I’m on vacation right now and not able to provide my full comments on the Plan It amendments coming back to Calgary city council on Monday.
Instead I invite you to take a look a this ”Guide to the Plan It Amendments“ compliled by CivicCamp Calgary. (Specific credit looks like it belongs to Bill Morrison, Neil Keough and Naheed Nenshi.) In the document each of the amendments proposed are given a grade. In each case a non-favourable grade is given suggested changes are proposed.
I wish I had the time to do this kind of work! Well done!
I hope you will take the time to voice your support for these changes to your alderman.
Next week is a BIG week in Calgary. As Naheed Nenshi correctly states in his Calgary Herald op-ed today, “On Monday, Calgary city council makes a decision bigger and more important than all the other decisions it has made since being elected . . . combined.”
Plan It – the document that lays out how Calgary will grow for the next several decades – is coming back to council for a second reading.
Plan It has been the hard work of many years of public engagement, determined to define how Calgarians want to manage their city’s growth. In short it is all about the kind of city we want Calgary to be and how we will ensure it becomes that.
In June, after the final public hearings, council made about 100 suggested amendments to the proposed Plan It document and gave it first reading.
The city’s administration (the author of the document) went back to their desks and poured over the amendments to determine which were good ideas and strengthened the document, and which were poor ideas and weakened the document or contradicted other pieces of legislation. The results have been released here. But I’ll break it down for you a bit.
A summary of Administration’s recommendations are as follows:
1. Receive for information Attachments 1 and 2, which summarize Administration’s response to key issues brought forward by Council in the proposed amendments to the MDP and CTP.
2. MDP Amendments:
a) Adopt Administration’s Recommended Amendments to the MDP (Bylaw 40M2009) as proposed in Attachment 3.
b) Receive for information Attachment 4, which lists suggested amendments to the MDP that are not recommended by Administration.
c) Receive for information Attachment 5, which contains red-lined pages for the entire MDP (based on amendments proposed in Attachment 3).
d) Amend Bylaw 24P2009 by deleting Section 4 in its entirety and substituting with “This Bylaw is effective February 1, 2010”.
e) Renumber and format the sections in the MDP (Bylaw 24P2009) required to account for the inclusion of all Council-approved amendments.
f) Give second and third reading to the proposed Bylaw 24P2009, as amended.
3. CTP Amendments:
a) Adopt Administration’s Recommended Amendments to the CTP by Resolution, as proposed in Attachment 6.
b) Receive for information Attachment 7, which lists suggested amendments to the CTP that are not recommended by Administration.
c) Receive for information Attachment 8, which contains red-lined pages for the entire CTP (based on amendments proposed in Attachment 6).
d) Renumber and format the sections in the CTP required to account for the inclusion of all Council-approved amendments.
4. Direct Administration to report to LPT no later than January 2010 with the terms of reference for a MDP/CTP Sustainment Committee, implementation program and an ongoing monitoring framework.
Okay. Now what about the attachments? What’s in those? Answer: a whole lot of reading that we all have to do. Here’s a summary about what attachement includes (all links are PDFs):
1. MDP Key Issues Summary
2. CTP Key Issues Summary
3. Administration Recommended Amendments to the MDP
4. List of Council-proposed MDP Amendments Not Recommended by Administration
5. Red-line Amendments of the MDP (as per Attachment 3)
6. Administration Recommended Amendments to the CTP
7. List of Council-proposed CTP Amendments Not Recommended by Administration
8. Red-line Amendments of the CTP (as per Attachment 6)
I encourage you to click on the links above and learn more about what Administration recommends including and not including. These are what will frame the discussion on Monday at Council. A discussion that WILL change the future of Calgary forever. If ever there were a time to know what your council is doing, this is it.
And we all have a lot of reading to do between now and then.
I’ll provide my comments here and to the Aldermen once I have read the documents. Please do the same.
The one thing that excites me is the 4th recommendation – the creation of a Plan It “Sustainment Committee”. The idea behind the goal of this group was laid out in my comments to council during the June public hearing. At the time I said to council, “It will have to be a living document… Personally I’m more concerned with the City’s track record of follow through on ambitious plans.” This was also the theme of the questions I was asked by Ald. McIver following my presentation. I then followed up with some more detail in a two part blog post on Alberta Venture’s Think Alberta blog the next day where I said:
The good news – or bad news as the case may be – is that the success of Plan It will fall directly on the shoulders of the City of Calgary and how the plan is implemented. Calgary City Council has done a very good job over the years looking down the road and helping set a vision for the city’s future in motion. Plan after policy after plan have been enacted, but clearly the citizens of Calgary feel unaffected for the most part by these plans and policies…
I’m glad the City is taking this seriously and I think a sustainment committee will be a great addition. After all, it is almost exactly the kind of “Citizen Response Team” my group at the first CivicCamp in April suggested was needed.
Administration has echoed mine and Ald. McIver’s concerns by stating:
Two of the issues raised by Council and stakeholders that apply to both the MDP and CTP are ongoing stakeholder engagement, and plans for implementation and monitoring.
