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1 Ave NE

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Land use zoning changes

    1 Avenue NE

    The 1 Avenue NE main street, stretching from Edmonton Trail to 10 Street NE, is located within the historic community of Bridgeland.

    About

    During Calgary's first population boom in the 1880s, a significant number of Russian-German immigrants moved to this community, formerly known as Riverside. By the early 1900s, many Italians and Ukrainians had moved to the area and Bridgeland became popularly known as "Little Italy." This inner city community was incorporated as a village in 1903 and then annexed to Calgary in 1910. The demolition of the Calgary General Hospital in 1998 spurred intense redevelopment in the area.

    Land use (zoning) and policy changes

    Through the Main Streets initiative, several main streets have been identified as areas ready for new development and growth. By encouraging new development and increasing the population in main street areas through great housing choice, the vitality of local businesses, amenities and services can grow and be maintained.

    By analysing local input, economic information and infrastructure investments, the Main Streets team determined which main streets are good candidates for development and growth in the near future. This main street will have land use redesignations (rezonings) and Area Redevelopment Plan amendments which will be presented to Calgary Planning Commission and City Council for approval.

    Land use

    ​While the southern side of the street has seen significant change as a result of the redevelopment of the former General Hospital, the north side has not seen much activity in new development. Current zoning, if built out, would not allow for population and employment numbers to meet the growth targets outlined in the Municipal Development Plan. If development were to maximize the current zoning, the street would not be able to reach the population and employment targets outlined in the Municipal Development Plan.

    The proposed land use changes allow for greater flexibility for mixed-use development along 1 Avenue NE, including four storey (16 metre) buildings with commercial and residential uses.  Commercial uses are required at street level opposite the Bridges redevelopment near General Square.  The proposed mixed-use land use district includes provisions to ensure that new buildings step down and transition to the nearby homes.

    In the Edmonton Trail / 4 Street NE area, the proposed land use changes allow for mid-rise mixed-use buildings including commercial and residential uses, up to 8 storeys (34 metres) in height, with commercial uses required along 4 Street and 1 Avenue NE.  In this area, density incentives are proposed in order to encourage and facilitate the conservation and restoration of historic buildings, particularly along 4 Street NE.

    View detailed information about the proposed changes to Land Use for 1 Avenue NE.

    Considering he​ritage and character in Bridgeland

    In response to community desire to consider heritage properties in the community of Bridgeland,​ The City’s heritage planners have developed a framework for enabling additional growth along 1 Avenue NE, while creating an incentive for retaining character homes.

    The proposed new zoning allows different forms of development depending upon the presence (or absence) of a character home on a site.  This means that sites without a character home can create additional housing, while sites that do have a character home have different options depending upon whether the home is retained and restored or demolished. In summary:

    1. If there is no character home on the site, then single, semi-detached, rowhouse, and cottage cluster developments are allowed;
    2. If there is a character home on the site which the owner wants to demolish, then single and semi-detached developments are allowed; or
    3. If there is a character home on the site which the owner wants to restore and retain, then single, semi-detached, rowhouse, cottage cluster, and small-scale apartment developments are allowed.

    Heritage home flow chart
    a character home

    View more information about new approaches to conserving for character homes in Bridgeland.

    View more information about the pr​oposed land use district changes for character homes in Bridgeland.

    Area Redevel​opment Plan amendments

    The proposed amendments update the Bridgeland Area Redevelopment Plan. This includes the areas around the 4 Street/Edmonton Trail NE and 1 Avenue NE main streets. These changes provide support for mixed-use development and mid-rise apartments up to eight storeys in the 4 Street/Edmonton Trail NE area and four storeys in the 1 Avenue NE area, as well as a mix of small-scale low-rise apartments, row houses, single- and semi-detached homes in the blocks nearby, with a focus on retaining character homes and streetscapes.

