From the office of Alderman Carra:
The Public Hearing and Council meeting on January 9th (which spilled over to January 10th) was focused on the Mission Road area and the opposing land use redesignations. The public submission and debate took place over the course of two days and Councillor Carra would like to share his thoughts and summation about what occurred and where we are now;
In the first place I want to apologize for taking so long to get this update on Mission Road out to everyone. After Council spent almost twelve hours over the course of two full-days focused on the future of Mission Road (not to mention the weeks of prep that my office dedicated to ensuring we had a successfully representative public hearing) we had to play quite a bit of catch up on a number of other fronts. Secondly, with the complexity of the issues surrounding Innovation on Mission Road, I felt like I needed some time to reflect on Council’s debate and decisions so that I could clearly communicate where we’re at and what remains to be accomplished.
Overall, and in the face of unfortunate resistance from the landowners, the January 9 Public Hearing of Council was a very successful step forward for both the future of Mission Road as well as the general transformation of the City of Calgary’s planning process.
The two major decisions of the day were that:
- In response to the broad community support for the Charrette-generated vision for Mission Road demonstrated at the hearing, Council granted first reading (three readings are required for a proposed bylaw to become law) to the City-initiated land use bylaw intended to achieve that vision, as well as the ARP amendment that establishes Mission Road as a “Neighbourhood Activity Centre;” also,
- Council granted only first reading in acknowledgement of concerns expressed at the hearing that there are some remaining questions regarding implementation (and implementability) of the Charrette vision that the innovation process didn’t manage to answer this first time around. Accordingly, direction was given to administration to fulfil the intent of the innovation project and arrive at clarity surrounding the following:
- Undertake the engineering analysis in sufficient detail to determine the feasibility and costs associated with constructing the stairs on Erlton Court and the relocation of the utilities in Mission Road to realize the Public Realm improvements, including the planting trees in the public right of way.
- Develop options for the “embedded financial mechanisms” referenced in the original Notice of Motion NM2011-07 and make a recommendation to Council regarding benefitting areas and any phasing and/or cost sharing between The City and developer that may be considered.
- Undertake additional independent pro forma analysis to determine the financial impacts of the options listed in b) above.
- Consider whether the retail proposed in Bylaw 3P2012 should be mandatory.
- Explore the potential to include the Enmax substation lands as part of a future redesignation.
- Clarify that the built form depicted in the Charrette master plan, including the mews, is allowable but not mandatory. Further clarify that a slope adaptive built form is a possible outcome with the form based controls. This will result in a few amendments throughout (including the cross sections).
Council directed Administration to address this laundry-list of out-standing questions and report back through a public hearing of the SPC on Planning and Urban Development by May at the latest. We will, of course, keep you abreast of when exactly these reports will be coming back for discussion, what they’ve found and are recommending, and how you can participate.
Issues that require further clarity and direction that were not addressed in Council’s decisions last week are:
- A strategy to achieve the larger vision for the area (including the transformation of Burnsland Road into a shopping street and the relocation of the 39th Avenue LRT station); and,
- A strategy to mitigate potential traffic impacts from intensification of development along Mission Road.
The point of the Mission Road Innovation Project is to pioneer a comprehensively alternative approach to neighbourhood-scale planning that better and more quickly integrates all of the process and regulatory elements required for the development of successful Calgary neighbourhoods (including deep engagement of the community). The challenge that confronted Council last week was that we were asked to review a proposed land use that is only one element of this larger system-change agenda. Further, the debate was made murky by the lack of clarity surrounding what aspects of the Mission Road vision are part of the larger system-change project, and what were specific alternative outcomes to the original land use redesignation proposed by the land owners. I fully expect that the reports coming due in May will clarify a lot of this murkiness as regards both Mission Road as well as the future of our City’s approach to planning our neighbourhoods. While I share aggravations that we have yet to arrive at an answer, I’m convinced that this process is in the best interests of the community, the City, and the land owners.
To watch the proceedings of the public hearing or hear the council debate, visit theCity’s website. Team Ward 9 has also put together a condensed version of the Council meeting with items only relating to mission road. In addition, you can also see our own list of motions arising related to the meeting.
Here’s how you can help!
- Check out the project website
- Follow us on Twitter
- Encourage friends and neighbours to get on the contact list
- Innovation Project to come before Council for evaluation in April
- Administration will bring back more information regarding the City Initiated land use redesignation to Committee in May.
- Team Ward 9 will continue to keep you updated.