WEST ELBOW LOCAL AREA PLAN (WELAP)
In September 2023 the West Elbow Local Area Plan (WELAP) process began. It is being led by a city planning team working with the 16 communities in this WELAP (Altadore, Bankview, Cliff Bungalow, Elbow Park, Erlton,Garrison Woods, Lower Mount Royal, Mission, North Glenmore Park, Richmond/Knob Hill, Rideau Park, Roxboro, Scarboro, South Calgary, Sunalta, Upper Mount Royal).
The objective of this planning effort is to develop a growth plan for the combined area of these 16-communities. It is similar to the past area redevelopment plans which the city developed with individual communities. The LAP is much larger in scope involving multiple (in our case 15 other) communities which makes this effort very complex. The result is intended to build on the strengths of individual communities and enhance the interconnectivity and amenities of this 16-community area. It will provide guidance and direction on future development, investment, and community improvement decisions.
The WELAP initiative is driven by the city’s need to prepare for and manage its expected growth over the next 30-years. The goal is to have 50% of new growth placed in the city’s developed areas. Historically, most growth has been in greenfield communities at the edge of the city. The WELAP will recommend where and how additional density should be placed across communities.
One feature of the WELAP process includes the development of heritage guidelines for historic communities like Elbow Park. The intent is to enhance the heritage characteristics of these communities which could result in restrictions on new development.
It is important for residents to become informed about the WELAP process and provide input at the city and community engagement sessions. Residents are encouraged to learn more about the WELAP. Your ideas, suggestions, input and direction are important.
Please join us at our WELAP Town Hall Feb 28th, 2024 at the EPRA Clubhouse to learn more (800 34th Avenue SW). Details and RSVP information to follow.
The City of Calgary has significantly restructured the planning process for new residential development using a tool called the ‘Local Area Plan’ (LAP) in order to guide growth and new development. Elbow Park is part of the ‘West Elbow Local Area Plan’ (WELAP) along with 15 other communities.
Current State: ‘Single Family Dwellings’ in Elbow Park.
Currently, almost all properties in Elbow Park are designated as ‘R-C1’ (residential one-family dwellings). To build a townhouse or multiplex in Elbow Park requires an application for land use re-designation. These applications require community feedback and they go to City Council for final approval.
Once the West Elbow LAP is completed and approved by City council, City planners will refer to the LAP policies when assessing applications for new development permits and land use re-designations. These policies are contained within The Guide for Local Area Planning. They also provide the foundation for a new bylaw for ‘Local Neighbourhood Housing’, expected to be proposed and to be made statutory by 2025.
Once the WELAP has been approved, it is likely that a much broader range of residential buildings, including single-family homes, duplexes, townhouses, and rowhouses will be permitted without an opportunity for public feedback or a requirement for approval from city council.
In September 2023 City Council approved the recommendations put forth by the Housing & Affordability Task Force including a recommendation to make R-CG the base zoning for all of Calgary. For this to become final, a new residential bylaw would need to be approved (possibly Q2 2024) combining the zones of R-C1, R-1, R-C2, R-2, and R-CG all into one ‘local neighbourhood housing district’ (R-CG). Even if the new land use bylaws are not immediately implemented re-designating land use, having the West Elbow LAP made a statutory document will make it easier to rezone the land use designation to one of a higher density.
For additional information: calgary.ca/WestElbowPlan.