    Most of the proposed changes to the Bridgeland Area Redevelopment Plan fall into these categories:

    • Deletions of out-of-date language (for example, references to city-initiated rezonings that were already completed);
    • Changes to the map of land uses to introduce land use districts from the proposed Developed Areas Guidebook that align with and support the proposed rezoning
    • The introduction of a new Main Streets section with updated objectives, context, and neighbourhood-specific policies for 4 Street / Edmonton Trail NE and 1 Avenue NE informed by public input and analysis undertaken through the Main Streets initiative; and
    • Introduction of heritage density incentives in the 4 Street / Edmonton Trail NE area in order to support the retention of historic buildings along 4 Street NE and the possibility for comprehensive redevelopment of blocks between the two streets with specific requirements for application submissions.

    The map changes outlined in the amended Bridgeland Area Redevelopment Plan include new land use areas identified as Community Urban, Community Centre, Community Mid-Rise, and Neighbourhood Limited development types. The policies attached to these development types support mixed-use and multi-residential redevelopment of parcels fronting on to the 4 Street / Edmonton Trail NE and 1 Avenue NE main streets. The map changes also support proposed rezoning intended to encourage the sensitive transition of new development into the residential areas off the main street while creating incentives for the retention of homes and streetscapes.

    What's next

    Informed by the public input that started in the fall of 2014 and was completed in the fall of 2016, these refined land use options and policy changes (proposed land use redesignations (rezonings) and Area Redevelopment Plan amendments) will be presented to City Council for approval.

    Review and approval

    Calgary Planning Commission

    Calgary Planning Commission is an advisory body that reviews all rezonings and Area Redevelopment Plan amendment recommendations. They will review and make comments on the proposed solutions and provide to City Council for them to consider when making their decisions. Main Street land use and policy changes will be presented to Calgary Planning Commission in early 2017.

    ​While members of the public are welcome to attend Calgary Planning Commission meetings, it is not a public hearing and there is no opportunity for speaking. Calgary Planning Commission meetings can be viewed in person or on Council and Committee webcasts​.

    Calgary Planning Commission presentation date: April 20, 2017

    City Council

    Once the proposed solutions for Main Streets have been review by Calgary Planning Commission, the Main Streets team will present their recommended land use solutions and policy changes to City Council for review and approval. City Council members will have an opportunity to ask questions of clarification on the proposed changes and then open a Public Hearing. During the Public Hearing portion of the meeting Calgarians can share their views.

    After the Public Hearing and discussion with citizens, City Council ​members will vote on the recommended rezonings and Area Redevelopment Plan amendments. Main Street land use and policy changes will be presented to City Council in spring of 2017.

    For more information on speaking at a Public Hearing, viewing a City Council meeting online or in person, or to learn how to get in touch with your Ward Councillor, visit ca/citycouncil.

    City Council presentation date: June 12, 2017

    E-mail updates

    Subscribe for email updates about upcoming meetings and public hearings related to the Main Streets initiative.

    Public input

    Main street users provided their input at workshops, through an online mapping activity, online surveys, and at information sessions.

    Through the input shared by Calgarians, City staff learned what’s working or needs improvement for each of Calgary’s main streets.
    Learn more >

    Comments were compiled from the Main Streets public engagement activities which took place from November 2014 through May 2015. The top issues, opportunities and outcomes were ranked in order of consensus and ratings from citizens. This input will be analyzed to inform the planning strategy for each main street.

    View full size map

    Discussing options and reviewing solutions

    1 Avenue NE had additional public input opportunities to review and discuss planning concepts informed by previous public input sessions. Main street users and residents shared input on the tools and techniques that will be used to prepare these main street areas for growth and change.

    Calgarians shared input related to:

    • Development types transitioning from main street to surrounding streets
    • Land use requirements for retail development
    • Considered factors when planning future large redevelopment sites

    View a summary of what we heard at these input sessions, summary of what we heard.

    What's next

    Informed by the public input that started in the fall of 2014 and was completed in the fall of 2016, land use options and policy changes are being refined and will eventually be presented to Calgary Planning Commission, Standing Policy Committee on Planning and Urban Development and City Council for approval.

    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.

    E-mail updates

    Subscribe for email updates about upcoming meetings and public hearings related to the Main Streets initiative.

