Log in
  • Home
  • Our Community


Maggie Dycke: City Neighbourhood Coordinator
Evan Wooley: City Councillor
Nicholas Milliken: Provincial MLA
Kent Hehr: Federal MP


Richmond Knob Hill is experiencing a significant amount of redevelopment activity as we transition from a 1950s bungalow community to a denser infill community.  The RKHCA expects all redevelopment projects in our community to be respectful of the neighbouring properties, of the streetscape, and of the community as a whole.  To facilitate this goal, and ian effort to ensure both consistency and transparency, the RKHCA established a set of Residential Development Design Guidelines which it encourages new developments in Richmond/Knob Hill to follow.

Other documents relevant to redevelopment projects in our community include the following:

    1. Richmond Area Redevelopment Plan
    2. Marda Loop Area Redevelopment Plan
    3. City of Calgary Land Use Bylaw 1P2007
    4. City of Calgary Municipal Development Plan
  • March 01, 2018 8:22 PM | Anonymous

    The Crowchild Trail Upgrades Project continues on this year with the estimated date of completion being Fall 2019. Given that a good majority of the construction work will take place this year, and that the construction zone will be expanding from Bow Trail up to 5 Avenue N.W., we'd like to invite you to come chat with us in-person at the following events:

    1. Noise wall engagement

    What? Public Noise Wall Engagement Session (Drop-in)

    When?Tuesday, March 20 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

    Where?Alexander Ferguson School, Main Gymnasium (1704 26 Street S.W.)

    Description: Noise wall engagement, based on the recommendations being implemented as part of the approved Crowchild Trail short-term plan, will begin in March and be completed by the third week of April. We will begin by first contacting the directly-impacted homeowners, and then complete this process by giving all neighbouring communities the opportunity to provide feedback on noise wall location, look, colour, and area landscaping. 

    Please Note: If you are unavailable to attend this session, you can provide your feedback online between March 20 - April 10. The engagement website will be live on March 20 and accessible via the main Crowchild Trail project page.

     2. Information Session

    What? Crowchild Trail Upgrades: 2018 Public Information Session (Drop-in)

    When? Wednesday, May 9 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

    Where? Hillhurst-Sunnyside CA, South Social Hall (1320 5 Avenue N.W.)

    Description: Similar to last year, we will be providing neighbouring communities with the opportunity to review the 2018 Crowchild Trail detailed construction plans and ask questions of the project team.

    RSVPs are not required for either event listed above


    For bi-weekly construction updates and the most up-to-date information on this project, please visit calgary.ca/crowchild or call 311.

  • February 23, 2018 1:59 PM | Anonymous
    Below for your information is a letter that we  received from the Federation of Calgary Communities regarding the City's proposed reform of secondary suites.  A full copy of City Administration's report to City Council can be found here.


    Administration’s Secondary Suite Recommendations for March 12 Public Hearing

    A few weeks ago, we provided you with some background information to clarify the proposed changes to secondary suites and what they mean for community associations. The report that will be presented to Council on March 12 has been released. We wanted to share it with you and provide a quick summary. There will also be an opportunity to provide input at the hearing on March 12th, and more details can be found at the bottom of this letter.

    The Changes at a Glance

    On March 12th, Council will be looking at several separate pieces of work about secondary suites. They are NOW as follows:
    1. Land Use Bylaw (LUB) amendments that add Secondary Suite and Backyard Suite as discretionary uses in the R-1, R-C1 and R-C1L districts.
    2. Develop a policy to guide Administration’s discretion when reviewing Development Permits for suites.
    3. Reinstate application fees for suites.
    4. Changes to the Suite Registry Program requiring mandatory registration.
    5. Develop implementation plans for an illegal suite amnesty, registry fees, rebate program, application guidebook, and guidelines on advertising and engagement.


    What is a Secondary Suite?
    In the context of this project, a secondary suite can be either a basement suites or a laneway suite. A basement suite is a separate dwelling inside a single detached house with separate cooking, sleeping and bathroom facilities. A laneway suite is a self-contained living space on the same property as a single-detached house, and is often accessed from the back alley or laneway.

    What does this mean for communities?
    In the past, secondary suite applicants applied for a land use amendment if their parcel was within one of the districts above. This was sent to council for public hearing, and there was an opportunity for the public to provide input. If council approved the land use amendment, a development permit was issued without opportunity for consultation.
    With the proposed changes, applicants will apply for a discretionary development permit in R-1, R-C1, and R-C1L districts. As a result, community associations will be circulated the development permits and be able to provide comments. Development permits for a suite in these districts will also be notice posted. This means that a sign is placed on the property advising the neighbouring residents of the development permit application and how to make comments on the application. Decisions on development permit applications may be appealed.
    The proposed changes would mean property owners would have the ability to develop a suite without City Council approval, but would still work with Planning and Development staff at the City of Calgary to obtain development and building permits.