The Draft Implementation Framework included with CPC Report M-2009-012 provided high-level actions The City will need to undertake in order to enable achievement of the Plan It Calgary goals and objectives. Some of these actions are already underway, and Administration is currently developing more detailed implementation plans. These plans will be complemented by an ongoing monitoring framework that will provide useful data to aid in growth and investment decisions. Both the implementation plans and ongoing monitoring framework will be brought forward to the Land Use Planning and Transportation (LPT) Standing Policy Committee no later than January, 2010.
Administration recognizes the critical role that external stakeholders will play in achieving the goals and objectives of Plan It Calgary. In order to facilitate effective communication between The City and stakeholders, Administration proposes the creation of a MDP/CTP Sustainment Committee. This committee would require a broader stakeholder group than the Advisory Committee for Plan It Calgary. Terms of reference for this committee will be developed in consultation with stakeholders, and will be submitted to LPT along with the implementation plans and monitoring framework by January, 2010.
That’s all for now, but I’m excited by the direction this is all heading. Time to go do some reading…
Talk about jumping the gun! Alderman Joe Connelly has decided, despite the fact calls for a Developer Panel to discuss Plan It targets are already outlined in the omnibus list of 76 (or so) amendments to Plan It sent to administration two weeks ago, that what they need is a Developer Panel. And he’s making a motion to get things going now, instead of waiting for Administration to digest what they were just sent.
Here’s the text of his motion:
WHEREAS the Plan-It project has produced a visionary document which will establish the “blueprint” for growth and transportation for the next 60 years with an impact on our city that cannot be understated;
AND WHEREAS the assumptions in the Plan-It document suggest a significant change in consumer and commuting behaviors which may or may not occur;
AND WHEREAS the measure outlined in the Plan-It document were seen to be too prescriptive and, in some cases, impossible to achieve;
AND WHEREAS given the challenges of predicting the future, a prudent and cautious approach to the Plan-It strategy should be employed.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the measures being prescribed in the Plan-It document be removed and be developed in the implementation phase of the project.
AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that a committee of industry stakeholders be struck to determine by consensus, measures that can realistically be achieved together with an implementation strategy and make recommendations to Council through the Standing Policy Committee on Land Use Planning and Transportation by 2009 December 09.
I was made aware of Ald Connelly’s motion yesterday in a phone call from Metro Calgary. They asked for my opinion on it. What they basically mentioned to me was Connelly was looking to set up the Developer Panel. You can read my comments in their article but I wanted to go into a little more depth here. (Sound bites only provide so much explanation.)
I had three points to Metro:
- I agree with Ald. Connelly, we need to get the targets right. This is an important document that helps set out the future of our city. I don’t think anyone wants to delay it any longer than need be. Let’s get on with the process of ‘doing’ already.
- After more than a year of public consultation (where hundreds of citizens provided their feedback) and a week of public hearings (where almost 200 people signed up to speak to council in the middle of a work day) what more could anyone possibly have to say? If that is not enough time for them to have had their say, how much time would ever be enough?
- If the development industry did not feel they were given a voice, shouldn’t every other citizen be in the same boat? Why create a panel represented by only one industry? I believe it was Ald. Farrell who said during the hearings that if a panel absolutely had to be struck – thereby admitting the consultation the City has undertaken for the past year was not good enough and that one group of citizens IS more important than another – then there were several developers on the pro-side (such as the developer of Garrison Woods) and many other intelligent citizens (such as Chris Turner and Neil Keough) with exceeding knowledge of such things, who would have a lot to add to that discussion and should be included on the panel.
In short, how many times does council need to do the same thing over and over and over again? Let’s finish the process we’ve already started instead of beginning a new one.
However, what the folks from Metro didn’t tell me was the first part of Connelly’s resolution: that the targets be scraped and be created during the implementation phase. This is perhaps the most ridiculous thing I’ve read in a while, and I can’t help but want to laugh and cry at the same time.
What would be the POINT of creating a visionary document, laying out the future growth of the city of Calgary, that does not have any measures indicating how we would do that?! That would be like going on a diet without changing your eating habits or ever stepping on a scale to see if you’re losing weight. (Strangely enough some would argue this would be similar to the odd council plan that has come before and is part of the reason we are on the current issue-riddled path.)
How does one even set goals while already implementing a project? I can’t imagine having built the fence in my backyard without having a plan first. “Let’s just start building a fence and see where it ends up. Once we’re done we can decide if we should have had a goal before we started.”
On the topics of asinine ideas and doing only what the development industry wants, I’m reminded of a comment made by one of the presenters during the Plan It public hearings that went something like this: The development industry tells us they build only what the people of Calgary want. Studies have shown what we want is un-sustainable and will eventually cause taxes to skyrocket or potentially the City to go broke. There are solutions, but when the developers keep offering us the cause of the problem, we’re going to take it because we want it. It is like offering a child a bowl of ice cream for breakfast. They’ll take the bowl of ice cream every day, unless a responsible adult steps in and helps them make the healthy decision – the right decision for the child’s future.
PS – I don’t think the development industry is evil like many on the pro-side of Plan It. For an alternate point of view, where I defend the development industry’s rightful hesitations, see my Think! Alberta posts.
There was a great amount of mystery following the Calgary City Council’s public hearing on Plan It (the Calgary Transportation Plan and the Municipal Development Plan). Mainly the mystery was regarding the “omnibus motion” of 76 (or so) amendments suggested by the alderman and referred back to administration.
