Oppose REZONE in Elbow Park

October 15, 2019 9:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

For the many residents who have been in touch with EPRA asking for further information on how to oppose the final approval of the re-zone application for 313-40 Ave SW from R-C1 to R-C1N at City Council, we wanted to provide a summary of steps that will ensure our community is heard.  Background information is at the bottom of this email for further information. 

Important Deadlines: 

Send Letter Before October 15 at noon

Attend Council Meeting October 21

STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO ENSURE THE VOICE OF THE COMMUNITY IS HEARD:  


1.  Attend the meeting at City Council on October 21 at approximately 9:30 am.  The more people that are in the room, the better the chance of being successful.


2.  Submit a letter of opposition to PublicSubmissions@calgary.ca prior to the deadline of October 15th at noon.

  • It should be noted that the name, contact information and your comments will be made publicly available in the Council Agenda.

  • Refer to "Sample Letters" below if you prefer

  • Reference File #: LOC-2019_0096

  • Address of Rezone: 313 40 Avenue SW

3.  Copy the letter to ALL of the Councillors as soon as you have your draft prepared and email it to councillorweb@calgary.ca and themayor@calgary.ca

4.  You may also choose to send your letter using this online form provided by the City Clerk’s office.

5.  Send a copy of the letter to president@elbowpark.com 

6.  Provide your name to president@elbowpark.com if you would like to speak at this public hearing.  Anyone in attendance at the meeting can speak if they choose. Specific people who are comfortable in this role will be assigned as our “official" speakers. The Mayor will invite people forward in favour, then in opposition and they will be provided 5 minutes address Council.  

7.  Sign the ONLINE Petition at https://www.change.org/p/petition-reject-rezone-in-elbow-park 
8.  Anyone in attendance at the meeting can speak if they choose. Specific people who are comfortable in this role will be assigned as our “official" speakers. The Mayor will invite people forward in favour, then in opposition and they will be provided 5 minutes address Council.  

SAMPLE LETTERS

__________________________________________________________


OCT ---, 2019

Your Name

Your Address 


Dear City of Calgary Councillors,

I am a concerned neighbour living in  Elbow Park, and I am opposed to the proposed rezoning of the property (LOC-2019-0096) up for Public Hearing on October 21, 2019.

I respectfully ask for no zoning change on this parcel, not because I am anti-growth, but because I am an enthusiastic supporter of smart, planned urban development. 

My most compelling reasons include:

  • The Proposed Rezoning is Inconsistent with the "Low Density Housing Guidelines for Established Communities" and the "Elbow Park Community Charter”. These documents were created with City of Calgary support in order to ensure that our community would not be eroded by poor planning decisions. 
  • Spot Rezoning is inappropriate for a neighbourhood that is designated RC1 (Single Family Low Density). RC1 zoning is in place for the preservation of Elbow Park historic streetscapes. Elbow Park was established as a neighbourhood in 1910 and Historical homes of over 100 years are physical links to our past. Do we want to be a City that erases the stories of our past as if people who came before us never existed? 
  • Residents in Elbow Park have continuously provided the City of Calgary with clear, unwavering feedback that they do not agree to anything but RC1 designation in their neighbourhood for reasons of historical preservation.  The City of Calgary claims they are "open for input" and have a desire to "Engage in Meaningful dialogue" in order to make Informed Decisions, however, when resident's feedback is ignored, trust is eroded and conversations in order to find meaningful solutions are impossible. Will Councillors listen to the feedback we have and continue to provide?
  • Elbow Park residents are not opposed to increasing density in some areas of the neighbourhood. They are not opposed to secondary suites or laneway homes that fit with the natural streetscape nor are they opposed to the concept of inclusive neighbourhoods.  They are, however, opposed to policy that completely disregards their feedback and approves applications that they have clearly indicated through public consultation that they do not agree. Councillors are elected in order represent their constants and the constituents in Elbow Park have consistently provided clear direction that they oppose any zoning other than RC-1 in Elbow Park.  
  • The wishes and desires of the applicant should not supersede the research based reasons behind a zoning designation of R-C1. This designation was provided to the community of Elbow Park in order to protect it from the whims of individuals who do not understand the well thought out reasons for maintaining an R-C1 designation.  
  • To allow rezoning based on a whim would set a dangerous and disrespectful precedence that would make a sham of the zoning process and allow anyone to  rezone on a whim.
  • The rezone of this lot will set a disturbing precedent that will simply send a message to developers that Elbow Park is now open for demolition.
  •  While this current owner has stated that he only intends on building 2 houses, and not the 3 houses that would be permitted under the re-zoning, the City is well aware that an applicants stated intentions are not a binding and therefore not a consideration in the re-zoning process. Plans can change, owners can change, circumstances can change, but the zoning remains. As such, it could be possible for this applicant to “change his mind” and build 3 houses, or sell the property and the new owner could build 3 houses”. 
  • Furthermore, it needs to be remembered that the applicant is applying for a re-zoning because his stated intention of building 2 houses on the property does not meet the minimum lot width under the neighbourhoods zoning. This zoning was determined by the City as being appropriate for the neighbourhood after much consideration and public consultation. As such, this process, and decision to make Elbow Park a R-C1 neighbourhood should not  be disregarded because 1 individual, without any mitigating planning rationale, thinks he’s entitled to special treatment.