    Fee Waiver
    At the beginning of 2014, Administration removed the Land Use Amendment and Development Permit fees associated with suites. Administration is recommending that fees be brought back, and more information is available below.


    Below is a quick summary of some of the key changes that are being proposed by Administration. Please be sure to read the attached report to Council for further information.

    Land Use Bylaw Amendments
    The proposed Bylaw amendments add Secondary Suite and Backyard Suite as discretionary uses in the R-1, R-C1, and R-C1L districts. Currently suites are allowed either as permitted or discretionary uses in every residential district except R-1, R-C1 and R-C1L.

    Policy to Guide Discretionary Suite Applications
    The proposed policy will guide planners that review discretionary secondary suite applications. Guidance is provided on items such as parking, amenity space, and privacy for Backyard Suites. Attachment 1 in the PDF adds more detail to the proposed policy.

    Mandatory Suite Registry and Development of a Suite Registry Bylaw
    A proposed Suite Registry Bylaw (Attachment 4) has been made to turn the voluntary Registry into a mandatory Registry. The Registry includes a database of suites that have been approved. A suite will be added once it has obtained the required permits and passed inspection. Any suite that is made available to the public to rent that is not on the Registry is subject to a fine. The Registry will make it easier to identify and report potentially unsafe suites being offered for rent. Issues related to land use, safety, community standards, or landlord-tenant disputes would be dealt with under other existing Bylaws.

    Fee Reinstatement
    If these changes are approved, there may still be a rare occasion where someone applies for a land use amendment requiring Council approval. An owner would redesignate their property to a district where Secondary Suites are a permitted use, meaning a Development Permit would not be required. The Land Use Amendment fees would be brought back at a similar rate to other redesignation applications, amounting to $5,050.

    Development permit fees would also be brought back to cost $471. Similar permits cost approximately $570. Fees for Building Permits will also be collected, including inspections to verify that the suite complies with safety standards. Refer to attachment 6 for the fee schedule.

    Implementation Plans
    Administration was directed to develop recommendations for the items listed below.

    1. Amnesty
    Administration is recommending a two-year grace period to encourage owners of existing illegal suites to apply for the required permits to bring their suites up to minimum safety standards. Attachment 7 has more details. During this period, Development Permit fees would be waived, and suite owners would not be prosecuted for not being registered. This is to encourage the creation of as many safe and legal suites as possible. A Building Permit and its fee will still be required in all cases.

    Council asked for a Registry fee to be introduced. The Registry fee also be waived during the amnesty period, and owners already on the voluntary Registry would be exempted from paying the fee after the grace period. After the grace period, future suites would be subject to the fees for a Development Permit, Building Permit, Electrical Permit, Plumbing and Gas Permits, and the Registry.

    The amnesty strategy (Attachment 8) explains the process that Administration will take to:

    • Make it easier for owners of suites to comply with the Land Use Bylaw and the Alberta Safety Codes;
    • Help people easily understand the process to develop a compliant suite; and
    • Encourage owners of suites to legalize and register them during the amnesty period.

    2. Fees for Registry
    The registry fee would be a one-time charge of $232. The cost would go towards ongoing enforcement. There would be no renewal fees. All suite owners would be directed to complete an annual self-declaration to declare if anything related to the suite has changed. If changes are made, a new Building Permit may be required.

    3. Fee rebate for owner occupied properties
    Administration recommends charging the same one-time Registry fee to all properties with suites with no rebates for owner occupied properties.

    4. Suite Application Guide
    Once a decision is made on the changes, new online information will be added. This will help people understand the requirements for having a legal and safe suite. This information could include illustrations of suite design options. A communications plan will be developed as part of this as well. This strategy will include updates to online tools, instructions for the suites process, and will inform people of the changes and how they can apply for suites.

    5. Inclusion of all suites, new and existing, in the mandatory Registry
    All suites on the voluntary Registry will carry over into the mandatory Registry. The old Registry stickers will still be valid. These existing suites will not have to pay a fee after the amnesty period. They will still have to complete the annual self-declaration on whether anything related to the suite has changed.

    6. Guidelines on advertising and engagement
    Discretionary Development Permits will be notice posted on the property for two weeks; adjacent neighbours will be advised by letter of the proposed suite; the Community Association will receive a Development Permit circulation package and the decision on the application will be advertised and subject to a three week appeal period.

    Timeline and Next Steps
    This report will be brought to the March 12 Council meeting. Administration will present each of these recommendations separately and Council will decide if they want to implement each of these changes at the Public Hearing.