I still don’t know what they all mean, but now that the minutes are out we can at least see what the proposed changes are to the arguably most important document in the history of Calgary’s development.
Here they are. (Warning it’s a LONG list.) Pick your favourite. Or least favourite.
That with respect to Report CPC2009-082, the Proposed Amendments and Motions Arising to the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and the Calgary Transportation Plan (CTP) be referred to the Administration for a report back to Council no later than 2009 December:
Appendix F – Transportation Maps, that Map 7 Road and Street Network, in the Calgary Transportation Plan and Part 7 – Maps, Map 4 Road and Street Network in the MDP, be amended by reclassifying 61st Avenue S (between MacLeod Trail and Centre Street) as an Urban Boulevard, in order to align with the Chinook Station Area Plan approved June 2008.
1. In the MDP, Part 7 – Maps, Map 1 Urban Structure be amended in the legend, under “developing” to add a new category entitled “Planned Greenfield with Regional Policy Plan (RPP) or Regional Context Study (RCS)” to reflect previously approved regional policy plans or regional context studies following the category “Unplanned Greenfield”.
2. In the MDP, Part 7 – Maps, Map 2 Growth and Change in the Municipal Development Plan by deleting the Map in its entirety and by renumbering the maps accordingly.
3. In the MDP, Section 3.3.4, Neighbourhood Activity Centres, Land use policies, page 78 be amended by deleting letter e in its entirety and by re-lettering the sections accordingly.
4. In the MDP, Section 3.4.3, Neighbourhood Corridors, Land use policies, page 83 be amended by deleting letter g in its entirety and by re-lettering the sections accordingly.
5. In the MDP, Section 3.5.1, General Developed Residential Area Policies, page 84, paragraph one, be amended by adding the words “unless prohibited by provincial or federal legislation” following the words “Development Residential Areas”.
6. In the MDP, Section 3.6.2, Land use policies, page 89, letter c be amended by deleting the word “gross” following the words “70 people per” and substituting with the word “net”.
7. In the MDP, Section Amend 2.2.1 Vibrant, transit-supportive, mixed-use Activity Centres and Corridors, Policies, page 20, letter a be amended by adding the words “in established neighbourhoods” following the words “Direct a greater share of new growth”.
8. In the MDP, Section Under 2.2.4 Complete communities, page 25, paragraph one be amended, by adding the words “that is respectful of adjacent communities and provides transitional development.” following the words “compact urban form”.
9. In the MDP, Section 3.7.1 Standard Industrial Area, page 91, letter d be amended, by adding the words “uses in industrial areas” following the words “stand alone office”.
10. In the MDP, Section 2.3.1 Housing, paragraph three, last sentence, page 31 be amended, by deleting the word “can” following the words “variety of housing choices” and by substituting the word “may”.
11. In the MDP, Section 5.2.7 Public accountability, page 109, Policies, letter a, be amended by deleting roman numerals ” i.-viiii.” in their entirety and by substituting with the following:
“i. Planned land supply
ii. Efficient utility servicing
iii. Suitable transportation capacity
iv. Strategic planning objectives
v. Financial impact of infrastructure and operating costs to the city
vi. Landowner interest”
13. In the MDP, Section 5.2.7 Public accountability, page 109, Policies be amended by deleting letter b in its entirety and by substituting with the following:
“b. Upon adoption of a new Local Area Plan, all relevant maps in both the MDP and CTP must be updated.”.
14. That the proposed MDP and CTP be referred back to the Administration to make these plans more consistent with the land use and transportation plans recently adopted as part of the East Regional Context Study.
15. Direct Administration to delete the reference made on Map 2 of the MDP which would seem to require an unnecessary amendment to the Municipal Development Plan, just to start an Area Structure Plan for the 17th Avenue SE corridor and Area Structure Plan, for which Council established a commencement date after there is a new financing arrangement between the City and the land development industry.
16. In the MDP, Section 3.4 Corridors, Land Use Policies, Pages 79-83 be amended to create opportunities for large format retail which would include parking requirements necessary for these larger format retail stores.
17. Direct Administration to differentiate between what should be included in the Bylaw and what should form part of the policy document, example targets in policy.
18. Direct administration to work with the land development industry to ensure proposed targets and thresholds will be interpreted in such a way as to enable the Belvedere landowners to create a smart-growth, sustainable, transit-oriented, complete community, as envisioned by the Belvedere landowners within the 17th avenue corridor, which can be implemented and successfully marketed to Calgarians over the next 5 – 10 years.
1. That Policy 3.3.2 Major Activity Centres, 3.3.3 Community Activity Centres, and 3.4.2 Urban Corridors be referred back to Administration for further consultation with the Development Industry.
2. Direct Administration, in consultation with the building and development industry, to report back to Council on what the minimum thresholds and requirements for all activity centres (Major, Community and Neighbourhood) and Corridors (Urban and Neighbourhood) will be. The report should include but not be limited to making recommendations on appropriate ranges, and identifying mechanisms to allow for the intensification of these areas.
3. Direct Administration to report back to Council on what amendments would be required to the Land Use Bylaw and what the implications of these amendments would be.
4. Direct Administration to report back to Council on what changes would need to be made to Development Appeal Board to accommodate Plan It and Land Use Bylaw amendments.
