THE COMPLAINT B - PDF by strathconaplanning


									                               “OUTRAGE 93”                                9812 93 AVENUE
   This property is located in the RF2 Zone -                   After many complaints from neighbours and much
    Low Density Infill Residential, within the                    effort from the SCCL Planning Committee, Planning
    Mature Neighbourhood Overlay (MNO).                           and Development finally inspected the property;
   In violation of the Zoning Bylaw, the                        On September 13,2007, P&D issued a Stop Work
    Development Officer did not require a                         Order, which revoked the Development Permit.
    topographical survey, with which to define
                                                The terms of the Stop Work Order, as quoted by the
    grade elevation for this steeply sloping site;
                                                 landowner at a community meeting, are that
   A Class ‘A’, combined Development/Building   conforming drawings were to have been resubmitted
    Permit for a Single Detached House was       by September 25 or the partially-built structure was to
    issued; there were no variances noted;       have been demolished;
   During the survey layout, the corner pins                    In December, 2007, P&D issued a new permit for
    were set too far south;                                           revised drawings that will move the house back 1.8m
                                                                      and down 1.0m. The foundation will be altered, the
   The basement floor was rough-graded, then
                                                                      floor will be excavated deeper and the lower level
    an additional metre of clay fill was placed
    before the floor slab was poured;                                 walls will be replaced.

                                                                                    In violation of MNO, windows on
                                                                                    both sides intrude on the privacy of
                                                                                    adjacent houses and yards
                                                                                    Two main entrances (up and down)
                                                                                    are tucked into recess

                                                                                       Lower level is developed as a
                                                                                       separate dwelling
  Max. height 8.6m

                     As-built 11.9m
   above grade –

                                      As-built 1.6m

                                                                                       Front of house is 2.4m too close
                                      Max. 1.2m –

                                                                                       to property line
                                      at front

As featured in the Edmonton Journal, Oct. 29                                        Historic houses across 93 Avenue
                                                      As-built 2.7m
                                                      above Grade
                                                      Max. 1.2m -

           A sloping site requires determination of                    The view that’s enjoyed by the new house but
                    grade prior to permit approval                     wrongfully taken from the neighbours                B1
                               Typical of homes on the north
                               side of 93 Ave., neighbouring
                                houses are dwarfed by the
                                          new one.

  Without strenuous and persistant protest from the community, P&D would have
   allowed this massively over-scaled and misplaced building to be completed
                  without change. That’s unfair and it’s illegal.

                         99 STREET AND 83 AVENUE

  The Back Draught Pub, formerly Nations Pub, has been a constant                 Elements Lofts
source of complaints since opening in 2004. The Planning and Development         condominiums by TIME
                 department now refuses to take further complaints about it.         Developments

                                                                               1.8m high fence, as
                                   Handicapped parking, as required            required by DC2.479.4.j.,
                                    by ZB 54.1.3, has never been               collapsed shortly after
   Landscaping, as required                                                    construction.
       by DC2.479.4.f., has                 accessible.
       never been provided         ”Compatible” screening for HVAC             Current fence was built by
                                        unit was required by                   developer of adjacent
                                           DC2.479.4.m.ii.                     property                   B2
                                                                            Next door, Brownstone Lofts
                                                                            (stacked Row Housing in RA8 zone)
                                                                            was developed by Fred Pheasey.
                                                                            It made innovative use of a small site,
                                                                            without significant variances or
                                                                            reported as-built violations.

ELEMENTS LOFTS                          by TIME Developments
 RA8 zone within Medium Density Residential Overlay;
 3.0m high ceilings cause the building to be an estimated 17.0m high, well beyond the maximum
  14.0m allowed in RA8/MDRO;
 2.0m setbacks at the fourth Storey, as required by MDRO, are not provided;
 4.5m side yard abutting an arterial public roadway – 99 Street - is not provided;
 During construction, multiple community complaints were made to P&D; developer applied for a
  Leave As-Built Permit, which was allowed by SDAB, despite numerous Zoning Bylaw violations.
•   n

                                                                       2.0 m wide setback at Fourth
                                              As-built approx. 17.0m

                                                                       Storey was not provided
                                                                       adjacent to streets, as
                                                                       required by MDRO
                                                   above grade

                                                                                                      4.5m side
                                                                                                      yard is not
            No fourth Storey setback was
          provided adjacent to RF4 zone,
                 as is required by MDRO

                                       This summer, Vue Magazine judged Element
                                        Lofts to be the city’s “Ugliest New Building”.
                                        STRATHCONA DESERVES BETTER
  NEW ASIAN VILLAGE                                           at Waters Edge Condos