    There will be an opportunity to speak at council during the March 12 public hearing. The three issues will be voted on separately. Submissions must be received by noon on March 5th. Here is more information on how to participate: City Council will hold a Public Hearing in the Council Chambers at the Calgary Municipal Building (800 Macleod Trail S.E.,) on Monday March 12, 2018 commencing at 9:30 a.m. Read through this document for information about how to submit your letter.

    In light of the sensitivities around “Community Representation”, if your community association is going to present on this topic we recommend that you have broad resident engagement evidence of your position. We believe that you may be asked about how you informed your position.

    The Federation of Calgary Communities works to support community associations, and recognizes that there are as many different positions on secondary suites as there are communities. Nonetheless, something we all agree on is the value of community. Communities are not static; they adapt and change over time, in response to the world around them. Diverse housing forms, including secondary suites, are one of the many tools that create space for a broad range of people, increase population density, and ensure communities remain vibrant. Let’s consider how we can contribute to a city that takes care of its people, something that all communities should be proud to do.

    If you have any questions or concerns, Dane, the planner working on the project at dane.morris@calgary.ca
  • February 22, 2018 7:44 PM | Anonymous

    RKHCA has received notice of a court application on March 7 to remove restrictive covenant 9685GC from the title to the property located at 2531 19A Street SW (the “Subject Property”), and has been asked to post a copy of the notice on the bulletin board next to the front entrance to the RKH Community Hall (which has been done). Click on these links to see PDF copies of the notice, the restrictive covenant and a map that we created showing the properties that may still be subject to, and have the benefit of, that restrictive covenant (the Subject Property is outlined in pen). Only the 8 homes that immediately surround the Subject Property have been provided with a copy of the notice.  All other affected property owners are supposed to find out about the court application by reading the copy of the notice posted at the Community Hall.  We do not consider posting a copy of the notice at the Community Hall to be an overly effective way of letting the other affected property owners know about the court application, so we thought we should also post this note on the RKHCA Development blog.

    The restrictive covenant dates back to 1950 and was put in place by the City of Calgary.  The restrictions imposed by the restrictive covenant include:

    1. only one single or two family dwelling house (and a private garage) per lot;
    2. minimum footprint sizes for single and multi-level dwelling houses; and
    3. no lot or any building erected thereon may be used for any trade or business or otherwise than for private residential purposes.
    The lawyer claims that the owner of the Subject Property simply wants to clean up the title to his property, but there may be more to it than that.  The Subject Property was created a few years ago when two contiguous 50ft wide parcels were combined and resubdivided into three 33.33ft wide parcels and a new 2-storey single detached dwelling was constructed on each new parcel.  The owner may be concerned that this redevelopment may have technically breached the first restriction, as his home is one of 3 single family dwelling houses that were constructed on what was originally 2 lots.  Alternatively, the owner may wish to carry on a trade or business from the Subject Property, which is prohibited by the third restriction.

    Owners of other properties that are subject to the same restrictive covenant have the right to oppose the court application, if they feel that the restrictive covenant sets out a valid “building scheme” and that its restrictions are not inconsistent with the Subject Property’s R-C2 land use district.  If you own a property that is subject to the same restrictive covenant and do not wish to see the restrictive covenant discharged from the Subject Property, then we would recommend speaking to other owners of affected properties and possibly retain a lawyer to appear on your behalf at the March 7 court application.  Failing to oppose this court application may make it more difficult for the restrictive covenant to be enforced at some point in the future, such as to prevent a higher density development from being constructed on a parcel that is subject to the restrictive covenant.

  • February 06, 2018 10:10 AM | Anonymous

    We, and other inner-city communities around us, are being told by both the City and developers that the Richmond Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP) is woefully out-of-date, and that it is not enough for our community to continue densifying by:

    1. having our old bungalows replaced with 2 skinny single detached infills or semi-detached infill units;
    2. accepting 4-plexes and other slightly higher density residential developments along on our collector roads and in other areas designated for such under the ARP; and
    3. accepting mid-rise residential and mixed-use developments along our Main Streets, being 17 Avenue SW and 33 Avenue SW,

    and that developers should be allowed to rezone ANY corner parcel in our community from either R-C1 (only 1 dwelling unit allowed) or R-C2 (only 2 dwelling units allowed) to R-CG so that 4-unit rowhouse developments can be built on them.  The City and developers are also looking at the rules of the R-CG land use district to see if there is a way to tweak them so that developers would also be allowed to use those rules to build 4-unit developments on interior parcels.  As far as the City is concerned, 4-unit rowhouse developments under the R-CG rules are completely compatible with, and appropriate to be built beside, any single family home or semi in our community.

    Our sense is that RKH is already doing its fair share to absorb more population density within established communities (eg. RKH's population has increased by 31% over the past 30 years), and we do not see the need to have all of our corner parcels, and possibly also all of our interior parcels, opened up to 4-unit rowhouse developments that have significant potential to be out-of-context with the streetscape (particularly if they are 3-storeys/11m tall and are built next to single-storey bungalows), as well as to create privacy, shadowing, drainage and parking issues for the adjacent properties.