1. WHEREAS the City needs to be efficient in managing its costs in relation to operating and maintenance costs; and
WHEREAS a review of current City standards and specifications for infrastructure to find cost savings where possible would benefit the parties involved in the provision and maintenance of servicing and road infrastructure;
THEREFORE it is moved that the City will conduct a detailed review of City standards with the development industry to reduce specifications where possible, reducing the use of resources towards capital replacement and future maintenance.
2. WHEREAS the policies identified under section 2.6.4 Ecological Networking may be counterproductive toward achieving the objectives of compact design as contemplated by the Municipal Development Plan; and
WHEREAS no cost analysis has been performed with regard to the policies of section 2.6.4 to determine the cost impact of the maintenance of the infrastructure required to support the policies of section 2.6.4; and
WHEREAS the Policies of 2.6.4 have not been reviewed with the Development Industry;
THEREFORE it is moved that Policy 2.6.4. be referred back to the Administration for further consultation with the Industry to review and address these concerns.
3. WHEREAS Policy 2.6.4 Ecological networks, Policies, Ecological protection a, be read in conjunction with policy 2.3.5 Municipal, school and environmental reserves, Policies, Municipal and school reserves c., which, may result in challenges in the provision of park space in communities;
THEREFORE it is moved that Policy 2.6.4 Watershed Management be deleted from the Municipal Development Plan.
4. WHEREAS Policy 2.6.4 Watershed Management z represents an intrusion of the public sector on private homeowners;
THEREFORE it is moved that Policy 2.6.4 z be deleted from the Municipal Development Plan.
1. Direct Administration to review the Plan-It document and implement a small joint working group composed of City representatives and representatives from the Building and Development Industry should be struck to find appropriate targets and flexible thresholds to better respond to the desires of both current and future Calgarians. This group should also determine if any proposed directions are in conflict with existing City policy and address interpretation and implementation issues. This group will participate in a joint review of each of the objectives and policies of the MDP and CTP with the goal of reaching consensus, at which point administration will bring the Plans forward to Council, including an implementation strategy, prior to adoption of these Plans.
2. Direct Administration to provide a report to Council detailing the financial implications, capital and operating, of the MDP and CTP based on a sound understanding of how these documents will be interpreted and implemented. This report should include, but not be limited to, providing the required capital and operating costs for the City for each of the 10 year horizons to match the objectives, goals, targets, thresholds and policies of the documents.
Direct Administration to amend the MDP, Section 2.3.4 Parks, Open Spaces and Outdoor Recreation, Policies, letter p, page 39 with respect to ensuring “public access is maintained or improved to major water bodies, where appropriate, including the Bow and Elbow Rivers and Nose Creek”, as well as Map 1 of appendix F of the CTP, entitled Primary Cycling Network, wherein line #3 identifies regional multi-use pathway route (both sides of river).
The intent of the amendments would be to recognize that private property exists in some sections of the proposed pathway adjacent to the Bow River in the Community of Bowness, and would affect a number of residential properties in the Community of Montgomery, as well and, as such, alternative pathway alignments should be prepared for inclusion in both the MDP and the CTP which would not require the use or acquisition of private properties.
1. In the MDP, Section 2.3.7 Foster community dialogue and participation in community planning, Policies, Community Participation, page 40 be amended by adding a new letter “d.” as follows:
“d. Local planning studies will include the necessary resources and timeframes to undertake community planning projects in a manner that is responsible, thorough, transparent and includes participatory community planning and consultation.”.
2. In the MDP, Section 2.3.2. Respecting and enhancing neighbourhood character, Policies, page 33 letter d be amended by adding the words “early in the decision making process” following the words “Local Area Plans”.
3. Direct Administration to involve community association representatives in discussions of MDP sustainment and implementation, and in the leading sustainment group (e.g. steering committee or similar body), once constituted, along with other stakeholders.
1. In the MDP, Section 2.5.1 Transportation Choice, Objective, page 47, be amended by deleting the objective in its entirety and by substituting with the following:
“Facilitate the movement of goods and services, the effective movement of emergency and urgent services throughout the City while encouraging sustainable modes of transportation (i.e. walking, cycling and transit).”.
2. In the MDP, Section 2.6.5 Energy, page 67, Policies, Energy and Buildings, letter c, be amended by deleting the words “such as LEED or Built Green, Go Green (or an equivalent rating system)” following the words “and management systems”.
3. In the MDP, Section 3.3.1 General Activity Centre Policies, page 74, Mobility policies, be amended by moving policies n and k to be added before policies I and j and re-letter the policies accordingly.
4. In the MDP , Section 3.3.4 Neighbourhood Activity Centres, page 78, Land Use policies, be amended by policy letter e in its entirety and re-letter the sections accordingly.
5. In the MDP, Section 5.2.7 Public Accountability, page 109, Policies, letter a, ii, be amended by deleting the words “infrastructure and fiscal” following the words “An assessment of The City’s” and by substituting the word “financial”.
6. In the MDP, Section 5.2.7 Public Accountability, page 109, Policies, letter a, be amended by adding a new roman numeral “iii” as follows and re-letter the sections accordingly.
“iii. An assessment of the City’s infrastructure”.
