PROJECT UPDATE

Council referral back to PUD

On Monday June 15, Council approved a motion to refer the North Hill Communities Local Area Plan and the Guidebook for Great Communities back to the Standing Policy Committee on Planning and Urban Development (PUD) on July 15, rather than proceeding to a public hearing of Council.

The Council motion and referral of both plans back to the PUD on July 15 enables potential refinements to be further discussed and/or directed prior to a public hearing of Council. On July 15, Administration will bring forward a presentation outlining proposed refinements for discussion.

The report for this meeting will be available the Thursday prior (visit link below) and members of the public may speak at PUD (please note the instructions for participating): Council & Committee Agendas, Minutes and Video.

Committee & Council Meeting Background

On March 4, the North Hill Communities Local Area Plan and the Guidebook for Great Communities were presented to the Standing Policy Committee on Planning and Urban Development (PUD). Feedback received at the Committee meeting indicated there were aspects of both plans that may benefit from further refinement. Ultimately, Committee recommended approval of the two policy documents and for their consideration at a Public Hearing of Council. However, with a desire for further refinements to be made, but a lack of ability for Administration to make refinements between Committee and Council meetings, a referral from Council back to PUD was made to ensure refinements could be further discussed and/or directed prior to a public hearing of Council.


PHASE 4 - REALIZE

Over the past year and a half, we have been working with locals to create a future vision for how land can be used and redeveloped in the North Hill Communities area – building on the vision, goals and policies outlined in Calgary’s Municipal Development Plan and the proposed Guidebook for Great Communities.

The North Hill Communities Local Area Plan sets out the future vision for growth and change in nine establisehd inner-city communities surrounding 16 Avenue and Centre Street.


HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Take a look at how the proposed North Hill Communities Local Area Plan was created:

ENGAGEMENT SUMMARY


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 our process.

Engagement and communications occurred for this project from September 2018 through to March 2020 over three phases of engagement and one phase of information sharing.

Throughout our project we engaged with: residents and community members at-large, community associations, business improvement areas, local business owners, students, Ward offices and the development industry.

We employed a variety of engagement and communications tactics including: developing a stakeholder working group, online engagement, pop-up events, workshops, community tradeshow, meetings, surveys, open houses, online information session, postcards, signage, social media, paid advertisements and media interviews.

Throughout the entire project, we held 53 in-person events and meetings, three online surveys and one (1) online presentation for the broader public and targeted stakeholders. In total over 800,000 people were made aware of the project through our communications program and we connected with over 14,800 participants online or in-person and received over 6,800 ideas and contributions across all phases

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.



ENGAGEMENT PROCESS RECAP

The pilot project

The North Hill Communities Local Growth Planning project was a pilot project for The City’s planning department. This included:

  • Testing a new approach to how Local Area Plans (LAPs) are created by undertaking local growth planning processes with multiple communities at one time, and grouping communities based on their physical boundaries, shared connections and experiences. By grouping communities together based on their shared experiences and spaces, we were able to discuss how to ensure a more complete community and able to provide a clear and comprehensive vision for growth and change at a local level across our city.
  • Developing a new way of engagement and communications for the creation of multi-community LAPs that ensured a consistent and predictable approach, where the tactics and tools for delivery of the process were customized to the local context of the plan area. The engagement and communications framework piloted through this project will be utilized for future local area policy plans throughout the city.
  • Partnering with the Guidebook for Great Communities and integrating the City-Wide Policy team in our processes, to test the tools and policies outlined in the proposed Guidebook at the local area plan level.

Multi-Community Local Area Plan Engagement Program Overview

The engagement and communications framework piloted through this project provided the opportunity for citizens to participate in meaningful engagement and have input into the decisions that determine how their community will look and function in the future. As we developed our program the following considerations were made to help influence the overall process.

1. Phased Program

The engagement process was designed as a multi-phased approach where we collected input and shared information at key intervals throughout the planning process.