    These 4-unit rowhouse developments cannot even be supported on the grounds that they create a new category of lower-cost housing options in our community, as the current asking prices for new 3-storey rowhouse units in our community seem to start at $699,000, which actually makes them LESS affordable than many of our remaining bungalows, even though those bungalows are freehold properties on 50ft wide lots!

    We came across an interesting article on this issue on Buildzoom.com, an excerpt from which is reproduced below.  We encourage all RKH residents to read the full article, which can be found at the following web address:


    As you will have seen in other recent Development Blog posts, we have asked Councillor Woolley and City Administration to hold a community-wide engagement session to revisit the Richmond ARP and determine the extent to which it should be updated to allow higher density developments, if at all, and if so, what forms and where in our community they should be allowed.  We would appreciate your support in this regard by contacting Councillor Woolley’s office and pushing for that engagement to take place.  The residents of RKH were given the opportunity to provide input when the Richmond ARP was originally created back in 1986 — we should be given another opportunity to do so before such a fundamental change is made to the ARP.

    See below excerpt from “America’s New Metropolitan Landscape: Pockets Of Dense Construction In A Dormant Suburban Interior”, on Buildzoom.com (annotations in red are ours):

    . . .

    Pockets of dense construction, or modest densification everywhere?

    City planners tend to favor concentrating residential development in dense hubs because they lend themselves to service by public transit, which helps reduce the impact of new residents on emissions and traffic congestion. Yet this rationale for limiting densification to transit hubs and corridors amounts to acquiescing the battle for development elsewhere. The current battleground is in the pockets of dense construction, whereas the dormant suburban interior is conceded territory in which dense housing is never debated because it is never proposed. It is taboo. 

    Confining development to dense hubs is a sensible approach, but it has come at a great cost. Over recent decades, America’s expensive coastal cities have slowed down their outward expansion and increasingly come to rely on residential densification within the developed footprint to accommodate the people drawn to them. Yet rather than pick up its pace, densification has become less common. As a result, residential construction in the expensive coastal cities has failed to meet demand and prevent runaway housing price appreciation, resulting in an affordability crisis with profound implications for younger generations’ ability to put down roots, live near family, raise children and prosper. 

    This doesn’t mean that the expensive coastal cities can’t deliver much greater amounts of housing. They can. But to meaningfully stem housing price appreciation would require them to regularly produce far more housing than they have for decades. The track record of the current paradigm – minimize metropolitan expansion and concentrate new housing in dense hubs – suggests they will keep under-producing housing in the future as well.

    I am not advocating a return to vigorous sprawl. That would be wasteful, unhealthy and unsustainable. Moreover, the rising value of central locations in the eyes of both people and employers suggests that sprawl may offer a less appealing substitute to housing in the metropolitan interior than in the past, especially in the largest metros.

    I am suggesting that, while cities continue to fight the battle for development in dense hubs, they also question the de facto exemption granted to low-density suburban areas from the onus to produce more housing. The dormant suburban sea is so vast that if the taboo on densification there were broken, even modest gradual redevelopment – tearing down one single-family home at a time and replacing it with a duplex [RKH has been doing this for years!] or a small apartment building [This as well along our collector roads, Main Streets in and other areas where we consider such developments to be appropriate!] – could grow the housing stock immensely. Distributing the necessary amounts of new housing over vast low-density suburban areas instead of just concentrating them in dense hubs would dilute the local impact on neighborhoods. It would make a large increase in housing more palatable vis-a-vis neighborhood character, and more gradual. Of course, building in these areas could have different implications for congestion than building in dense hubs, but the affordability crisis in America’s expensive coastal cities is so acute that the tradeoff between worsening affordability and congestion should be evaluated with fresh eyes.

    In order to nurture new residential development in the dormant suburban interior, local land use policy would need to undergo a revolution. The construction industry and the financial ecosystem would need to evolve as well, and infrastructure would need to be greatly upgraded. The very first step, however, involves grasping America’s new metropolitan landscape and realizing just how much of it has gone dormant. That is where the problem is, as well as the opportunity.


  • January 14, 2018 12:30 PM | Anonymous

    A couple of years ago the City of Calgary designated 24 of its streets as “Main Streets” and is looking to upgrade those streets into vibrant, pedestrian-friendly strips that people will want to visit and spend time at.  RKH is “bookended” by 2 of these Main Streets — 17 Avenue SW, which forms our community’s north boundary, and 33 & 34 Avenues SW (east of Crowchild Trail), which form a portion of our south boundary.