7. In the CTP Section 1.5 Transportation Goals, page 05, Transportation Goal #4, be amended by deleting the words “To reduce automobile dependency,” following the words “Make public transit, walking and cycling the preferred mobility choices for more people.”.
8. In the CTP Section 1.5 Transportation Goals, page 05, be amended by moving Transportation Goal #5 to be Transportation Goal #1 and renumber the sections accordingly.
9. In the CTP Section 1.5 Transportation Goals, page 05, Transportation Goal #4, be amended by deleting the words “To reduce automobile dependency, “following the words “Make public transit, walking and cycling the preferred mobility choices for more people.”.
10. In the CTP Section 3.1 Transportation Choice, Objective, page 9, be amended by deleting the objective it in its entirety and substituting with the following:
“Objective Maintain automobile, commercial goods and emergency vehicle mobility in Calgary while placing increased on sustainable modes of transportation (walking, cycling and transit).”.
11. In the CTP Section 3.3 Transit, page 21, New river crossings, be amended by deleting the second sentence “These connections would be for exclusive use by transit, pedestrians, cyclists and emergency services.” and by deleting word “dedicated” following the word “These”.
12. In the CTP, Section 3.4 Goods Movement, page 27, Truck, Policies, letter e, be amended by adding the word “existing” following the words “and expansion of” and by deleting the word “should” following the words “within city limits” and by substituting the word “must”.
13. In the CTP, Section 3.6 Quality of Service, page 35, Policies, letter d, be amended by deleting the word “should” following the words “transportation system” and by substituting the word “must”.
14. In the CTP, Section 3.7 Complete Streets, page 43, Policies, Planning, design and maintenance of Complete Streets, letter b, be amended by deleting the word “and” following the words “pedestrians, cyclists” and by adding the words “and the movement of goods and services” following the word “transit”.
15. In the CTP, Section 3.10 Transportation Safety, page 51, Policies, letter b, be amended by deleting the word “should” following the words “transportation system” and by substituting the word “must”.
16. In the CTP, Appendix B Principles and Design Considerations for River Crossings, page 65, paragraph six, be amended by deleting the word “may” following the words “transit and pathway systems” and by substituting the word “will”.
17. In the CTP, Appendix D Connectivity Handbook, page 94, Access to regional street system, letter g, be amended by adding the following “All temporary and permanent access points should also be designed to serve as emergency evacuation routes.” following the words “two full access points are not practical.”.
1. Direct Administration to amend the MDP and the CTP to explicitly address the fundamental differences between urbanism and sub urbanism in order to permit successful development, redevelopment and management of both of these development patterns within the City of Calgary throughout the life of the Plan It Calgary Plan.
2. Direct Administration to create an Implementation Team consisting of City Staff and the Development industry to address specific threshold implementation and interpretation concerns as identified by the development industry.
3. Direct Administration to refer the population targets and density thresholds to Administration for further consultation with the development industry, including but not limited to Urban Development Institute and the Canadian Home Builders Association with the intent that the targets and thresholds reflect the projected “Maintenance Rate Scenario” as per the geo-demographic predictions of the Baxter Study.
4. Direct Administration to prepare, as part of the Plan It Calgary implementation plan, detailed maps that reflect areas of intensification that would affect developed communities, with particular attention, but not limited to, area surrounding Transit Orientated Development sites and Traffic Corridors.
1. In the MTP, Section 1.5 Review of the MDP, page 9, first paragraph, be amended by adding the words “are long term and” following the words “Core Indicators of the MDP (Part 5)” and by adding a new sentence “Meeting these goals is intended to be done on a city-wide basis and will not be completely burdened onto each individual ASP, ARP, RCS or Land Use application as it comes forward.” following the words “Calgarians and Council on three-year cycle.”.
2. In the MTP, Section 1.7 Interpreting the MDP, page 10, third paragraph, be amended by adding the word “reasonable” following the words “be interpreted to mean that every” and by deleting the words “unless it can be demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the Approving Authority, that the policy could be achieved in another manner.” following the words “effort is to be taken to enact the policy”.
3. In the MDP, Section 1.7 Interpreting the MDP, page 10, be amended by adding a new paragraph four as follows:
“In other cases, the policy is meant to be a guideline which will require judgment to be exercised. In these cases, the words should, may or might are used.”.
4. In the MDP Section 2.1.2 Creating a city attractive to business, page 15, Policies, Supporting manufacturing and industrial businesses, letter n, be amended by deleting the word “industrial” following the words “and developable land for” and by substituting with the word “residential”.
5. In the MDP, Section 2.1.2 Creating a city attractive to business, page 15, Policies, Supporting business and investment, be amended by deleting letter c in its entirety and by re-lettering the sections on page 15 accordingly.
6. In the Municipal Development Plan, under Section 2.1.1 Creating a city attractive to people page 14, Policies, be amended by adding a new letter g as follows:
g. Ensure the availability of competitively priced, easily serviceable and developable land for residential purposes; including providing opportunities for brownfield redevelopment.
7. In the MDP, Section 2.1.4 Ensuring sustainable municipal finances page 17, Policies, letter c, be amended by adding the words “market conditions” following the words “infrastructure requirements”.
8. In the MDP, Section 2.5.3 Complete streets, page 51, Policy, letter a, be amended by adding the words “-as amended from time to time.” following the words “contained in Part 3 of the CTP”.