Please vote to maintain the historic nature of our community and preserve one of the oldest neighbourhoods Calgary and vote Against this application.


Regards,

Your Name

__________________________________________________

Oct —, 2019

Your Name

Your Address


Dear Councillors and Mayor,

I would like to let you know that I strongly oppose the application to rezone the lot located at 313 40 Ave SW (File LOC-2019-0096).  

This proposed zoning would allow for three (3) narrow homes to be built on a lot that used to allow for only one.  This sets a very undesirable precedent for Elbow Park as well as other inner city communities. This ultimately serves notice to developers that the protection offered by the neighbourhood's zoning is non-existent and that they can build whatever they want in Elbow Park. 

This particular lot does not have a back alley laneway and, subsequently, the 3 front drive garages will ruin the streetscape of 40th Ave.

This lot is located in the flood zone and the idea of increasing density along the floodway makes no sense.  

The depth and height of 3 Infill houses will also impact the adjoining neighbours enjoyment because of the loss of light.

We want to retain the unique character of our neighbourhood. In 2002, at the request of the City of Calgary, Elbow Park residents partnered with the City to develop the Elbow Park Community Charter. This charter was very clear in its opposition to changing our neighbourhood wide zone designation of R1. 

We request that you vote to maintain the historic nature of our community and preserve one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the City and vote Against this application.


Regards,


Your name & address

____________________________________________________________


Background Information

  • The Planning Commission approved an application to rezone the property located at 313 40 Ave SW from RC1 to R-C1N (Narrow lots) 
  • The Final Approval for this application will be made by City Council at a Public Hearing to be held on October 21 at approximately 9:30 am
  • Many Elbow Park residents are opposed to the rezoning of this lot for the following reasons.
    • RC1N (Narrow) allows for 25 foot wide “Narrow" houses (In-Fills) to be built on the property.  There are currently NO 25 foot lots in Elbow Park. 
    • The main concern about “re-zoning” this lot is the PRECEDENT it sets. Once the City Planning department sees that there has been RC1N zoning approved in our community, they will feel that it is reasonable to approve any requests to rezone lots in the future.  The precedent will be set and as time progresses, more and more Narrow homes will be built using our current 50 and 75 foot lots.  
    • Once more and more Narrow homes are built, the streetscape will change drastically.
    • Some people argue that we need to increase density in ALL neighbourhoods in Calgary.  Others argue that some historical neighbourhoods should be protected in order to share 100 year history with future generations. 
    • Many other Cities protect specific historical neighbourhoods as other areas around the protected area increase in density.  
    • Many homeowners in Elbow Park choose, at an extra cost to themselves, to preserve the heritage home they have purchased. Instead of tearing it down, they painstakingly renovate it. Why?
      • The front porch is maintained.
      • The space between their neighbour remains unchanged.
      • The heritage home and the history of the person that built it is preserved for future generations.
      • The Streetscape is preserved.
      • The trees in the front and back yard are protected.
      • The “feel” of Elbow Park is maintained.
  • In 2003, EPRA worked with the City to develop the “Elbow Park Community Charter”. The Charter reflects the characteristics, valued attributes and developmental design elements that contribute to maintaining the unique character and integrity of Elbow park.  
  • Although hours were spent by volunteers and City employees working together, the "Elbow Park Community Charter” is ignored by the City planning department.
  • Another document, entitled, "Low Density Housing Guidelines for Established Communities" reiterates maintaining RC1 in inner City communities, however, it is also ignored by the Planning department.








EPRA 
800 34 Ave SW
Calgary, AB T2T 2A3
info@elbowpark.com

  

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