    Last year the City’s Main Streets group initiated a rezoning of parcels along the portion of 17 Avenue SW west of Crowchild Trail, to encourage the construction of new commercial and higher-density developments in the area, and to encourage developments along 17th Avenue SW to include shops, cafes and restaurants on their main floors.  Later this year the City will begin the process of creating a Streetscape Master Plan for that portion of 17th Avenue SW, and will be seeking input from the public on what the new streetscape should include and how it should be designed to help make that strip more inviting for people to visit and spend time at.  The portion of 17th Avenue SW east of Crowchild Trail will undergo a similar process at some point in the near future.

    33 and 34 Avenues SW, and in particular the portions within the Marda Loop business district, are not merely ripe for redevelopment, they are literally exploding with redevelopment.  Fueled by the recent enactment of the Marda Loop Area Redevelopment Plan (the “MLARP”) and the announcement that South West Bus Rapid Transit (SWBRT) stations will be located at the west end of the business district, 2 mid-rise developments have recently been completed, 3 more are currently under construction, yet another 3 have been approved for development and at least 2 more are currently in the planning approval process.  It is therefore great to see that the City has already begun the process of creating a Streetscape Master Plan for 33 and 34 Avenues SW, to ensure that the public realm surrounding these and future developments achieves the City’s Main Streets vision for retail vitality and pedestrian- and cycle-friendliness.
    Section 6.2.1 of the MLARP similarly calls for the City to undertake “a comprehensive streetscape design concept for 33 and 34 Avenues SW and intersecting side streets (18 Street SW, 19 Street SW, 20 Street SW, 21 Street SW and 22 Street SW)”.  Accordingly, creating a Streetscape Master Plan for 33 and 34 Avenues SW will not only help to achieve the City’s Main Streets vision for this area, but will hopefully also fulfill this MLARP public realm requirement – two birds with one stone, so to speak.  In this regard we look forward to the Streetscape Master Plan addressing, among other things, each of the following areas identified in Section 6.2.1 of the MLARP:

    • Thorough review and assessment of the existing condition for the above mentioned avenues and the intersecting streets
    • Transportation analysis of the current condition with regards to pedestrian, vehicular, bicycle and transit movement
    • Public realm concepts in consultation with the community and businesses
    • Street furniture handbook that will define style, design, colour and character of all the elements of the street furniture for example (benches, litter and recycling bins, pedestrian lights, street lights, trees, public art, surface material)
    • Phasing plan to define priority areas for implementation 
    The City will be holding an Information Session for the 33 and 34 Avenues SW Streetscape Master Plan on Monday, February 26 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Marda Loop Community Hall (3130 16 Street SW).  Please take the time to attend the Information Session to find out more and to provide your input on what you would like to see included in the 33 and 34 Avenue SW Streetscape Master Plan.

    33 and 34 Avenues SW have huge potential to become a vibrant urban village that will help the surrounding communities of Richmond/Knob Hill, South Calgary, Altadore and Garrison Woods to become complete, highly walkable inner-city communities.  To get it right, we need your input.

    Thanks, and we look forward to seeing you there!

  • January 14, 2018 12:18 PM | Anonymous

    The chart below shows the electricity generated by RKHCA’s new rooftop solar PV system during 2017, its first full year of operation.  The 12.58MWh of electricity that the system generated over the course of the year is expected to roughly equal the total amount of electricity that the community centre used during that period (at the time of writing this our final usage figures for December were not yet known), and represented almost 5,000kg of CO2 emissions saved!  The system basically runs itself and so far has required no maintenance or management to speak of (except to avoid accidentally knocking its AC Disconnect switch to the “Off” position, as happened once back in June).  We are very pleased with system and would like to once again thank SkyFire Energy for supplying and installing it for us!

  • December 06, 2017 8:43 AM | Anonymous
    For many years now there has been significant redevelopment activity in our community.  Most of this redevelopment activity has involved older bungalows on our 50ft wide R-C2 lots being demolished and replaced with two 2-storey or 3-storey single detached or semi-detached infills on subdivided 25ft wide lots.  We have also had older bungalows on our few 50ft wide M-C1 and M-CG lots, such as those backing onto the west side of Crowchild Trail, demolished and replaced with 4-plexes.  We have also seen higher density residential, commercial and mixed-use (main floor retail with residential above) developments go in along our two Main Streets, 17 Avenue SW and 33 Avenue SW.

    This redevelopment and densification has generally been good for Richmond/Knob Hill, as it has rejuvenated our housing stock and has helped to revitalize our community by reversing its population decline. The population of RKH peaked at 5,080 back in 1968 and then began to decline as the community matured and children grew into adults and moved out of their parents’ homes, dropping to as low as 3,700 by the mid-1980s.  To reverse this downward trend, in 1986 the City and the residents of RKH got together and created the Richmond Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP), the purpose of which was to set out, among other things, where new higher-density residential developments would be allowed and how much denser those developments could be.  The Richmond ARP included a map that divided RKH’s residential areas up into the following designations:

    1)  Conservation and Infill — This designation contemplated that existing wide-lot single family homes in good condition would be preserved and that those in poor condition could be replaced with up to 2 new narrow-lot infills.  This designation covered essentially all of the R-C1, R-C2 and DC (based on R-2) areas of RKH.