9. In the MDP, Section 2.5.4 Local transportation connectivity, page 51, Policy, letter a, be amended by deleting the words “must be assessed according to the connectivity policies contained in the CTP” following the words “Unplanned Greenfield developments” and substituting with the words “should aspire to the highest connectivity reasonable.”.
10. In the MDP, Section 2.6.2, Land, page 55, Objective, be amended by deleting the Objective in its entirety and substituting with the following “Strongly encourage that any land taken from undeveloped areas and placed in permanent use for any purpose is done in a way that is contiguous to existing development and is an improvement on the value of the undeveloped land as an asset to the environment, the economy or the quality of life of Calgarians”.
11. In the MDP, Section 2.6.2 Land, Policies page 55, letter b, be amended by deleting the words “seek to retain greater amounts of” following the words “Designs for new communities should” and substituting with the word “evaluate” and by deleting the words “in order to create more compact communities, increase” following the words “undisturbed land” and substitute with the words “to keep those areas undisturbed that have the highest value in regard to increased” and by adding the words “and opportunities to create more compact communities.” following the words “improve water quality”.
12. In the MDP, Section 3.2 Centre City, page 71, Land use policies letter a subsection I, be amended by deleting letter “i” in its entirety and by substituting with the following “Encourage all districts for business and employment while maintaining the Downtown as the largest.”.
13. In the MDP, Section 3.3 Activity Centres, page 73, be amended in Table 3.3 with an over riding statement: “Intensity required of activity centres must be set location by location in consideration of the actual opportunities available for development.
14. In the MDP, Section 3.3.1 General Activity Centre Policies, page 74, Mobility policies, letter n, be amended by deleting the words “locally-destined” following the words “loading and unloading of”.
15. In the MDP, Section 3.3.2 Major Activity Centres, page 75, letter b, be amended by deleting letter b it in its entirety and by substituting with the following:
“MAC’s should aspire to an intensity target of 200 jobs and population per gross developable acre to be met over time as opportunities permit and market conditions allow.”.
16. In the MDP, Section 3.4 Corridors, page 79, be amended in Table 3.4 with an over riding statement: “Intensity required of corridors must be set location by location in consideration of the actual opportunities available for development.”.
17. In the MDP, Section 3.4.1 General Corridors, Land Use Policies, page 80 letter e, be amended by deleting all size limits referenced this paragraph.
18. In the MDP, Section 3.4.1 General Corridor Policies, page 80, Mobility Policies, be amended by deleting letter m in its entirety and substitute with the following “Alternatives to parking in front of stores should be considered.”.
19. In the MDP, Section 3.4.1 General Corridor Policies, page 81, Public realm polices, letter r, be amended by adding the words “Where practical” following the words “onto public sidewalks on the north side of the street.”.
20. In the MDP, Section 3.6.2 Unplanned Greenfield Area, page 89, Land use polices letter c, be amended by deleting the words “70 people per gross developable hectare” following the words “should achieve a minimum intensity of” and substitute with the words “net developable acre”.
21. In the MDP, Section 3.6.2 Unplanned Greenfield Area, Land use polices, page 89, letter e, be amended by deleting “1.5 km” following the words “located a minimum” and substitute with “500 m”.
22. In the MDP, Section 3.7.2 Industrial-Employee Intensive, page 92, Land use polices, letter a, be amended by deleting the word “minimum” following the words “should achieve a” and substitute with the word “target”.
23. In the MDP, Section 3.7.3 Greenfield Industrial Area, page 94, Mobility polices, letter k, be amended by deleting the word “shall” following the word “Sidewalks” and substitute with the word “should”.
24. In the MDP, Section 5.2 A Strategic Framework for Growth and Change, page 105, paragraph two, be amended by adding the words “In consultation with stakeholders from the public, industry partners and available experts” following the words “and Directors Sub-Committee” and by adding the words “A terms of reference and membership list for GMSGC will be presented to City Council for approval within 3 months of the approval of the new MDP and CTP.” following the words “Regional Context Studies and information on the City’s infrastructure and fiscal capacity for growth.”.
25. In the MDP, Section 5.2.2 Strategic decisions, page 105, end of second paragraph, be amended by adding the words, “The goals in Figure 5.2 are city wide and are considered aspirational and an example of what may be achieved over a medium or long period of time as area mature. These goals should not be applied to a specific RCS, ASP, ARP or Land Use but should be considered in the city wide context.” following the words “orders of government, the public and stakeholders.”.
26. In the MDP, Section 5.2.2 Strategic decisions, page 106, Policies, letter b, be amended by adding the word “across all sectors” following the words “supply”.
27. In the MDP, Section 5.2.2 Strategic decisions, Policies, page 106, letter e, be amended by deleting the word “must” following the words “and investment decisions” and substitute with the word “should”.
28. In the MDP, Section 5.2.3 Planned land supply, page 106, Policies, letter a, be amended by deleting the words “Endeavour to” at the beginning of the sentence.
29. In the MDP, under Section 5. 3 Monitoring and reporting, page 110, Policy, by adding a new letter b as follows:
“b. The goals in Figure 5.2 are city wide and are considered aspirational and an example of what may be achieved over a medium or long period of time as the MDP changes mature. These goals should not be applied to a single RCS, ASP, ARP or Land Use but should be considered in the city wide context.”.
