Recap: Public Meeting on Proposed Arena & Entertainment District in Downtown Edmonton

Last night at MacEwan’s City Centre Campus the City of Edmonton held a Public Meeting on the proposed Arena & Entertainment District (on ShareEdmonton). I don’t know what the final attendance numbers were, but my rough guess is that about 100 people were in the room. There were a number of City representatives on hand, led by Scott Mackie from the Planning & Development department. Councillors Batty and Henderson also attended. From the Katz Group, Jim Low, Bob Black, and Steve Hogle were all there, along with Simon O’Byrne from Stantec, and Ray Davis from Bunt & Associates.

Public Meeting on AED RezoningPublic Meeting on AED Rezoning

The purpose of the meeting was to provide information on and to gather feedback about a proposed rezoning from DC2.500 to a new AED zoning. Such a change would require an amendment to either the existing Capital City Downtown Plan or the new one that Council is expected to approve this summer.

The night started with a brief presentation from Scott Mackie, as well as introductions of all the representatives:

Next Jim Low gave an overview:

The final (and very long) presentation was from Simon O’Byrne (only about the last two minutes are missing):

That was followed up by questions and comments from the audience, which I unfortunately had to miss (but it was live-tweeted, see below). I’m not sure why the Katz Group and its representatives got to talk for 45 minutes; I thought that’s why they held their own open house a couple weeks ago? Maybe that’s just how these things go.

Here’s a map of the area that the Katz Group would like rezoned:

Here are the tweets tagged #yegarena that were posted two hours before, during, and two hours after the public meeting (in reverse chronological order):

You can get the full version here. Here’s a quick Wordle I made with that data (removing usernames and the hashtag):

Both @journalistjeff and @bingofuel did an awesome job live-tweeting the meeting!

If you’d like to learn more about the rezoning process, you can do so here. I was pleased to see the City actively promoting its Planning Academy at the meeting. The proposed rezoning is tentatively scheduled to go to a public hearing on June 28, but that date could change – stay tuned to #yegarena for updates.

Public Meeting on AED RezoningPublic Meeting on AED Rezoning

You can see the rest of my photos from the event here.

UPDATE: Check out Jeff’s excellent recap here.

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