The 50 Avenue SW main street extends from Macleod Trail to Elbow Drive SW through the neighbourhoods of Elboya, Windsor Park and Britannia.
The area is evolving into a complete street that accommodates pedestrians, cyclists, transit and vehicles in a well landscaped environment.
What we've learned
To start developing solutions which ensure the future success of Calgary’s main street neighbourhoods, City planners listened and learned from main street users, neighbourhood residents, industry experts and economic specialists to understand the unique challenges and opportunities for growth and development in these areas.
View 50 Avenue SW key findings
View full report of what we’ve learned
Local statistics and growth targets
Growth for this main street area is signifi cantly less than the Municipal Development Plan target. The most relevant factors contributing to this are market desire and consumer preference, which haven’t driven redevelopment. Land use districts (zoning) must be in place to enable redevelopment potential to increase to desired population and employment levels, but strong market interest is a key for fueling new construction. Support from City services and infrastructure can have a positive impact on market demand and will contribute to the evolution of this main street.
Based on 2011 Census, the 50 Avenue SW trade area includes approximately 3,400 homes, or about 0.73% of the Calgary housing inventory. 50 Avenue has a higher than average share of single family houses and detached duplexes. There is an estimated 307 residential units expected to be built over the next 25 years. Additional commercial and retail opportunities in the area will be driven by population growth in the immediate area.
Existing local planning
50 Avenue SW has a recent area redevelopment plan, approved by City Council in 2013. The whole process for engagement, policy creation and internal City of Calgary review, was directed by the goals and objectives of the Municipal Development Plan. The plan is mostly limited to parcels that front 50 Avenue SW, so no policy direction was provided to address the development transition for the adjacent residential communities. No land use district (rezoning) followed the 50 Avenue SW Area Redevelopment Plan approval, so the limited amount of residential redevelopment which has occurred has not enabled the population growth required for a redesign of the roadway and streetscape improvements.
50 Avenue SW is intended to be a neighbourhood main street, anchored by mixed use development at Elbow Drive and MacLeod Trail. Current zoning allows only single or semi-detached homes to be built on both sides of 50 Avenue. This means that redevelopment capable of reaching the growth targets outlined in the Municipal Development Plan is not allowed without individual property owners applying for a rezoning, even to build what the local area redevelopment plan calls for. Property on the north side of 50 Avenue SW will require further analysis of the costs and benefits of relocating the Altalink power transmission lines underground.
All of the public input and discussion with experts throughout the project included one common concept; focus the effort of the Main Streets initiative work on a few key or strategic streets in the short term to maximize chances of success. By analysing local input, economic information and infrastructure investments, the Main Streets team identified which main streets are good candidates for development and growth in the near future.
Once that success has been tested, it will then be applied to main streets across Calgary as the timing for growth makes sense based on the unique needs of each street.
Based on all the information gathered, a series of proposed solutions have been created which would enable growth in main street areas that have been identified as ready for development. To learn more about the areas with rezoning options and Area Development Plan amendments being reviewed and considered for approval in the near future, visit the Main Streets' rezoning information page.
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