September 25, 2020
In the midst of a global pandemic, the City is seeking public input on its draft infill guidelines. After years of preparation, the City is allowing residents 26 days to comment, with no public information session in the St. Vital Ward. I have decided to blog daily to comment on the proposal.
City staff is calling for more areas to be subjected to the automatic lot-splitting regime, applied in recent years, in my ward’s Glenwood area. Despite some good provisions on height limits, minimums for side yards and tree protection, the proposal completely ignores the reality of residents’ lived experiences. The City’s zero-enforcement policy in dealing with developers has led to hundreds of complaints to my office and a 600-person petition calling for a moratorium, yet planners deem the whole affair a success. Now they want St. Vital’s Elm Park, St. George and Kingston Crescent neighbourhoods to have the same rules. Encouraging tear-downs of single-family homes, in order to build two homes at up to 35 feet each with secondary suites. There is much theory in the guidelines about the advantages of mature neighborhoods, but planners fail to mention that these areas also have decrepit gravel lanes (in St. Vital at least) and aging sewer systems. Important factors that create issues for residents.
More on back lanes tomorrow and the strange rationale that lot-splitting should focus only on homes with back lanes.