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RFD- 3231 Presentations   Item #:   2. b.    
Committee of the Whole Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 02/20/2018  
Title:    Qualico Communities and Melcor - Presentations Regarding Request to Consider Zero Lot Line Lots - Levasseur
Presenter: Susan Armstrong
Department: Planning & Infrastructure  
Strategic Vision Element: Where People Choose to Live - A dynamic city with an exceptional quality of life Related Goal: n/a

Request for Decision Summary
The purpose of this report is to provide Council with background information related to requests from Qualico Communities and Melcor for Council to consider zero lot line products within the Easton and Tonewood neighbourhoods within the East Pioneer Area Structure Plan.

Administration does not support the consideration for additional zero lot line lots until there has been adequate time to evaluate the impacts of new GPL - Greenbury Planned Lot District within the Greenbury Stage 9 neighbourhood. Qualico Communities and Melcor wish to come before Council to discuss their proposals before investing the significant time and cost necessary to submit Land Use Bylaw amendment and subdivision applications.
Proposed Motion
That the presentations from Qualico Communities and Melcor be accepted as information.
In June 2017 Council approved an amendment to the Land Use Bylaw to provide for a new land use district, the GPL - Greenbury Planned Lot District, as a pilot project specific to the Greenbury neighbourhood.  This new district closely mimics the existing R1 - Mixed Low to Medium Density Residential District but provides for the flexibility to reduce the side yard setbacks for single detached and semi-detached dwellings.  The required side yard setback may be reduced to zero for one side yard of the dwelling with an allowance for a 0.30 m eave overhang into the adjacent site.  For the zero side yard dwelling, the other required side yard is increased from 1.2 m to 1.5 m and will contain a shared access and maintenance easement.  The district continues to allow traditional single detached and semi-detached dwellings and row housing.

Administration has a number of concerns about the new lot type, including:
  • on-street parking congestion;
  • garbage collection;
  • increased complexity and time lines for application processing potentially impacting staffing levels;
  • ability of the soils in the area to support the development;
  • integrity of footing encroachments and foundation construction; 
  • compliance with Safety Codes legislation;
  • aesthetics of the solid wall face where no glazed openings are permitted;
  • encroachments into the maintenance easement area; and
  • education of future property owners respecting the maintenance easement area. 
Council determined that the GPL - Greenbury Planned Lot District should initially be a pilot project to allow the City and developer (Beaverbrook) an opportunity to evaluate any impacts or unintended consequences of the district over the next one to two years, depending on uptake.   As part of the Land Use Bylaw amendment process, Beaverbrook submitted a letter of commitment dealing with a number of areas of concern (Attachment 1).  If the district is successful, opportunities to expand the district to other neighbourhoods in the City may be considered, with or without changes as warranted at that time.

The only area of land currently under the GPL - Greenbury Planned Lot District is Greenbury Stage 9.  The related subdivision was registered in early February, 2018 and administration has just received the first development permit applications, which are for show homes.  No dwellings are under construction at this time.  As such, it is significantly premature to evaluate the impacts of the new lots.    

Although administration has advised both Qualico Communities and Melcor that it is too early to evaluate the GPL District, both developers want the opportunity to market zero lot line products.  In order to discuss the proposals with Council, administration recommended that the developers present their proposals to the Committee of the Whole prior to the significant outlay of time and costs of formally submitting Land Use Bylaw amendment and subdivision applications.  Qualico Communities has submitted a PowerPoint presentation and Melcor has submitted documentation related to their proposed Tonewood TPL District, both of which are attached to this report. 

It is noted that both Melcor and Qualico Communities have provided developer commitments within their presentations .  In the case of Melcor, the list of commitments very closely echoes Beaverbrook's commitments and is in the form of a signed letter.  The list of commitments from Qualico Communities is contained within the body of their presentation and also echoes Beaverbrook's commitments except, rather than committing to sell groupings of continuous lots to one builder, Qualico will only endeavour to sell groupings of continuous lots.  In order to maintain the integrity of foundations, having one builder simultaneously construct the foundation of a group of dwellings is important.

Beaverbrook's Letter of Commitment
Zero Lot Line Presentation
Melcor Zero Lot Line documents

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