30. In the MDP, Section 5.3 Monitoring and Reporting, Page 111 Figure 5.2, be amended by adding an over riding statement as follows, “The goals in Figure 5.2 are city wide and are considered aspirational and an example of what may be achieved over a medium or long period of time as the areas mature. These goals should not be applied to development applications, RCS, ASP, ARP or Land Use but should be considered in the city wide context.”.
31. In the MDP, under Part 6 – Glossary, page 116, be amended following the paragraph low impact development (LID) by adding a new definition of “market conditions”.
32. Direct Administration to review the setbacks to the Sheppard Landfill on the map(s) in Plan It Calgary to ensure no unnecessary encroachment on surrounding property.
33. In the MDP, Section 4.1.1 Retail Structure, Pages 95 and 96, be referred to the Administration to make them less prescriptive in consultation with industry stakeholders.
34. In the MDP, Section 4.1.2 Retail Categories, Pages 97 and 98, be referred to the Administration to make them less prescriptive in consultation with industry stakeholders.
35. In the MDP, Section 2.6.3 Water on page 58, a to f, be referred to the Administration to return to council with an evaluation with how each of these policies can be achieved in co-operation with the development industry.
36. WHEREAS Appendix D is far too detailed to be included as an appendix to the City of Calgary Transportation Plan; and
WHEREAS the Connectivity Handbook will result in a “Plan by Numbers” approach to City Planning; and
WHEREAS the Connectivity Handbook will result in a form of development which is more costly to implement, increases impermeable surface, dedicates more land to roadways, increases maintenance costs and may reduce future opportunities for intensification;
THEREFORE it is moved that Appendix D be removed from the Calgary Transportation Plan, and all policies referring to this appendix be amended accordingly.
That the policy documents be amended to acknowledge that increased connectivity is important in all communities and initiatives should be developed in collaboration with the development industry to promote better connectivity throughout new and redeveloping communities.
37. WHEREAS Appendix C is far too detailed to be appropriate for inclusion as an appendix to the Calgary Transportation plan; and
WHEREAS standards in the Interim Complete Street Guidelines have not been constructed previously in the City of Calgary; and
WHEREAS these standards have not been field-tested nor reviewed with the Development Industry; and
WHEREAS these guidelines are more appropriate at a technical rather than policy level that allows for greater flexibility and adaptability to changing conditions;
Therefore it is moved that Appendix C be removed from the Calgary Transportation Plan, and all policies referring to this appendix be amended accordingly.
That a road and street palette be compiled as a set of guidelines in collaboration with the development industry and the public that provides a range of road and street types that can accommodate all forms of mobility:
walking, cycling, transit, and private vehicle use, goods and services movement and EMS, while supporting adjacent land uses.
1. Direct Administration to amend the CTP to remove specific references to a 50th Ave Elbow River crossing and an Edworthy/Shaganappi Bow River crossing. Textual amendments are to be made in section 3.3 (Transit) New River Crossings, as well as Appendix B of the Calgary
Transportation Plan. The Primary Transit Network and the Primary Cycling Network maps should also be amended to reflect this change.
2. Direct Administration to amend Bylaw 40M2009 to reflect the above changes and remove the two river crossings from Appendix “A” of The City of Calgary Transportation System Map.
3. In the CTP, Section 3.11 Transit Accessibility, page 52, Policies, by adding a new policy c as follows:
“c.The Primary Transit Network, including all vehicles and supporting infrastructure (such as sidewalks and buildings), should be designed and built to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities.”
4. Direct Administration to establish a monitoring and reporting mechanism that will include updates to Council on progress toward the targets identified in the Core Indicators for Land Use and Mobility. A multi-stakeholder panel should be convened to review the performance information and provide recommendations to Council on the implications for budget discussions. The reports must be delivered in advance of The City’s business planning and budget cycle in order to inform those deliberations. A major review of all targets should occur on a ten year basis as part of the regular policy review.
Direct Administration to amend the relevant maps and text contained in the proposed Calgary Transportation Plan and Municipal Development Plan (M2009-012) to reflect the appropriate limits and classification of Airport Trail and 96 Avenue N.E.
Proposed Amendments to the Calgary Transportation Plan
1. In the CTP Section 3.1 Transportation Choice, Page 9, be amended by deleting the Objective in its entirety and by substituting with the words “Maintain automobile, commercial goods and emergency vehicle mobility in Calgary while placing increasing emphasis on more sustainable modes of transportation (walking, cycling and transit).”.
2. In the CTP, Section 3.4 Goods movement, page 26, paragraph four, be amended by adding the words “Impacts on adjacent municipalities should also be considered.” following the words, “The City must balance the need of goods and services movement with the needs of residential communities impacted by truck routes.”.
3. In the CTP, Section 3.4 Goods movement, page 27, Policies, be amended by adding a new letter f as follows:
“f. The City should consider the impact of goods movement routes on roadways in adjacent municipalities.”.
4. In the CTP under section 3.7, page 43, Policies, be amended by adding a new policy g. as follows and by re-lettering the sections accordingly:
“g. Appropriate transitions for road and street cross-sections should be developed where City infrastructure connects to infrastructure in surrounding municipalities.” Also amend all subsequent policy lettering in Section 3.7 as necessary to accommodate insertion of this new policy.”.
