Springbank Hill ASP: another opportunity to review

Mar 13th, 2017 | By | Category: SBHCA News

Based on the feedback from Springbank Hill residents and other stakeholders at the recent open houses to discuss the proposed ASP, the City has now advised us that they have made further changes to the ASP and are holding another round of open houses to review the updated ASP.

The additional information sessions provide an opportunity for residents to review the updated Proposed Springbank Hill ASP and ask questions to City staff about next steps and processes.

When: March 16 and March 20, 2017

Time: 5 – 8 p.m.

Where: Westside King’s Church, 3939 69 St. S.W.

The updated Proposed Springbank Hill ASP is expected to be released sometime prior to these meetings.The city has also added a FAQ section at www.calgary.ca/springbankhill

From discussions with community members, some developers, and the city planning department, the CA has summarized our concerns as follows :

Municipal Reserve (MR) Green Space – Specifically the 189 acre of land south of 17th Avenue between 85th and 77th street

• Given that the 189 acres of land, is the last large parcel of developable land, and given that many of the other MR area’s noted in the ASP, have already been used for schools, or housing development, there is a concern, that the ASP does not clearly note requirement of programmable MR space.

• The community association relies on revenues from our soccer programs to fund our annual budgets. We have been losing soccer fields within our community, as JUS noted in the ASP, have large footprint schools developed (CBE k-9 on 26 Ave) and we need replacement soccer fields in our neighbourhood. Failure to receive programable MR will put the primary revenue source for our community association at risk.

The CA requests a minimum of 4 acres, out of the required 18.9 acres MR required be set aside as programmable space for the community.  The site is to be a square or rectangular parcel (maximum width to depth ratio of 1:1.5). Site grading should be less than 2.0 per cent.

Traffic  – Specifically the 189 acre of land south of 17th Avenue between 85th and 77th street

• Given the increase in density, the unique grades, and Environmental Reserve, the Community Association is very concerned that the city’s goal to provide a community that is well connected through convergence of streets, pathways and active modes crossings, to allow for short, direct and convenient access for pedestrians, cyclists, transit-users and automobiles is not attainable.

The CA has requested, from the city, what the target density for doors are in the 189 acre parcel, and to understand if this goal is supportable by the planned traffic infrastructure.

In the FAQ, the city states: It is anticipated that future development within the Study Area will accommodate approximately 2,000 new (single and multi-residential) dwelling units.

No supporting documentation has been provided, and given the increase in density model, between June 2013 and present, we are very concerned, that the number of units will far exceed 2000, and the traffic infrastructure will not be able to support the development in a sustainable, safe, manner.

Contextual Sensitivity

• The CA is fully supportive of the language used in the ASP :Contextual sensitivity should be achieved through careful site layout, orientation, building design and architecture to ensure seamless integration of new developments within existing areas already developed to suburban densities

But we feel, by many other statements in the ASP this is not accomplished :

• Retaining walls and drainage  – the CA is concerned that within the 189 acre area, retaining walls will need to be utilized. Large retaining walls, are both not desirable in the community from providing a connected multimodal community,  as well there is concern with appropriate drainage.

•In the remaining ASP, new higher density developments are causing numerous flooding issues  to existing homeowners.

• Building Heights – the community does not have any 10 storey mixed use retail, 6 storey apartment blocks. There is a concern that given the grades, shadowing with such large buildings could be substantial, and are unsure how this type of development would seamlessly integrate with existing areas

• Buffering for existing developments in the community

• Wording in the ASP is concerning in the 189 acre area : The upper density figure in the density range should be achieved, to the extent that the topography (slope and natural areas) allows. Special attention to the layout and design of the development may be required in order to achieve higher density ranges on sloping lands, and lands that are identified as environmentally significant causes concern that the topography, ER, MR will be sacrificed for the sake of density.

• Removal of previous classifications in the south end of the 189 acre development Low density infill 1–3 upa, Standard Density infill 3–5 upa, Low Density Urban 4–7 up and the replacement with Low Density Development 8 – 15 upa

• Removes the buffer with existing homes in the south end of 189 acre parcel
• The city is has been approving individual DPs in the ASP area higher than is shown on the ASP map, creating urban pockets outside of the community plan.

Areas designated as Standard Urban Development, 3-7 upa, on the proposed ASP map are being approved from 11 – 15 upa or higher.

The CA requests :
•  Re-introduction of low density infill, standard density infill, low density urban, in the south end of the 189 acre development, while providing diversity of building models, would also provide sensitivity to existing developments
•  Additional DP requests exceeding the existing community density in other areas of the ASP be denied by CPC and council.
• Maximum 4 storeys above grade throughout the mixed retail, medium density areas of the 189 acre parcel. Given the unique sloped environment, 4 storeys above grade will provide developers a mixture of above / below grade development allowing density, and architectural sensitivty to the community

Retail – Specifically the 189 acre of land south of 17th Avenue between 85th and 77th street

In reviewing the ASP, conflicting information about the retail is presented. In certain places it discusses a “Mixed use residential / retail” in other sections it refers to single-use buildings, large scale retail, and auto-centric uses such as gas bar and drive through business. In addition, the maximum height of a mixed-use building shall not exceed 10 storeys.

The CA requests that the city’s vision for retail on the 189 acres is clearly stated with no ambiguity as
stated in section 3.3 : Ideally, buildings will contain ground floor retail and/or commercial uses with residential, or office uses above. The mix of residential and non-residential uses will ensure vitality and vibrancy. Any reference to auto-centric, drive through should be removed. In addition maximum above grade construction should not exceed 4 storeys.

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