Edmonton City Council Approves “Mature Neighbourhoods Bylaw”

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New Duplex in Allendale

In an attempt to slow urban sprawl, Edmonton City Council approved a new bylaw yesterday, that will allow the sub-division of 50 foot lots in some neighbourhods. Builders will also be able to build homes closer to the street, but not more than 1.5 meters in front of neighbouring homes. 

“It’s a small step to look at finding ways to control urban sprawl,” said Mayor Stephen Mandel. “It’s a very small step. I think much more needs to be done. I understand the frustration that people have because it’s complicated, there’s always people having concerns, but this is a small step that is really almost mandated as a result of our municipal development plan.”

For the most part, community leagues wanted tighter restrictions and more time before a decision was made, and developers wanted fewer restrictions and more neighbourhoods on the list. 

Many people shopping for homes in Edmonton dream of a newer home on a mature lot, but end up in the ‘burbs when they comparison shop. Those willing to consider a half duplex in an older neighbourhood will have much more to choose from in the near future with this new bylaw. Hopefully more families will choose older neighbourhoods so inner-city schools can stay open and relieve the pressure on over crowded schools in the ‘burbs. 

The bylaw will only impact about 20% of lots in mature neighbourhoods – lots that are already zoned for multi-family. There isn’t much specific information out there yet (that I could find), but I did find a list of neighbourhoods deemed “mature” by the city here.

Here are some neighbourhoods where “infill” is already a popular option, and likely to become more so with the new bylaw (links will bring up active listings in each neighbourhood):

About 

Sara MacLennan is the Director of Marketing at Liv Real Estate and a licensed Real Estate Associate. The bulk of Sara’s experience and wealth of expertise lies in on-line technology and marketing both for agents and consumers. Sara is the former National Director for Interactive Marketing for Coldwell Banker Canada where she was responsible for an extensive training program traveling to offices across the country training agents and brokers on marketing and technology. Find Sara on Twitter @edmontonblogger.

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27 Responses to “Edmonton City Council Approves “Mature Neighbourhoods Bylaw””

  1. GMNo Gravatar 20. Mar, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    And where are all the extra cars going to park? Especially on snow days.

    • wsnNo Gravatar 21. Mar, 2013 at 8:11 am #

      I agree.

      I think all new constructions should have mandatory double attached garage to address the parking issue. Thus a single house lot should be at least 32′ wide (20′ garage + 4′ entry + 4′ x 2 side yards). Anything narrower than that is asking for trouble in the future. If you want to make it denser, reduce the depth of the lot, not the width.

  2. Castle DownsNo Gravatar 21. Mar, 2013 at 1:35 am #

    Most of Castle Downs are not considered to be “Mature Neighbourhoods”, are we 20 years behind on data?

    • wsnNo Gravatar 21. Mar, 2013 at 11:44 am #

      Try Brander Gardens (old Riverbend) … 30 years.

  3. McCarthy GroupNo Gravatar 21. Mar, 2013 at 4:18 am #

    Coun. Bryan Anderson said most of the people who presented to council and answered questions from councillors were against the changes
    A number of people spoke on both sides of the issue late into the night Monday, forcing the issue back on the table Tuesday.
    The Zoning Bylaw contains the rules and regulations for the development of land in Edmonton. For the purpose of land development, the City of Edmonton is divided into zones.

  4. GregNo Gravatar 21. Mar, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    Long overdue. Calgary has done this for years and completely rejuvenated neighbourhoods.

    And yes, most have garages, so street parking is not an issue.

    Haven’t you people ever been to Europe? They do just fine with half the space.

    • wsnNo Gravatar 21. Mar, 2013 at 8:57 am #

      European cities typically have better public transit and fewer cars per capita, and thus not directly comparable.

      I am OK with duplex/townhouse/apartment, but the back lane concept is just wrong. You know it’s wrong when you see many cars parked on the street at the front. If that’s where people actually park, garage should be there.

      • GMNo Gravatar 21. Mar, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

        I disagree. Having garages in front is a danger to small kids. Small kids only have one place to ride their bikes, and that is on the sidewalk. Having people backing out of their garages onto sidewalks is asking for trouble when you have kids around.

        Garages were designed in the back along the alley for a reason, and this is the reason. They should remain there.

