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RFD- 3480 Bylaws   Item #   9. a.    
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 01/28/2019  
Title:    C-1060-18 - Second and Third Readings - Land Use Bylaw Text Amendment - R1 District - Levasseur
Department: Planning & Infrastructure  
Strategic Vision Element: Where People Choose to Live - A dynamic city with an exceptional quality of life Related Goal: n/a

Information
Request for Decision Summary
 
This Request for Decision seeks Council's second and third readings of Bylaw C-1060-18, a Land Use Bylaw text amendment to Section 115 - R1 - Low to Medium Density Residental District, proposing to reduce the minimum lot width for single detached dwellings with lane access only from 9.0 m to 8.5 m.
Proposed Motion
 
That second reading be given to Bylaw C-1060-18 - Land Use Bylaw Text Amendment - R1 District - Low to Medium Density Residential District respecting "All Other Uses" Minimum Site Width.
 
 
That third reading be given to Bylaw C-1060-18 - Land Use Bylaw Text Amendment - R1 District - Low to Medium Density Residential District respecting "All Other Uses" Minimum Site Width.
Background/Analysis
The Spruce Grove Regional Committee of the Urban Development Institute (UDI) has applied for a Land Use Bylaw text amendment to Section 115 - Low to Medium Density Residential District to reduce the minimum lot width for single detached dwellings with lane access from 9.0 m to 8.5 m.  The amendment would result in more efficient use of land by reducing the excess side yard.

The City's Land Use Bylaw sets the minimum site width for single detached dwellings with lane access in the R1 District to 9.0 m.  After applying the District's 1.2 m required side yard setbacks, the site is left with a 6.6 m wide building pocket.  A narrow single detached housing product requires a maximum 6.1 m wide building pocket, resulting in 0.5 m of side yard that UDI is considering as excess space - land that is required for neither setback purposes nor the building pocket.  Therefore, the proposed amendment decreases the minimum site width, only for single detached dwellings with lane access, by 0.5 m.  

The amendment only proposes to decrease the minimum site width for single detached dwellings accessed by lanes.  In the R1 District Regulations, these are considered "All Other Uses".  If this amendment is approved, the minimum site width regulations for "All Other Uses" in the R1 District will be separated into two categories - "All Other Uses without Alley access" to remain at 9.0 m and "All Other Uses with Alley access" reduced to 8.5 m.  The amendment differentiates between sites with and without alley access to ensure adequate on-street parking is provided for both product types.  Applying the amendment to sites proposing front garages would decrease the space between driveways and impact the amount of on-street parking.  When sites are accessed by alleys, on-street parking is maximized since the block face along the street is not interrupted by driveways.

It is noted that Council approved the minimum site width for standard single detached dwellings in the GPL - Greenbury Planned Lot District at 8.5 m as part of the zero lot line pilot project.  Giving the limited number of dwellings that have been constructed in this area, it is premature to determine the success of this standard.

For comparison purposes, the minimum lot width standards for single detached dwellings with alley access used by regional municipalities were reviewed and range from 7.6 m to 11.0 m. (See Attachment 3)  Not all municipalities provide for differing minimum lot widths for products with and without lanes.  Those municipalities that have a separate site width for single detached dwellings for lane access products do so in a specialized Land Use District generally characterized as a residential narrow lot district, and not within their typical low density or medium density residential districts.  Even with a minimum site width of 9.0 m, Spruce Grove's standard is less than many of the other urban municipalities within the Edmonton Region.

Engineering reviewed the proposal and notes that the loss of 0.5 m of lot width may not create new issues but may exacerbate the same issues that they have been dealing with from other narrow lots.  Their concerns include:
  • Drainage:  limits the workable grade to alleviate ponding issues with the lots, may require the need for split draining more frequently, limits light/heat to dry soils due to shading which may hamper drainage through saturated soils, and worsens potential drainage issues between garages near alleys;
  • Snow Storage:  decreases area for homeowners to place their snow, especially since the area typically used for outdoor storage, i.e., black and green bins, and increases the potential for ice dams causing flooding and ponding on lots causing damage to structures; and
  • Parking:  decreases available on street parking with the loss of one parking spot for every 10 homes based on average vehicle length of 5.0 m.
The same application was made in 2016 (Bylaw C-949-16) but was defeated by Council at second reading.
Options/Alternatives
N/A
Consultation/Engagement
A statutory public hearing was held prior to second reading. The public hearing notification was placed in the Spruce Grove Examiner as per the requirements of the Municipal Government Act.  
Implementation/Communication
If approved, administration will update the Land Use Bylaw and post it on the City's website.
Impacts
Decreasing the minimum site width for single detached dwellings with alley access allows for more efficient building patterns where 20-foot (6.1 m) housing products are developed.
Attachments
Bylaw C-1060-18 Second Reading
Applicant's Submission
Regional Comparison of Minimum Site Widths

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