Earlier this year, Truman Development Corporation proposed to develop the parcel of land on the Kensington Legion site. The proposal is generating a great deal of interest, and many residents have contacted my office to express their views. To help provide clarity on the decision-making process and where we are in the process, I have prepared a list of frequently asked questions:
What is being proposed?
The applicant, Truman Development Corporation, in a joint venture with the Kensington Legion, has applied for a land-use redesignation of the Legion site. If approved, the application would change the zoning of the property to allow for a mixed-use development.
The proposal includes plans for two separate buildings. The first building, on the west portion of the lot, would be a new four-storey building for the Legion. The second phase, on the east portion of the lot, is conceived as a terraced, ten-storey residential building with retail at the street-level. Both buildings require development permits, in addition to the land-use redesignation, in order to proceed. The development permit for the Legion building has already been submitted. The development permit for the larger building has not been submitted.
The Kensington Legion site (from Truman website)
What is the difference between a land-use redesignation and a development permit?
A land-use redesignation is the same as re-zoning. Zoning determines, among other things, height, density, and allowable uses. Put simply, land-use determines an imaginary box in which a building can fit, along with the type of homes, offices, businesses, and other things that can operate in that building.
A development permit gets into the details - the building design, materials, and even colour. Planning issues like traffic, parking, loading, and servicing are also reviewed at this stage.
Has the proposal been approved by the City?
No. No decisions have been made on the approval of this project.
What is the process for reviewing these applications?
Step 1: Land use redesignation was submitted for the entire site. A development permit proposal for Site One was also submitted.
Step 2: City Administration is considering feedback from area residents and stakeholders such as schools, utility companies, and community associations. The formal comment periods for the land-use and first development permit are now closed.
Step 3: City of Calgary Administration is undertaking a technical review of both the land-use redesignation proposal and the development permit for Site One.
Step 4: Once the development permit is submitted for Site Two, City Administration will also review that proposal. Opportunity for comments will come with this application.
Step 5: Based on City policy, the technical evaluation, and stakeholder feedback, the planner will make a recommendation to the Calgary Planning Commission on whether to approve or refuse the land-use redesignation.
Step 6: Calgary Planning Commission will review the proposal and in turn make a recommendation to City Council on whether to approve, amend, or refuse the application.
Step 7: Council will evaluate the proposal based on the recommendations from City Administration, the Calgary Planning Commission, and public input. There will also be a public hearing at a Council meeting, where residents and other interested parties can comment directly to Council on whether to approve, amend, or reject the land-use redesignation. We are here in the process.
Step 8: If the land-use redesignation is approved, the development permits will then be reviewed by Calgary Planning Commission to be approved, amended, or rejected. Neither development permit can proceed unless the land-use redesignation is approved by City Council. Development permits do not go to City Council.
Proposed land-use redesignation timeline (via Truman website)
What about resident concerns with the design? Who will address those?
Prior to submitting the Site Two development permit, the applicant may decide to change the design based on stakeholder feedback. The applicant may also be required to undertake various technical studies, such as shadow and transportation analyses, and make additional changes.
Once the plans are submitted, a number of City departments will review the proposal. City planners will go over the details, from design, massing, height, interface, and shadowing. Transportation planners will address parking, congestion, loading, and street safety. These analyses normally lead to further revisions and often address many of the concerns from stakeholders.
What is Councillor Farrell’s role in the process?
As the area councillor, I can help by bringing the parties together to encourage a better outcome. However, I am required to keep an open mind until after City Council hears from the public at the public hearing. This openness is required of all Councillors on all land-use proposals.
I will base my vote on feedback from area residents, on recommendations from City Administration and Calgary Planning Commission, and on how the proposal fits into local and city-wide policies. Development permits will not be voted on by Council, but the Ward 7 office will send feedback on the designs of these proposals to City Administration.
What opportunities for feedback were available?
While applicants are not required to offer any public engagement, I always urge applicants to work with the community to identify and address concerns to ensure the best possible development. In this situation, Truman built a website with information on the project and organised fourteen “storefront” sessions at the Kensington Legion. Those sessions totalled 42 hours of engagement. Additionally, a “sounding board” was installed at the Legion site where residents could provide thoughts at any time.
Residents were also able to send feedback on the proposal via email to City Administration, my office, the applicants, and the West Hillhurst and Hillhurst-Sunnyside community associations.
Are there further opportunities for feedback?
1. Area residents can send feedback at anytime to City Administration on the land-use and the Site One development permit. Residents will also have an opportunity to provide comments for the Site Two development permit, once it is submitted. Contact the City’s file manager at: Christine.Leung@calgary.ca.
2. The City has created a project website where residents can learn more about the proposed development and the application process. A public information session is also planned for a future date, with City staff and the Ward 7 office. The applicants will also attend this session and speak with residents about their proposal.
3. I encourage residents to continue to send feedback to the applicants: firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. I will consider feedback until and through the public hearing of Council. You can email my office at any time: email@example.com.
5. Please also reach out to your community association. West Hillhurst residents: http://www.westhillhurst.com/ Hillhurst-Sunnyside residents: http://hillhurstsunnyside.org/ Your community association will be able to keep you in-the-loop on the application and can provide access to development permit plans.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.