Restaurant                                                         Former Lounge

Located at Saskatchewan Drive and 102 Street,              The Planning and Development department (P&D) has no
Waters Edge was built in the early 1980s. In addition      record of a development permit or an Alberta Building Code
to the condominium apartments in the tower, the            analysis for the restaurant’s expansion into the third bay.
ground floor level accommodates two commercial
                                                           15 parking stalls on the north side of building are allocated for
units, divided into five bays. These units are also
                                                           customers of the four commercial units. Five stalls are
individually owned.
                                                           provided for guests of the tower’s residents.
At the time of construction, condominium property
                                                           According to the Zoning Bylaw, with a dining room of
law in Alberta did not anticipate the complexity of
                                                           approximately 300 sq.m, the restaurant should have 82
mixed-use multiple ownership.
                                                           parking stalls available exclusively for their customers.
A restaurant at the east end of the building expanded      Because of the deficiency, restaurant patrons regularly park
into an adjacent bay. A Development Permit allowing        in the building’s fire lanes.
this increase in area, dated 1988, appears to be the
last permit issued by P&D for any changes to the           UNEASY NEIGHBOURS
ground floor of Water’s Edge until September, 2007.
                                                           Relations between the condo residents’ association and the
                                                           commercial owner have been very poor. Various city and
UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT                                       provincial agencies have failed to resolve the association’s
In 1994, both commercial units were purchased by           repeated complaints about the restaurant’s operations.
the owner of New Asian Village. The restaurant
                                                           The restaurant recently expanded its operations into the
moved into the east-most unit. At that time, its City of
                                                           remaining commercial units at the west end of the building.
Edmonton business license specified a maximum
seating capacity of 28.
Within a few years, the adjacent commercial space
was taken over by the restaurant. It initially operated
as a lounge but was soon merged into the restaurant
operation. The dining room now seats approximately
132 patrons.
P&D and Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission no
longer specify the seating capacity of licensed
premises. Instead, they now both refer to the
maximum occupant load specified by the fire
Edmonton’s Fire/Rescue Services currently permits
New Asian Village a maximum of 99 patrons.

                            Worker housing – behind

                                                                                         The        Capital  Health
                                                                                         Authority cannot inspect
                                                                                         the workers housing for
                                                                                         suitability for habitation
                                                                                         without first receiving a
                                                                                         complaint from a resident
                                                                                         occupying the space.
                                                                                         The multiple changes of
                                                                                         use in the Waters Edge
                                                                                         ground floor would not
                                                                                         have received the condo
                                                                                         association’s     approval.
                                                                                         Because the owner of New
                                                                                         Asian     Village    hasn’t
                                                                                         applied for the required
                                                                                         City permits, no one has
                                                                                         prevented      him    from
                                                                                         operating without them.
            Food prep area
                                                              Because of this breakdown, the neighbouring
Without receiving any permits, the space immediately      residents’ rightful concerns have gone unheeded.
west of the tower lobby was adapted into a food
preparation area for the restaurant. After repeated
complaints of mice in the building, inspectors from the     STEPS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Capital Health Authority (CHA) ordered a clean-up of      In September, 2007 New Asian Village applied for and
the expanded space.                                       received a Development Permit to operate an outdoor
DORMITORY CONVERSION                                      In January, 2008 the restaurant applied for a permit to
Temporary expatriate restaurant workers are housed in     develop the food prep area west of the building lobby and
two dwelling units in the south west portion of the       the permit was refused by P&D. A scheduled appeal to
ground floor, in part of the west commercial unit. No     SDAB was withdrawn shortly before the March 6 hearing
development permit has ever been issued for these         date. The unpermitted use of the space continues.
units.                                                    In February, 2008 a commercial interior contractor
In the opinion of the condo association, an excessive     applied for a permit to renovate the restaurant dining
number of people are housed in these units. The           room; a Development Permit was granted but it was
Zoning Bylaw allows no more than seven unrelated          immediately withdrawn by P&D.
persons to occupy a dwelling.                             The department’s Manager of Development Permits and
City of Edmonton Fire/Rescue Services recently            the City’s single Zoning Bylaw Enforcement Officer have
investigated the residential operation and they have no   been instrumental in encouraging the restaurant’s owner
safety concerns.                                          to begin operating within the required permits.


       Located on Whyte Avenue, west of Gateway Boulevard, this sign was erected illegally in 1998.

                     That was nine years ago. Why is it still hanging there?
                                                              Edmonton’s Zoning Bylaw and the
                                                              Strathcona Area Redevelopment Plan
                                                              have very particular regulations
                                                              regarding the type and quality of signs
                                                              that can be publicly displayed. Each sign
                                                              or group of signs on a building must have
                                                              a site-specific Development Permit.

                                                              Wooly Bully’s Pub on
                                                              Gateway Boulevard
                                                              Sign erected in 2002

     None of the “temporary” signs depicted
       here complies with either the Zoning
              Bylaw or the Strathcona ARP.
                   None have a valid permit.

