Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:
- I think it’s great that the City of Edmonton has picked up a couple more engineering awards, but this misleading refrain is getting old: “The 23rd Avenue/Gateway Boulevard Interchange, which improved traffic flow through one of Edmonton’s busiest intersections, finished on schedule and under budget in October 2011.” It was actually finished five years later and cost three and a half times more than originally expected (there’s more background here).
- If you haven’t already read this love letter to Edmonton by Omar Mouallem, you’re missing out!
- City Council decided to vote based on their personal fears this week rather than on the public involvement and research conducted by Administration in defeating the proposal to implement Internet voting. Very disappointing.
- Transcend Coffee announced on its blog this week that the Jasper Avenue location will be closing on February 28. “Unfortunately, despite continued revenue growth, Transcend Jasper did not achieve a sustainable level of profitability and even our most optimistic projections did not show that trend reversing.”
- Corb Lund, Jay Sparrow, and Mitchmatic all racked up six nominations in this year’s Edmonton Music Awards. The show takes place on April 28.
- I’m sure that potential candidates would like Mandel to announce his plans sooner than rather than later, but he’s in the driver’s seat and he’s going to make them wait until his state-of-the-city speech on April 2 to find out whether or not he’ll run again in October.
- Were you disappointed with the new LRT line names? Read Adam’s take. I think he’s totally right.
- In other LRT news, we could have a new signature bridge for the southeast leg if Council approves the design on February 20. I really love the existing, wooden Cloverdale pedestrian bridge, but I’m happy to see this moving forward!
- The cost of preserving and redeveloping the Rossdale Power Plant could reach as high as $87.3 million, putting the plan’s future in jeopardy.
- Here’s another way you can enjoy winter: kicksleds!
- Tomorrow will be an interesting day at City Hall with Executive Committee discussing amendments to the zoning bylaw that would implement residential infill guidelines. Among those opposed, oddly, are 28 community leagues that want Council to do a better job of consulting with affected communities. While I can’t argue with improved public consultation, I do think we need to move forward here. The guidelines probably don’t go far enough actually, considering they primarily affect areas zoned RF2, RF3, and RF4, even though most mature neighbourhoods are zoned RF1. The Residential Infill Guidelines were approved in June 2009 – it’s time to start implementing them!
The Hamptons, photo by Fophotography.
Here are some upcoming events:
- Want to have your say on how the City designs streets and neighbourhoods? There’s another meeting coming up on Tuesday where you can provide input.
- The Oilers host the Stars on Tuesday and the Avalanche on Saturday.
- Thursday is of course Valentine’s Day, and if you’re looking for an alternative to dinner, Sharon’s got you covered.
- The Edmonton Rush are in action on Friday against the Washington Stealth.
- The 2013 Silver Skate Festival kicks off on Friday at Hawrelak Park.
- Winefest takes place on Friday and Saturday at the Shaw Conference Centre.
- This year’s illumiNITE event takes place in the Alley of Light on Saturday and Sunday.
- For more upcoming events, check out ShareEdmonton.
Cool shot of the CN and EPCOR Towers by Dejan Galetic.
5 thoughts on “Edmonton Notes for 2/10/2013”
Our CL did not sign the letter, but the bylaw being discussed is an omnibus that implements the infill guidelines AND some other stuff. By and large, it’s the “some other stuff” that the communities who signed are concerned about, such as changes to the rules that were not part of infill guidelines. They are particularly concerned that for the “some other stuff” there wasn’t enough consultation — an issue I’ve seen discussed on this blog more than once. A few members of Council have already expressed interest in separating the issues that need more discussion and letting the rest move forward.
Definitely agree on issues with public consultation. Would be interesting to see the issues separated!
Yep, I definitely agree the consultation process is not great. Would be interesting to see if they do separate the issues. Guess we’ll find out!
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Short point: Density good, lack of discussion bad.
Long point: As a signatory to the letter, on behalf of the Strathcona Centre Community League, Chris has it right. My league’s concern was the rush to implement a whole lot of new rules and guidelines that never had public discussion. As the letter’s creator stated at council, there’s a public consultation process that just doesn’t seem to be understood or followed by some City departments, or all some of the time.
The residential infill guidelines are overdue, and I would love more density done right in Strathcona and older neighbourhoods. But this bylaw change goes far beyond those, and there are a number of sections that could be pulled out and discussed in more detail without slowing down infill. The City staff focusing on residential infill, and the actual consultation that went into that, is an attempt to divert attention from the lack of conversation on a lot of other items in this omnibus bylaw. It’s not a NIMBY issue with older neighbourhoods fighting for single-family homes, it’s people wanting a bit of time to find the right plan for Edmonton.
In a related note, the EFCL mentioned at its most recent general meeting it’s hearing from the City that it, and leagues, are getting too pushy or political on some zoning issues. That could really be avoided if the City opened up the discussion before tabling plans that aren’t up for (much) change.
Mack: the 23 avenue was built on time and on budget according to the contract that was eventually awarded and in place. The increases to which you are referring occurred between preliminary estimates and the actual tenders and contracts. I think the city is accurate here.