Phase 1: Discover & Discuss (Fall to Winter 2018)

Phase one was about looking to get a better understanding of the local area and your communities. Gaining a better understanding of everything that makes your community tick helped the project team proactively explore ideas with your aspirations, concerns and viewpoints in mind. The feedback from this phase help inform visioning with the working group where we developed Guiding Principles for the project.

Phase 2: Envision (Winter to Spring 2019)

Phase two was about collecting feedback connected to big ideas and beginning to identify focus areas and topics that required further exploration to inform our land use concepts and draft policies.

This input collected was be used to inform conversations with the project working group where we did a deeper dive into technical planning matters to develop draft concepts and ideas.

Phase 3: Evaluate (Summer to Winter 2019)

Phase three was about sharing the draft Local Area Plan and gathering feedback to help evaluate the draft. The feedback collected helped identify gaps and opportunities and was used to refine the final proposed plan.

Phase 4: Realize (Winter 2020)

Phase four was about sharing the final proposed plan, connecting the dots between what was heard and what was done, and closing the loop with stakeholders.

2. Raising the capacity of the community

Prior to starting formal engagement we started the project with an educational focus to increase peoples’ knowledge about planning and development to enable participants to effectively contribute to the process. This included starting the conversation with why growth and redevelopment is important and how local area planning fits into our city-wide goals. We also took a plain language and transparent communications approach and made a customized video for the project.

In some of our engagement sessions, we also offered “Planning 101” to help increase citizens capacity to participate.

3. Increasing participation and diversity

Recognizing that planning can be a difficult subject matter to navigate, we employed different tactics and approaches to increase participation in the project. We also recognized that the North Hill Communities are made up of a unique and diverse population and we customized our approach to ensure we removed barriers to allow for a diversity of participation.

4. Inclusive process

Throughout our engagement we worked to ensure an inclusive engagement process that considered the needs of all stakeholders and sought to remove barriers for participation. We did our best to make public engagement accessible and welcoming to all, despite resource levels or demographics that might prevent them from being included in the process. We ensured that, at the very least, all citizens in the area were aware of the opportunity to participate and knew that we were interested in hearing from them.

For this project some of the inclusive measures we took included:

  • Hosted pop-up events throughout the community at existing events to bring information more directly to people in their communities and meet people where they were at
  • Worked with our internal City partners such as our Neighborhood Partnership Coordinators, Community Social Workers and Calgary Housing to share information with harder to reach populations
  • Ensured all public events were held at accessible venues
  • Provided children’s activities at public sessions to create a family-friendly environment,
  • Hosted sessions across a variety of different hours and days of the week to accommodate different schedules
  • Provided easily accessible information online, with the ability to provide feedback and ask questions, for those that couldn’t attend an in-person session
  • Offered translation services in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Spanish at in-person sessions
  • Contacted seniors housing facilities in the area and offering a project presentation and delivered project posters
  • Gave citizens the opportunity to request additional accessibility accommodations in advance of sessions through 311

5. Participation interests & intensity

Our engagement program was designed to cater to the different participation interests and intensity that stakeholders are willing to commit to a project. This includes having a variety of communications and engagement tactics available for involvement so that people are able to get involved at the level that best suits their needs. We selected a variety of tactics to correspond with the different interest needs of the North Hill communities.

One of the foundational pieces for our framework included the development of a multi-community stakeholder working group, designed to cater to those with more committed interests and more time to offer to the project, where we could have a more technical conversation, deeper dive into planning matters and build off the knowledge gained at each session.

North Hill Communities Working Group

Through a recruitment process, 32 members of the broader community and development industry were selected to participate in dialogue of the broader planning interests of the entire area. The working group participated in eight (8) sessions where they brought different perspectives and viewpoints to the table and acted as sounding board for The City as we worked together to create a Local Area Plan

6. Grassroots conversations

Throughout our engagement we took more of a grassroots approach to create a sense of community, positive advocacy, and grassroots community participation. We achieved this by empowering stakeholders to have conversations and ignite interest about growth and redevelopment with their fellow community members. This was enabled by employing two-way conversational tools online and having discussion pieces available through Public Engagement Sounding Boards located in the community. In addition, through our pop-up events, we engaged with citizens while they were out at various destinations or events in the community to help ignite interest about planning with citizens that might not regularly attend an open house or workshop session.