              The Planning and
       Development Department
   has received numerous complaints about
      these signs, both at the time that they
         were erected and repeatedly since.
   These sub-standard, non-permitted signs
   are an eyesore and an embarrassment in
        Strathcona’s prime shopping district.
            Like grafitti, they encourage other
     irresponsible business people to ignore
           the regulations regarding signage.

                                                  Megatunes   Sign erected in 2003
The community is not aware of any
    charges being laid against the
   owners of these businesses for
     displaying these illegal signs.

   This sign was erected in 2003.
   The bar had just reopened in a
 new building, which replaced four
   historic structures lost in a fire.
     Sometimes, it’s the little things that really bug the neighbours
                                           SITE DRAINAGE PROBLEMS
          All completed developments are supposed to have an as-built survey plan
                certified by the Lot Grading Supervisor of the Drainage Branch.

                                                                         In the Queen Alexandra neighbourhood,
                                                                              many large houses
 89 Avenue, west of 97 St.;                  The brick basement                and side-by-side
                                               had to be removed              duplexes are being
 The house on the left
                                               and replaced with          built among small war-
  consists of major additions
                                               concrete;                   time homes. To abide
  behind and over top of a
  very old structure built with               Repair costs were              by current drainage
  a brick foundation;                          partially paid from the    standards, grade level
                                               proceeds of a lawsuit              around the new
 The house on the right was                                                houses is often much
                                               between the
  built in 1990s, without                                                    higher than adjacent
  proper site drainage.                                                         yards. Poor runoff
                                              The new house was
 The basement of the                          soon sold and the
                                                                                 control results in
    renovated house next door                                                           flooding of
                                               owners moved away.             neighbouring yards
    immediately began to wash
    out, due to runoff from the                                                   and basements.
    new development;
                                                                           MAIN FLOOR HEIGHTS
                                                                                       MNO limits height to reflect
                 0.3m difference between

                                                                                              traditional patterns
                                                                                                             0.65m difference
                 main floor heights

                                                                                                             between main
                                                                                                             floor heights
 As-built 1.7m
 above Grade
 Max. 1.2m -

          92 Avenue, west of 98 Street
           Non-complying two Storey Accessory
            Building (garage and studio) was allowed
            by the Subdivision and Development
            Appeal Board;
           SDAB ruled that windows at the rear
            imposed on the privacy of the yards
            behind and must be removed
           Five years later, the windows remain

 M cMansions, and Drywall                                                          Barns
      Too tall, too broad, these over-sized   Too often, what is built for the newcomers lampoons the
     houses grab the sunlight and privacy     carefully crafted old houses, which they were trying to
  from the old homes around them. Their       mimic. Cheap materials are used, proportions are wrong,
 builders flout the rules of decency and of   and open space is smothered.
law, which is supposed to promote peace       However, good taste is subjective and can’t be legislated.
        and harmony on our leafy streets.
  By overstepping the bounds of fairness,
these houses diminish the property rights
    and property values of those who live
                            around them.
        As residents who love our mature
 neighbourhoods, we would far rather be
  welcoming newcomers than calling the
 City to complain about their construction
         Families move into these older
  communities for the almost-downtown
convenience, access to the valley parks,
     and for the historic character of the
                          existing homes.

                    What can be avoided though, are the broken rules. Edmonton has
                           a very good Zoning Bylaw. We must insist that our civic
                                         employees now be compelled to enforce it.
The following Strathcona residents were       These people, living in other mature
especially helpful in the preparing and       Edmonton neighbourhoods, urged the
reviewing this document:                      preparation of this report and
 Mike Boire, P. Eng.                         encouraged its completion:

 Carl Sorenson                                Anne deVillars, QC (Garneau)

 Dr. Janice Williamson                        Bill Eadie, P. Eng. (Glenora)

 Joanne Booth                                 Diane Millar (Queen Alexandra)

 Jonathan Rockliff, MRAIC                     Deborah Peaker (Central McDougall)

 Karen Rowswell, for many of the              Dolores Nord, (Oliver)
  beautiful photographs of Strathcona          Sandy Guilbert (Windsor Park)

Brian Kropf, Planning Advisor for the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues,
provided much valuable technical information and generously explained the workings of
the Zoning Bylaw and its integral Statutory Plans and Overlays.

Despite the critical nature of this report, many Planning and Development Department
employees recognize the value of listening to citizens’ concerns. They provided
information on request and helped us navigate the department’s channels of
 Jeff Price, P. Eng.
 Gail Hickmore
 Many helpful agents of the P&D Customer Information Line

                            IN MEMORY OF
                                    Roy Buksa
                          October 29, 1948 - January 27, 2008


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