    2)  Low Density — This designation provided for low profile family-oriented housing including single and two family dwellings and multi-dwelling infill projects comprised of townhouses or stacked townhouses.  Maximum density was not to exceed 75 units per hectare, which would typically mean no more than 4 units on a standard 50ft wide lot.  This designation was initially only applied to 2 blocks of 24A Street SW backing onto Crowchild Trail and to the east end of the 2100 block of 27 Avenue SW.

    3)  Medium Density — This designation was intended to encourage a variety of housing types attractive to single adults, childless couples, and families including apartments, townhouses and stacked townhouses.  Maximum density could be as high as 210 units per hectare, which would mean up to 11 units on a standard 50ft wide lot.  This designation was applied to several blocks immediately south of 17 Avenue SW, 2 blocks of 24A Street SW backing onto Crowchild Trail, 2 blocks of 33 Avenue SW, a couple of spots along 26 Avenue SW and the portion of 28 Street south of the Benjamin Moore paint store.

    4)  HIgh Density — This designation was intended to provide for high-density apartment developments which did not exceed 321 units per hectare and was only applied to 1 parcel, being the parcel on the SE corner of the intersection of 17 Avenue SW and 25A Street SW.

    The Richmond ARP has been quite successful in both encouraging and managing redevelopment in RKH, as since 1986 our total number of residential units has increased by 33% and our population has increased by 31%, and will likely surpass its previous peak of 5,080 within the next year or two.  Most of this redevelopment has been in accordance with the designations that were applied when the Richmond ARP was created over 31 years ago, although in recent years there have been a few amendments to the ARP map to accommodate new developments with higher densities than were originally contemplated, which have been on parcels located along our collector roads such as 26 Avenue SW and Richmond Road SW.  Within the last 3 years more significant amendments have been made to the map to allow for higher densities on parcels along and within a block or so of the portion of 17 Avenue SW west of Crowchild Trail, as part of the City’s Main Streets initiative, and to create a brand new ARP for the Marda Loop business district that includes the portion of 33 Avenue SW east of Crowchild Trail.  To date the RKHCA has generally been supportive of these amendments as we understand that the City has changed significantly since the Richmond ARP was created over 31 years ago and, through our own community engagement activities, that our residents tend not to see a problem with slightly higher density developments along our collector roads and even more substantial developments along our Main Streets.

    However, we have recently received applications to upzone non-collector R-C1 and R-C2 corner parcels in our community to allow higher density developments, such as 4-unit rowhouse developments (potentially each with a secondary suite for a total of 8 households).  These applications are not consistent with the Richmond ARP, and would therefore require amendments to the ARP map, and if even one such application/amendment is approved, then there would seem to be nothing to prevent all other non-collector corner parcels in our community from being similarly upzoned.  Although corner parcels are most attractive for these types of higher density developments, once the available supply of those begins to dwindle it is likely that developers would then turn their attention to upzoning our non-collector interior lots.

    The RKHCA is currently opposing these applications to amend the Richmond ARP and upzone non-collector corner parcels, as we are not convinced that further densification of our community beyond that which is:

    1)  already allowed under the Richmond ARP as it currently reads;

    2) likely to soon be allowed once the Richmond ARP is amended to reflect the results of the City’s upcoming Main Streets reviews of both the portion of 17 Avenue SW east of Crowchild Trail and the portion of 33 Avenue SW east of Crowchild Trail;

    3)  already supported by the community along our collector roads; and

    4)  likely to take place at some point on the Viscount Bennett lands when the CBE no longer has need for it and makes it available for redevelopment,

    is either necessary or desirable.  We also feel strongly that, if the City feels otherwise, then rather than approving these “one off” applications, they should undertake a comprehensive community engagement process to both demonstrate the need for such further densification and give RKH residents a say as to how we would like to see our community absorb this greater share of the City’s future population growth. Would we like to see it spread evenly throughout the community, or concentrated along our Main Streets and collector roads, or a combination of the two?  What forms of higher density developments would we like to see?