5. Amend the CTP under Appendix D, page 94, letter g, be amended by adding the words, “All temporary and permanent access points should also be designed to serve as emergency evacuation routes.” following the words “two full access points are not practical.”.
6. That Council direct Administration to work with industry and all other stakeholders to formulate a strategy to foster a clear understanding of the plan and its policies, as well as the implementation and interpretation of these policies.
Confused yet? I imagine those that are against Plan It are hoping you are. I know I am.
My posts (it was too large for one post and so was broken into two halves) was written before the Plan It public hearing at Calgary City Council. I myself am surprised how accurate my predictions were as the main thesis of my post appears to be very similar to what the developers were complaining about and what council is now grappling with through 76 amendments.
Time will tell where things land, but after it being live on the Think! Alberta site for a week or so, I wanted to cross post the text here for you to read if you haven’t already.
Part I – Buyer Beware
As a marketer I find myself often telling clients “if you want to be seen as something, then just be that something.” You don’t need to spend a large amount of money to tell people what they should think of your company if you’ve got a good product. On the other hand, if your product is terrible, it doesn’t matter how much money you throw at the problem – people won’t buy it.This appears to be exactly the kind of problem the City of Calgary may be facing in Plan It.
For those who are unfamiliar, Plan It is perhaps the most important policy document the City of Calgary has created in many years. It consists of two documents, the Calgary Transportation Plan and the Municipal Development Plan, that set out the vision for how the city will grow over the next 60 years and 1.3 million residents.
Housing developers and their lobby organizations are coming out of the woodwork to denounce Plan It’s goal of increasing housing density and generally not allowing them to build the kinds of suburban developments they have gotten so good at producing for over half a century. And who can blame them?
Nobody likes to be forced to fundamentally change their business model when their current one is so profitable and highly sought after. Assuming Plan It is approved, its success or failure will be based on its ability to change the public attitude toward these kinds of developments. If the public winds up preferring to live in smaller homes or closer to their place of work, more walkable communities or near transit, the homebuilders that adapt to this change will be the ones that succeed the most.
I have no doubt public attitudes will shift in this direction eventually. This is not the hill Plan It could die on however – despite the development industry’s request that it does. The good news – or bad news as the case may be – is that the success of Plan It will fall directly on the shoulders of the City of Calgary and how the plan is implemented.
Calgary City Council has done a very good job over the years looking down the road and helping set a vision for the city’s future in motion. Plan after policy after plan have been enacted, but clearly the citizens of Calgary feel unaffected for the most part by these plans and policies: urban sprawl has continued, there are constant complaints about transit usefulness, and despite a great pathway system biking to work has not caught on in a big way.
The answer is simple: you can’t just say you are something, you have to be that something.
Part II – Don’t Say, Do
Plan It lays out what we want to be. But we’ve had plans before. How has the City of Calgary done with these previous plans? They don’t have a good track record with turning previous ambitions into action.
As the average commuter waiting in traffic can tell you Calgary Transit has not been effective at getting people out of their cars despite the City setting public transportation higher than roadways on their priority list. The majority of C-Train stations are in the middle of large parking lots. This encourages people to drive to their local station instead of walk. Not to mention there is little in the way of amenities around most stations and therefore little to encourage you to take a C-Train for any use other than to go downtown. (Clearly this was the original intent of the C-Train system, but it hasn’t evolved since first being built despite the high-cost associated with operating it for only a single task.)
The need to drive to a C-Train station is further compounded by the frustration users feel when attempting to take a bus to the closest station. Many bus stops in the suburbs are lonely concrete islands with no sidewalks, and infrequently cleared of snow in the winter. Even if a suburb is lucky enough to lose their “Future Bus Stop” sign and have an actual route, the user demand is not enough to warrant a frequent schedule because, in short, we have built these communities so that a car is required for even the simplest of errands.
The same is true when it comes to other forms of alternative transportation. The City has been trying to encourage more commuters to use their bicycles to get to work. Plans and policies have been approved with this goal in mind. But what is actually occurring on the ground is far from encouraging people to bike to work. According to this Calgary Herald story the new bike lane installed last year on 26 Avenue SW is all but impossible to navigate. The lane icons have been scraped off the road by snowplows and, not being able to see the icons, drivers ignore the lane to the detriment of bikers peddling next to them. The article also mentions that at one point bikers must disembark and lift their bike over a low fence to even stay on the path.
Another bike commute route with similar issues is 20 Avenue N. Despite it being a road without a bike lane, it is frequented by riders as the main east/west inner-city route. It was not scheduled to be cleared of gravel until June 16 – well into Calgary’s bike riding season.
Just like the suburban transit user, when existing bicycle commuters are treated with this kind of indifference what is the incentive for more people to join them?
The City of Calgary has no shortage of plans – and Plan It is another example of the City’s excellent visionary thinking and should be approved – but until city Administration buys in to these plans and changes the way they think about city building, the hard work of those that have written these documents will continue to languish. As will our city.
The time has come to no longer just say we want to be a great city; the time has come to put our money where our mouths are, stop talking about what we could do, and work at becoming that great city.