7. Better aligning the work of The City

During our engagement we looked to better serve citizens, communities, and customers through our Program approach in a way that is cohesive, collaborative and integrated, and works together as “One” for “Calgary.” Where timelines and resources allowed, we ensured coordination and collaboration with other City departments and projects to ensure a One City/ One Voice approach.

This included partnering with projects and departments such as: Liveable Streets, Parks, Recreation, Calgary Housing, Real Estate & Development Services, Water Resources, City-Wide Policy (specifically the Guidebook for Great Communities), Transportation Planning and Transit and the Green Line project.

We also recognized that significant engagement had occurred in these communities prior to the start of our project, and ensured that past project feedback was also used as an input and considered throughout our process. Specifically this included past work on the Main Streets projects and the Green Line Station Area Charrettes.

8. Clear stakeholder reporting

A goal for this project was to achieve transparency through clear stakeholder reporting and ensuring that we made connections between the input being sought and how this input would be used to inform decisions throughout the entire process. In each phase of engagement, we ensured to report back on how the previous phase’s engagement and input informed and was considered in project decision making.


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.


FAQ


Responses to frequently asked questions are listed below.

Click on the question to expand and see the response.

A local area plan identifies and guides where and how future growth and (re)development should happen within a specific area. A local area plan includes the following key sections:

  • VISUALIZING GROWTH – contains the plan vision and core ideas.
  • ENABLING GROWTH – sets out the future growth concept for the North Hill Communities as well as policies to realize great development in the area.
  • SUPPORTING GROWTH – identifies specific objectives for supporting growth and change within these communities and aims to address the question: when growth occurs, how are investments in the area made?

A local area plan is a statutory document, adopted by Council as an Area Redevelopment Plan.

The proposed North Hill Communities Local Area Plan (the Plan) is a long-range, statutory policy plan that sets out the future vision, development policies, and objectives for enabling and supporting growth and change in the communities of Capitol Hill, Crescent Heights, Highland Park, Mount Pleasant, Renfrew, Rosedale, Thorncliffe-Greenview (south of McKnight Boulevard N), Tuxedo Park, Winston Heights-Mountview, and the Greenview Industrial area (collectively known as the North Hill Communities).

Key outcomes that would be achieved through approval of the Plan include:

  • simplifying and removing duplicate and outdated planning policies, reducing the total number of plans from seven statutory and non-statutory plans to one statutory plan;
  • increasing certainty in the planning and redevelopment process;
  • recognizing, planning for, and leveraging the connections and shared assets between communities; and
  • creating more complete communities.

City Council is the decision maker for all statutory City planning policies. The North Hill Communities Local Area Plan (the Plan) will be brought forward to the public hearing of Council for review and decision (date to be determined). Prior to the public hearing of Council, the Special Policy Committee on Planning & Urban Development will review proposed North Hill Communities Local Area Plan. Following Council review and decision, the Calgary Metropolitan Regional Growth Board will review the Plan, prior to formal adoption by City Council.

Existing statutory and non-statutory policies (such as Area Redevelopment Plans (ARPs), Design briefs etc.) will be rescinded where appropriate. Administration’s recommendations for the North Hill Communities Local Area Plan includes rescinding seven existing statutory and non-stat planning policies. These include: 16 Avenue Urban Corridor ARP, Centre Street North Special Study, Crescent Heights ARP, Highland Village Design Guidelines, North Bow Special Study, North Hill ARP, and the Winston Heights-Mountview ARP.

Local area plans are meant to be living documents that may be amended and updated over time as the community changes and evolves and as conditions and circumstances in the area change.

City Council is the decision maker for all local area plan amendments.

Landowners determine if and when to propose to rezone their land. If a land use rezoning (redesignation) were brought forward for a parcel within the North Hill Communities area it would be reviewed for alignment with the North Hill Communities Local Area Plan, once the Plan is adopted by Council.

