NORTH HILL COMMUNITIES LOCAL AREA PLAN
On September 14, 2021 Council approved the North Hill Communities Local Area Plan (LAP) with a 13-1 vote. This plan is Calgary’s first modernized, multi-community local area plan and is the result of over 2.5 years of engagement with area stakeholders including residents, community associations, business improvement areas, and the building and development industry. Not to mention several rounds of committee and Council directed revisions over the past year.
The North Hill Communities LAP sets out the vision and policies to guide growth and change in the communities of Capitol Hill, Crescent Heights, Highland Park, Mount Pleasant, Renfrew, Rosedale, Thorncliffe-Greenview (south of McKnight Blvd), Tuxedo Park, Winston Heights-Mountview and Greenview Industrial. In addition to policies for how land can be used and redevelopment in the area, the Plan identifies actions that can be taken to support communities as they experience growth and change. The plan will help support local businesses, create new business opportunities, and guide City investment in the area – such as within the area’s main streets, parks, and civic and recreation facilities. The plan will also support The City’s largest infrastructure investment ever, the Green Line LRT by providing greater opportunities for people to choose to live and work in this area.
With the approval of the North Hill Communities LAP, we’re excited to be moving ahead with specific actions identified in the LAP including developing heritage guidelines for heritage areas and local area improvement such as Balmoral Circus Improvements, Crescent Road Master Plan, 40 Avenue N.E. Park & Area Improvements and North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre Area Improvements.
Thank you to everyone who dedicated their time and provided input throughout the creation of the Plan!
Thank you to everyone who shared ideas and provided input through the project!
The input provided by citizens and stakeholders helped the project team understand people’s perspectives, opinions, and concerns. Input collected in each phase helped influence and inform the concepts and policies that were created and refined throughout the process.
Prior to project kick-off: The project team met with and surveyed local community association members and business improvement area members to ask how their communities wanted to be engaged. Their feedback, together with unique local context considerations (including demographics, previous engagement learnings, popular events, hard to reach groups, etc.), was taken into consideration as we finalized the outreach plan and selected tactics throughout the project.
Throughout the project:
- Over 800,000 people were made aware of the project through our communications program.
- Over 20,000 people participated online or in-person.
- Over 7,000 ideas and contributions were collected across all phases.
- 61 events and meetings were held (with the general public and targeted stakeholders such as: youth, business owners, landowners, Chinese-speaking community members, community association members and business improvement area representatives, etc.)
- 3 multi-week, multi-input online engagement opportunities were available.
- 2 online information sessions / presentations were held.
Throughout the project we:
- Raised awareness about the project and opportunities to get involved through a variety of traditional, digital and in-community channels aiming to reach diverse stakeholders in each phase of the project.
- Took a grassroots approach, working with community leaders and popping up throughout the community, to ensure we were accessible to all and in an effort to reach people we may not have otherwise connected with.
- Worked to actively remove participation barriers and promote participation for all who wanted to be involved. Specifically, we removed barriers to participation by:
- offering sessions at varied times to accommodate different schedules;
- ensuring a range of participation methods were available so people could participate in ways that best suited their interests and needs (from community pop-ups to local information and feedback stations, workshops, community tradeshows, targeted stakeholder sessions, open houses, online information and engagement opportunities);
- translating information and offering interpretation in Mandarin, Cantonese and Spanish, (due to a higher than average number of speakers in the area). Translated ads were placed in Chinese-language papers. Translated materials and interpreters were available at three in-person sessions.
- providing opportunities that were general, stakeholder-specific and topic-specific to ensure a range of diverse perspectives were heard.
- creating family-friendly events with children’s activities.
- Engaged with a range of stakeholder groups (from residents, community associations and business owners to students and seniors) at a range of locations through the plan area (the local college, Chinese market, transit stops, recreation centres, parks, grocery stores, seniors’ facilities, low-income residences and schools in the area).
- Ensured that North Hill Communities Working Group members represented a broad range of demographics and perspectives (although there are limitations based on who applied).
- Took an iterative and phased approach to education and engagement which enabled dialogue to start at a broad / visionary level and naturally progress and become more focused and refined overtime.
- We actively discussed key topics, collected input and reported back to participants throughout the project to demonstrate that we were listening to and utilizing community feedback (or in some cases, clarifying why feedback could not be utilized) to ensure stakeholders could see how feedback was being considered and utilized throughout the project and in the creation of the plan.
Summary of Input
In our Final Engagement Summary, we have outlined the details of our engagement program and the high-level themes that were common from all three phases of engagement and provided responses for how these were addressed and considered throughout the project.
To review the What We Heard Reports from each phase of the project, click the links below.
HOW WAS PUBLIC INPUT CONSIDERED?
Your input, and the input of other citizens and stakeholders, helped City decision makers understand people’s perspectives, opinions, and concerns. Input collected in each phase of the project was compiled and shared through a series of What We Heard reports (linked above).
Through the project, decision makers considered public input and demonstrated how input influenced decisions where possible or aimed to explain why decisions were not influenced by public input if they did not.
Although it would be a great outcome, the goal of public engagement is not to reach consensus or make everyone happy. Public engagement is also not about voting or collecting representative information. Public engagement is about considering the input, ideas and perspectives of people who are interested or impacted by decisions, before decisions are made.
Public input is an important part of local area planning, but is one of many areas of consideration in the decision-making process.
Learn more about engagement at The City, visit engage.calgary.ca/about.