store in the community, or one that either struggles or fails to exist. While concerns as to how a large grocery store is to comfortably fit into a pedestrian scaled main street are valid, but it’s both possible as well as an issue to be solved next, at the Development Permit stage.
- The third change/clarification being sought relates to the Erlton Area Redevelopment Plan which has policy dating from when Anthem’s land use was adopted several years ago. The policy states that visitor traffic arriving with the intent to visit the shops should primarily access the site from the MacLeod Trail side, and in a clumsy attempt to enforce the unenforceable, the policy goes on to require that underground commercial parking be accessible only from the MacLeod Trail side. What Anthem is proposing is that there is no way to control where and how automobiles approach the site and that visiting traffic should be brought underground as soon as possible rather than having it drive deeper into the neighbourhood and through the main street in order to park.
I’m largely supportive of these amendments as I believe they’re either irrelevant to quality of life within Erlton (proportion of office), or they’re seeking to improve quality of life (more viable grocery store and less traffic driving through the neighbourhood). While I appreciate that this will be a major change to the community it’s essential to realize that they already have the legal right to build something huge and the benefits of this going ahead are significant: North Erlton will get a really nice pedestrian-oriented Main Street along 24th Ave as well as a +15 connection to the Erlton LRT Station.
I will repeat that most of the important details regarding how successful the proposed development will actually be in improving your quality of life occur at the next phase, the Development Permit application; what we’re dealing with now is primarily housekeeping. And in any event, whether you’re supportive of or in opposition to the proposal, you’ll have the ability to come and speak to the proposed Land Use Amendments when it comes to Council in early 2014. If you’re getting this email, you’re on the list and we’ll notify you as to the details.
Ward 9 Councillor
The New Land Use Amendment details from Calgary.ca
A land owner, Anthem Level Erlton LTD., is proposing to only change a few aspects of the Direct Control land use designation (zoning) that was approved in 2007. The land is mostly vacant, except for a few buildings that will be removed before the site is redeveloped.
If approved, this would change what development is allowed on the site. The properties under consideration form a large site at 2328 & 2418 Erlton Road S.W. and 2327, 2399 & 2425 Macleod Trail S.W.
The proposed changes to the land use designation would:
- Increase the maximum size of the grocery store allowed on site to 3,800 square metres (approximately 40,903 square feet).
- Eliminate the requirement for a minimum amount of office space.
- In addition to residential access, allow an access point to the underground parking from Erlton Road for patrons of the commercial businesses.
- Retain the total maximum floor area ratio of 4.0 for all land uses allowed by the Erlton Area Redevelopment Plan. This means that the total square footage of all the buildings combined can be up to 4 times the total square footage of the property.
How to get involved
In addition to the broad public engagement that was completed in 2007 with the initial application, as well as the on-site notices and circulation of the current application, you can still provide your comments on the proposal the following ways:
- Contact City Staff: You can call or email the staff considering this proposal directly (contact information below).
- Speak to Your Community Association: You can contact the Erlton Community Association (www or email) or Lindsay Park Community Association to help them with their responses to the proposal.
- Public Hearing of Council: A public hearing will be held by City Council before they make a decision on the proposal. You can speak directly to Council at the hearing, or submit written comments. You will have five minutes to speak, excluding any questions Council members may ask you. Comments should be brief and should address land use planning issues.
Details about the date and time of the public hearing will be advertised in the Calgary Herald, be mailed to property owners whose property is directly beside the site and will be posted here when they are available.
The planning process
This proposed redesignation will be reviewed using the following steps:
- Summarized copies of the proposal are provided to property owners whose property is directly beside the site, the local community association, the Ward Alderman, various City departments and other external agencies (such as utility companies) to gather their input.
- The City reviews the proposal for its urban planning merits and compliance with City plans and policies, including (but not limited to) the Municipal Development Plan and the Erlton Area Redevelopment Plan.
- If the proposal is not consistent with the area redevelopment plan, City staff determine whether to recommend that the proposal be turned down or that the area redevelopment plan be amended. This determination is made by considering community input and the overall merits of the proposal.
- After reviewing the application, City staff prepare a report for the Calgary Planning Commission where we make a recommendation on the proposal. The Calgary Planning Commission is a committee appointed annually by City Council to make recommendations to Council on land use planning matters. The Calgary Planning Commission can request changes or forward the report along with their recommendation to City Council.
- Once the Calgary Planning Commission has made a recommendation to City Council, the proposal is advertised for a two week period and then goes to City Council for the final decision. Council is required to hold a public hearing where anyone can speak directly to them when land is being redesignated.
Senior Planner, Land Use Planning & Policy
You can help too!
- Forward this message to other interested parties and have them email our office to be added to the contact list
- Let the Erlton Community Association , Lindsay Park Community Association or our office know your comments on the proposed land use designation
- Share your comments with Giyan Brenkaman, the file manager for this Land Use Amendment
- Land Use Amendment application will come to Council in the New Year and our office will let you know about deadlines for written comment as well as opportunities for commenting in person at the Council meeting
- Team Ward 9 will continue to provide updates as this process moves forward, including an opportunity to comment on the Development Permit
(most recent to least recent)
Dec 13/13 – Update #1 went out
Aug 2013 – A Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) was submitted in by the land owner to support the request for an additional access to the site’s underground parking from Erlton Road.
2007 – A Direct Control District land use zoning was approved for the site.