        Besides that, there are countless morons who buy these big huge motorhomes without thinking about where they’re going to park them. So they end up parking them in their front driveway and the hitch sticks out, covering the sidewalk. Now nobody can walk on the sidewalk because of the stupid monstrosity.

        • birdladyNo Gravatar 21. Mar, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

          GM, having your motorhome or any other vehicle over-lapping onto a city sidewalk is illegal. All it takes is a call to the city and the owners will get a fine and it is not cheap.

          Also, if anyone runs into that over-lapping hitch, etc. in the dark, and hurts themselves you then have a lawsuit on your hands so I don’t think that is really an issue.

          And, do kids actually ride bikes anymore? I think for the most part they sit like zombies in front of computers and tv’s which is why the youth of today are over-weight (so the experts say)

          :)

          • GMNo Gravatar 21. Mar, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

            My kids do, which is why I’m so upset about the motorhome/boat(on trailer) issue.

            And I have called the city in the past. Being government officials, the response time is not as swift as you might think.

        • wsnNo Gravatar 22. Mar, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

          GM, then move to my neighborhood of Upper Windermere. There is a clause in the HOA, that no motor home or trailer can park outside over 36 hours (i.e. no more than an over-night visit).

          • GMNo Gravatar 22. Mar, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

            Most places have such a clause. The problem is when they park a motorhome on a front driveway that is not long enough to accommodate it. So they have to let it stick out across the sidewalk. I don’t know if they think nobody cares about that or if they just don’t give a damn. My guess is the latter.

            And as for the no parking on the street clause, all they have to do is move the thing a bit after 35 hours and they can sit for another 36 hours.

          • wsnNo Gravatar 25. Mar, 2013 at 11:53 am #

            Obviously my neighbours aren’t as smart as yours. I haven’t seen any such exploits so far.

      • GregNo Gravatar 21. Mar, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

        Yeah.. they have fewer cars and better public transit because…. they’re denser! Increasing density is good (to an extent).

    • CMDNo Gravatar 23. Mar, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

      Completely agree…we are way too obsessed about accommodating parking. There is MORE than enough room for people to park. So be it if the odd time a person has to walk 2 or 3 houses down to get to their spot.

  5. A commong guyNo Gravatar 21. Mar, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    I think a back lane and garage in the back yard is just a stupid idea that should be ditched all together. A drive through some of the new neighborhoods with such design drives me crazy! two rows of cars parked on both sides of the street (because the back lane is not passable with all the snow) and it only leaves enough room for one car to go through. And think about hauling your grocery/kids/stuff through snow in the yard…

    • wsnNo Gravatar 21. Mar, 2013 at 11:39 am #

      What’s funny about this new regulations is that it make it hard to build in-fill houses with front garages.

      • Sara MacLennanNo Gravatar 22. Mar, 2013 at 10:26 am #

        One problem with front garages/driveways on 25′ lots… there is nowhere to put the snow! It’s bad enough on our 45′ lot right now – snow is piled 6 feet high!

        • wsnNo Gravatar 22. Mar, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

          Where would they put the snow if they have the drive way at the back?

          • Sara MacLennanNo Gravatar 22. Mar, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

            I don’t know I guess we’ll have to ship it to Vancouver’s ski hills.

          • GMNo Gravatar 22. Mar, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

            No need to Sara. We could just get the citizens to make a whole bunch of snowballs with it and make another pile of balls. The mayor seems to love those.

  6. wsnNo Gravatar 21. Mar, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    Sara/Sheldon:

    I found on the infill guideline that an infill single house lot should not be less than 65% of the average lot width of the block:
    link to edmonton.ca

    But then how does the 50′ lot split into 2 work? Aren’t the rules contradicting themselves?

    • Sara MacLennanNo Gravatar 21. Mar, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

      I think the city has to update the web site to match the new bylaw, I was not able to find any details on the city web site about this yet.

      • wsnNo Gravatar 22. Mar, 2013 at 7:39 am #

        OK, thanks!

        • CMDNo Gravatar 23. Mar, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

          It will be a few weeks until the City’s website is updated with the new guidelines / zoning bylaws.

  7. SMHNo Gravatar 24. Mar, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    It will just promote more people parking on their front lawn of which is illegal, bylaw 15634 amendment.

  8. CMDNo Gravatar 29. Mar, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    ^No, you won’t see a proliferation of parking on lawns for the reason you mentioned…it’s illegal…and they are enforcing this.