Share your ideas on how the City develops new communities – take the survey before Aug. 23!
August 9, 2021
Chestermere, AB – In September of 2020, City Administration presented to Council potential new changes to the Chestermere Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and Land Use Bylaw (LUB) for developing new communities.
“We heard loud and clear from our community that they had concerns with the initial amendments presented to Council in September 2020,” says Mayor Marshall Chalmers. “At the time, Council requested that Administration provide new options based on resident feedback and then provide a second opportunity for the community to provide their comments.”
The public voiced concerns over the potential loss of Chestermere’s character, including typically larger lots and wider roads. There were concerns that the proposed changes may contribute to parking congestion in future neighbourhoods.
At the July 13 Committee of the Whole meeting, Chestermere City Council was presented with new options for considering future amendments to the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and Land Use Bylaw (LUB).
“As with any amendments to major City plans and bylaws, Council wants to make sure these changes help us continue to maximize efficiency and build amazing neighbourhoods in Chestermere,” says Mayor Chalmers.
Highlights of the proposed amendments to the MDP and LUB include:
- Administration and applicants from the development community have now provided additional options, which have a reduced scope, for Council’s consideration in addition to the original proposal.
- The proposed changes would only apply to new neighbourhoods not yet developed and result in more efficient use of property tax dollars.
- The changes will keep Chestermere’s primary single-detached housing District (R-1) as having the largest minimum area and width of any municipality in the Calgary region.
“Our goal is to work closely with Council, our community, and our developers as this helps us as a City to ensure a cohesive vision for long-term growth can be realized,” says Jordan Furness, Senior Planner with the City. “Ultimately, the City needs to provide more options for diverse, sustainable housing in Chestermere and that is why these amendments are being considered.”
City Council is asking for community input on the below options for future community development. A survey has been created that asks residents to review previous discussions on these amendments, review the current, proposed, and new options and to provide their feedback to Council between August 9 - 23.
Summaries of the current, proposed, and new options are outlined below:
The proposed change to the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) would increase the amount of narrower lot single-detached housing allowed in new neighbourhoods.
The MDP currently states that in any new development, narrower single-detached homes will be limited to 35% of total single-detached homes in the neighbourhood. This means that any new neighbourhood development will only have 35% R-1PFD or R-1PRL land use designations and the remainder will be primarily R-1 (single-detached houses).
The initial amendment option was to remove all limits on the use of narrower single-detached homes in future neighbourhoods. This means that future neighbourhoods may have a majority of narrower single-detached homes.
A second amendment option has now been provided. It would see narrower single-detached homes limited to 35% of the total dwelling units in future neighbourhoods. These narrower lots would be dispersed throughout future neighbourhoods to avoid concentrating them in one area. This means that future neighbourhoods will be allowed more of the narrower single-detached homes, but not as many as option 1 which could see the 35% limit on narrower single-detached homes within all single-detached homes removed.
The proposed changes to the Land Use Bylaw (LUB) would grant minor reductions to the minimum lot widths, areas, setbacks and minor increases to lot coverages. Further, changes to ‘reduce red tape’ would allow for more efficient approvals for developments meeting the LUB requirements.
“A critical component accompanying these amendments is the introduction of a new map distinguishing future growth areas from established areas, illustrating the changes only impact future developments,” adds Furness.
Council will be discussing and considering these options for MDP and LUB amendments at the September 7 Regular Council Meeting.
Depending on the staff presentation and feedback from the community, Council may select one of the options above or decide to not make any changes at this time.
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