    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 1 Ave NE key findings

    View full report of what we’ve learned​

    Local statistics and growth targets

    Growth potential

    Growth for this main street area is close to the Municipal Development Plan desired target. The most relevant factors that narrow this gap are market desire and consumer preference; there is modest market desire to accommodate development at a level similar to Municipal Development Plan goals. Land use districts (zoning) must be in place to enable redevelopment to reach desired population and employment levels. Support from City services and infrastructure can have a positive impact on market demand and will contribute to the evolution of this main street.

    Market outlook

    1 Avenue NE accounts for just under 2,600 homes, or about 0.56% of the Calgary housing inventory. 1 Avenue NE has a higher than average share of multifamily units, especially in low-rise apartments and detached duplexes. The housing stock is considerably older than the city wide average, with homes likely to have been built before 1960. Given the historic and inner-city nature of this corridor, the overall age of its housing stock suggests that many units may be reaching the end of their lifecycle and may be ready for redevelopment. The result is a total demand for 868 residential units expected to be built over the next 25 years. Growth, in Bridgeland, is partly evidenced by the spike in the fraction of homes built since 2006.

    1 Avenue NE has about 88,000 square feet of office space accounting for about 0.11% of the city wide inventory. The current vacancy is 1.4%. Additional commercial and retail opportunities will be mostly driven by population growth in the immediate area.

    Existing local planning

    Local planning

    1 Avenue NE is the main street of the community of Bridgeland/Riverside. The current Bridgeland/Riverside Area Redevelopment Plan was approved in 1980 with a significant change and amendments in 2002 by the Bow Valley Centre Concept Plan that support redevelopment of the former hospital land. The Bridgeland/Riverside Area Redevelopment Plan provides policy that promotes and encourages the success and growth of the commercial area along this main street and aims to maintain this as a key part of the community. The built form-scale policy within the Bridgeland/Riverside Area Redevelopment Plan matches the current surrounding low density residential districts.

    Current zoning

    While the southern side of the street has seen significant change as a result of the redevelopment of the former General Hospital, the north side has not seen much activity in new development. Current zoning, if built out, would not allow for population and employment numbers to meet the growth targets outlined in the Municipal Development Plan. Current zoning could also be a significant barrier to mixed use projects on the north side in particular. Rezoning could allow greater flexibility for mixed use, apartment, or row or townhouse style development and allow for more apartment housing choices and business locations for Bridgeland.

    Heritage

    Bridgeland circa 1917, Glenbow archives

    The 1 Avenue NE main street runs between Edmonton Trail and 10 Street NE and is located in the northeast community of Bridgeland-Riverside. The street is set on top of a steep plain that overlooks the north and east ends of downtown Calgary.

    The character of 1 Avenue NE is largely influenced by the immigrant groups who settled in the area at the turn of the 20th Century. The area south of 1 Avenue NE was once known as ‘Germantown’ for the influx of German emigrants from Russia in the late 1800s. The area was later named Riverside for its river location.

    In 1909, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Land Department filed the Bridgeland subdivisions, where the first small wave of Calgary’s ethnic Italians settled. The Frederick Olmsted firm was commissioned to design a garden suburb on the sloping terrain, which resulted in the area’s distinctive views. A second influx of Italians in 1920 found employment with nearby industrial employers and also settled in Bridgeland.

    Italian restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores continued to grow and peaked in the 1980s, earning 1 Avenue the nickname, Little Italy. In the early 1990s, plans were made to give 1 Avenue NE a European Village feel, by preserving specialty retail shops at street level and European cultural elements such as signage, flags and murals.

    Today, the streets surrounding 1 Avenue NE reflect the area’s working class roots and consist of modest, one to two storey Edwardian style cottages and bungalows. A number of historic institutional buildings also exist on 1 Avenue NE like the Riverside Bungalow School No.2 and the Bridgeland Baptist Church, as well as a historic pattern of storefront retail at street level.

    Considering he​ritage and character in Bridgeland

    a character homeView more information about new approaches to conserving for character homes in Bridgeland.

    View more information about the proposed land use district changes for character homes in Bridgeland​.​​