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RFD- 4053 Business Items   Item #:   4. b.    
Committee of the Whole Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 09/21/2020  
Title:    Greenbury Planned Lot (GPL) District Review Update and Recommendations - Nalavde
Presenter: Pankaj Nalavde
Department: Planning & Infrastructure  
Strategic Vision Element: This topic relates to all three of the City’s strategic vision elements contained in Council’s Strategic Plan Related Goal: The City maintains a constant inventory of available land, both developed and developable, to ensure businesses can find properties that meet their needs.

Information
Request for Decision Summary
The purpose of this Report is to provide Council with an update on Administration's review of the Greenbury Planned Lot (GPL) District pilot project.

Proposed Motion
 
That the Greenbury Planned Lot (GPL) District Review Update be received as information. 
Background/Analysis
The GPL District was adopted in June 2017 as a pilot project, initiated by Beaverbrook Communities, for the purposes of developing zero side yard residential products in the Greenbury Neighbourhood. A zero side yard development allows the reduction of one side yard setback to 0.0 m, with the building being constructed along that property line, and the other side yard is increased to 1.5 m to ensure safe separation distance and including an easement addressing the foundation, eaves, and access for maintenance.  Since the GPL adoption, a total of 69 zero side dwellings have been approved, which include 27 Single Detached Dwellings and 42 Semi-Detached Dwellings. 

Administrative review of the GPL District pilot project concluded there were benefits and some issues.

Benefits Realized:   
Zero lot line developments have benefited the City by providing an additional development form that supports the City’s goals of land use efficiency and diversity of housing in both type and affordability. This development form has the land use advantage of shrinking ‘street-frontage’ needed by traditional housing by one side yard width by landowners sharing a common side yard. This reduction allows individual parcels to be less expensive due to reduced land being used, and the accumulation of these individual reductions allow neighbourhoods to use that 'saved' land differently.

Issues Identified:  
The Zero Lot Line pilot project has been reviewed by consulting Administration for identifying any issues the City has had in implementing this development form.  The following issues were identified:
  • Building Foundation Location Confirmations - The GPL District regulations requires submission of a Real Property Report (RPR) following the construction of the building foundation to ensure it is compliant prior to further construction. Consultation with Urban Development Institute, Spruce Grove (UDI) and Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) revealed that majority of the development industry was complying with the requirement, but they identified the costs of RPR preparation was a concern for some home builders. Administration is recommending maintaining this requirement.
  • Site Drainage - Compact lot configuration of zero side yard developments has resulted in some challenges in successfully managing on-site grading and drainage. The review revealed that this is largely occurring due to some home builders not grading the site in accordance with the approved design levels rather than a problem with the regulations.
  • Street Congestion and Reduced On-street Parking - Street congestion, limited on street parking and issues with placement of garbage bins were identified as issues in the Greenbury neighbourhood, and particularly on Garneau Gate where some zero side yard development occurs, as well as dwellings with front attached garages are located on both sides of the street. Investigation revealed these issues are not isolated to the GPL District or zero side yard developments, but rather it is an emerging issue affecting many new residential subdivisions that have compact narrow lots configured with front attached garages due to their impact on on-street parking.  Administration recommends that this be mitigated with regulation avoiding the subdivision of narrow parcels (i.e. - less than 10.0 m wide) without alleys on both sides of a street.
Conclusion
The Greenbury Zero Lot Line pilot project review identified that overall positive land use results accrued from adding this development type.  Furthermore, while there were some issues identified, these were not viewed as significant negative impacts that could not be effectively managed by use of better communication between developers and future home owners of zero side yard dwellings, and minor adjustments to the land use regulations for improving on-street parking outcomes. 

Next Steps
Based on the discussion in this report, Administration will bring forward a Land Use Bylaw Amendment for First Reading, that integrates the regulation for zero side yard developments from the GPL District with the R1 Low to Medium Density Residential District, along with new regulations to address on-street parking and street congestion issues for future subdivisions proposing compact narrow lots.
Options/Alternatives
Accept this update as information, and Council may provide any discussion to inform Administration's intention to end the pilot project and amending the Land Use Bylaw to broadly allow Zero Lot Line developments. 
Consultation/Engagement
As part of the consultation, staff from Planning, Engineering, Public Works and Protective Services were consulted, followed by a consultation with the Urban Development Institute, Spruce Grove (UDI) and Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) groups to identity issues faced by the development industry. The feedback from the UDI and CHBA groups was largely positive, with the industry finding the GPL District regulations successful in implementing the development of the zero side yard developments.
Implementation/Communication
Based on the review of the zero side yard pilot project in the Greenbury neighbourhood being largely successful, Administration intends to bring forward changes to include this development type into the City's Land Use Bylaw for broader possible use across the city.
Impacts
Concluding the Greenbury Zero Lot Line pilot project, and integrating this development possibility into the Land Use Bylaw, will offer opportunities for all local developers to build zero side yard developments in Spruce Grove.

Attachments
Project Review Summary Report
Presentation
Proposed Draft Amendment

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