    We encourage all RKH residents to check out RKHCA’s detailed submission on an application to upzone the non-collector corner parcel at 2403 28 Avenue SW, which we consider to be a “watershed” application that will have implications throughout our community, a copy of which can be found here.  We also want to hear your thoughts on this issue, and for you to share those thoughts with our Ward 8 City Councillor, Evan Woolley.  Let your voice be heard!
  • November 13, 2017 4:28 PM | Anonymous
    Now that the Calgary 2017 municipal election is over, here are a few things that the RKHCA Development Committee would like to see Evan push for during his second term as Ward 8 Councillor:
    1. Better communication with the City, so that we get advance notice of, and maybe even an opportunity to provide input on, any proposed changes or improvements the City is planning to make in our community;
    2. A more collaborative development process in which the community is recognized and respected as an equal partner at the table;
    3. Better City oversight of the drainage aspects of new developments, so that more storm runoff from new developments is retained on and absorbed by the parcel, rather than flowing onto neighbouring parcels or washing down the street or lane into the storm sewer system;
    4. A long overdue update to the Richmond Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP), which dates back to 1986, to reflect both current urban planning thinking and our community’s current wishes and priorities;
    5. New infill developments in our community to comply with the updated Richmond ARP in all material respects, unless the any proposed deviation from the ARP is supported by the community;
    6. New developments along 33 and 34 Avenues SW to comply with the recently enacted Marda Loop ARP in all material respects, unless any proposed deviation from the ARP is supported by the community;
    7. A great Streetscape Master Plan for 33 and 34 Avenues SW that is the product of genuine and thoughtful engagement with area residents and businesses and that includes:
      • fully accessible pedestrian realms with wide sidewalks, lots of street trees, comfortable year-round patios, cool public art, etc., to help create a place where people want to hang out;
      • safe and secure bike access and parking, so that more people who live a bit too far away to walk to Marda Loop will feel comfortable riding there, rather than driving;
      • comfortable, safe and conveniently located BRT stations at Crowchild Trail, so that more people will use transit to travel to and from Marda Loop, rather than drive;
      • well designed streets and intersections that allow vehicle traffic to move around and through the area smoothly, discourage cut-thru traffic and provide an appropriate amount of on-street parking, while being safe and comfortable for pedestrians and cyclists; and
      • a new public park/gathering space in the existing green space on the NE corner of the Crowchild interchange, with amphitheatre seating carved into the hillside, a plaza area that could feature a splash pad in summer, a skating rink in winter, and programmed events at various times of the year (Shakespeare in the Loop?);
    8. Adequate funding to make the Streetscape Master Plan a reality within a reasonable period of time;
    9. The SWBRT to begin operating by the end of 2018, and to offer true BRT-type service, with long service hours and sufficiently short head times that people can just head to the station whenever, knowing that a bus will be there momentarily;
    10. Currie Barracks to also begin receiving SWBRT service by the end of 2018, so that the 15,000 new people that will soon be living and/or working there have convenient access to high-quality transit service from the outset and therefore are less likely to feel the need to drive everywhere, adding to the area’s traffic congestion;
    11. Better snow clearing for our 20 Street and 26 Avenue SW bikeways, to make it easier for cyclists to continue riding through the winter;
    12. More effort into preserving and enhancing our community’s urban tree canopy, including more street trees; and
    13. Fewer orphaned curb cuts.

    What things would you like to see our Ward 8 Councillor push for?  Let us know by posting a comment to this article.  We would love to hear from you!

  • October 08, 2017 2:20 PM | Anonymous

    On September 21 the RKHCA Development Committee forwarded a list of questions to the 4 candidates running for Ward 8 Councillor.  The list of questions, which was a trimmed down version of the list of questions published in the September edition of The Review, can be found here.  The first candidate to provide a response was Karla Charest -- click here to see Karla's responses to the questions.  The second candidate to provide a response was Chris Davis -- click here to see Chris' responses to the questions.  The third candidate to provide a response was Evan Woolley -- click here to see Evan's responses to the questions.  The final candidate to provide a response was Carter Thomson -- click here to see Carter's responses to the questions.

    Thank you to all candidates for responding!

  • September 06, 2017 9:27 AM | Anonymous

    Land Use Redesignation (Rezoning) Applications, and the Role of the Ward 8 Councillor

    Lately we have received a number of applications to redesignate (rezone) parcels in RKH to a different land use district, to allow something to be built on the parcel that would not be allowed under the parcel's current land use district.

    Historically, the following land use districts were commonly found in RKH:

    1. Residential - Contextual One/Two Dwelling (R-C2) — allowed developments include single detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings and duplexes — wide lots (eg. 50ft wide) can be subdivided into 2 narrow lots (eg. 25ft wide) — single detached dwellings on wide lots can have a suite, but semi-detached, duplexes and narrow-lot singles are not allowed to have a suite — this is by far the most common land use district in RKH;
    2. Residential - Contextual One Dwelling (R-C1) — allowed developments include single detached dwellings — no suite allowed — R-C1 areas of RKH include the “Wedge” and the area north of 20 Avenue SW between Crowchild Trail and the Richmond Diagnostic Centre;
    3. Direct Control (based on R-2) — Direct Control is a term used to describe a non-standard land use district created to address a specific situation — in this case the district is similar to R-C2 except does not allow single detached dwellings on narrow lots — this land use designation was put in place many years ago in an attempt to prevent narrow lot infill development but was not entirely successful, as it still allows semi-detached developments — blocks with this land use designation can be found west of Crowchild Trail;
    4. Multi-Residential - Contextual Grade-Oriented (M-CG) — allowed developments include singles, semis, duplexes and 4-plexes — M-CG parcels can be found backing onto the west side of Crowchild Trail, and a few elsewhere;
    5. Multi-Residential - Contextual Low Profile (M-C1) — allowed developments include singles, semis, duplexes, 4-plexes and condo/apartment buildings up to 14m tall — M-C1 parcels can be found on the north side of 33 Avenue SW and in the first block south of 17 Avenue SW; and
    6. Commercial - Corridor Two (C-COR2) — allows auto-oriented commercial developments, such as the Merchants/Macs strip mall on 33 Avenue SW — mainly located along 17 Avenue SW and 33 Avenue SW;
    7. Commercial - Neighbourhood One (C-N1) — allows small-scale commercial development, such as Volo's Pizza on 26 Avenue SW — scattered here and there.

    Recent land use redesignation (“LOC”) applications in RKH have primarily been from R-C2 to M-CG, to allow a 4-plex to be built, or from R-C2 to Residential - Contextual Grade-Oriented (R-CG), a new land use district that is primarily designed for rowhouse-type developments (such as the 4-unit development on the east side of 20 Street SW at 31 Avenue SW).  RKHCA tends not to oppose these LOC applications as long as the parcel is in a location that is suitable for slightly higher density, such as along one of our corridors.

    We have also seen LOC applications to redesignate a parcel from R-C1 to R-C1s to allow the single detached dwelling to have either a basement suite or a garage/backyard suite.  RKHCA does not generally oppose these LOC applications either, as the City has waived the usual fee for this type of application to encourage more legal suites to be built to increase the inventory of safe, affordable housing options.  Despite this fee waiver, RKHCA is only aware of 2 parcels that have made this application to date, so it does not appear that RKH’s R-C1 areas will be seeing a flood of suites anytime soon.

    One recent LOC application of note was a request to redesignate a South Calgary corner parcel on the east side of 20 Street SW from R-C2 to a form of Direct Control based on R-C2 but with a few special conditions.  In RKHCA's view there was nothing special about the corner parcel that would have prevented the owner from redeveloping it in a reasonable fashion, and the application was a thinly disguised attempt to circumvent two previous decisions of the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (the “SDAB”) which found the proposed development to be inappropriately massive and out-of-context, and to effectively prevent the directly affected neighbours from being able to successfully appeal a third time.  Even though the directly affected neighbours all spoke in opposition to the LOC application at the public hearing, and our views regarding the application were passed on to the Ward 8 Councillor during the meeting, the application still ended up being approved by City Council.  Very disappointing.

    Finally, we are also seeing LOC applications to redesignate parcels in the Marda Loop business district, in most cases to allow residential, commercial or mixed-use developments that are larger than would be allowed under the parcel's current land use district.  In this case RKHCA tries to ensure that the proposed land use district is consistent with, and respectful of, the provisions of the new Marda Loop Area Redevelopment Plan (the “MLARP”), which provides, among other things, that developments along the north side of 33 Avenue SW should not exceed 4-storeys/16m in height.  However, in the last 18 months approvals have been issued for LOC applications that, at least in RKHCA’s view, were not overly consistent with the MLARP, and a new LOC application is now in the works for a proposed 6-storey/22m high development at the west end of the 2200 block of 33 Avenue SW, across from the Petro Canada gas station.

    Unlike development permit (“DP”) applications, which are approved by City Administration and can be appealed to the SDAB, LOC applications go to City Council for a public hearing and then final approval.  The Ward 8 Councillor plays a critical role on LOC applications for parcels in RKH and elsewhere in Ward 8, as once the public hearing has concluded the members of Council tend to place a significant amount of weight on whether the application before them is supported or opposed by the local Councillor.  For larger developments where the LOC and DP applications are submitted concurrently, City Council’s decision on the LOC application can also have significant implications for the DP application, as both City Administration and the SDAB may find themselves reluctant to order changes to DP plans that were before Council when it approved the LOC application.

    As RKH is currently experiencing a significant amount of redevelopment, and is likely to continue to do so for several years to come, it is important to this community that the Ward 8 Councillor be someone who has a solid understanding of development issues, and who is prepared to listen to, and advocate for, the residents of RKH on proposed developments in our community.  We encourage all residents of RKH to find out more about the development acumen and philosophy of each candidate for Ward 8 Councillor, and to REMEMBER TO VOTE ON OCTOBER 16!





Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software