In some cases, The City (rather than a specific landowner) will rezone land; however, City-initiated land use rezonings are not proposed as part of this project and no land will be rezoned when the proposed North Hill Communities Local Area Plan is adopted by Council

City Council is the decision maker on all land use redesignations and these decision are made inclusive of a public hearing process.

The Plan recognizes heritage asset concentrations within the North Hill Communities and includes policies that lay the foundation for applying future heritage planning tools for encouraging heritage conservation and more contextually compatible infill development.

Administration is currently reviewing heritage policy and financial tools, with the objective of creating a systematic, city-wide strategy for the conservation of these heritage asset concentrations. The Plan’s policies are intended to accommodate this future heritage planning work as well as the implementation of any resulting policy tools.

The policies found in the Plan build upon the goals, principles, and planning framework set out in the Guidebook for Great Communities (Guidebook). The content and policies of the Plan have been prepared in conjunction with the Guidebook and the two documents are intended to be read and interpreted together. If approved, the Plan along with the Guidebook will provide comprehensive planning guidance for the plan area.

The Plan includes a quick reference guide to build reader understand of the relationship between the Guidebook and the Plan as well as callouts throughout to highlight important policy connections.

The input provided by citizens and stakeholders helped the project team understand people’s perspectives, opinions, and concerns throughout the entire project. Input collected in each phase of the project helped influence and inform the concepts and policies that were created and refined throughout our process.

In our Final Engagement Summary, we have outlined 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.

Although it would be a great outcome, the goal of public engagement is not to reach consensus or make everyone happy. 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 which also includes: existing policy, economic viability, professional expertise and technical feasibility in the ultimate decision-making process and concept development.

The City employed a variety of engagement and communications tactics including: developing a stakeholder working group, online engagement, pop-up events, workshops, community tradeshow, meetings, open houses, online information session, postcards, signage, social media, paid advertisements and media interviews.

Throughout the entire project, we held 53 in-person events, and meetings, three online surveys and one (1) online presentation for the broader public and targeted stakeholders. In total over 800,000 people were made aware of the project through our communications program and we connected with over 14,800 participants online or in-person and received over 6,800 ideas and contributions across all phases.

For more information, view the Final Engagement Summary.

The proposed plan is presented and reviewed by the Special Policy Committee on Planning and Urban Development Committee (initial review March 4 & proposed refinements July 15). From there, a public hearing of Council will take place (date to be determined).

  • Any member of the public can attend and present at Committee or the public hearing of Council.
  • If you are unable to attend, but you would like to share your thoughts, you reach out to The City Clerk’s Office or your Councillor directly.
  • If you cannot attend, but would like to watch the meeting, you can tune in online.
For more information about any of these options, please visit calgary.ca/Council

The Plan identifies high-level goals and objectives aimed at supporting growth and change in the area. These goals and objectives are durable, long-term, and are connected to the time horizon of the Plan. The Plan also includes a non-statutory list of implementation options related to the objectives that stakeholders identified through engagement process and development of the Plan. These implementation options represent examples of actions that could be taken by The City, developers, Business Improvement Associations, and residents to further the vision, goals, and objectives.

To support the North Hill Communities through growth and change, the implementation actions are intended to help inform future City business plans and budget decisions as well as the ongoing work for the Established Areas Growth and Change Strategy. As actual growth is monitored, these actions can be regularly reviewed and updated to help off-set growth related pressures the community may experience.

On February 3, 2020, Council approved a Notice of Motion (PFC2020-0131) to provide $30 million for public realm improvements in established areas. The funding will initially be directed towards public realm improvements in Phase 1 growth areas of the Strategy, including the North Hill Communities Local Area Plan. These growth areas were identified with stakeholder input earlier in the process, after having been shown to demonstrate strong market potential.

Council directed City Administration to return with an outline for what new land use bylaw districts could look like based on the new Guidebook. The Guidebook for Great Communities (Guidebook) and the new multi-community local area planning approach provide an opportunity to directly link policy with the Bylaw. Using the goals and principles of the Guidebook, a renewed Bylaw will be focused on regulating the aspects that impact the experience a person has at street-level.

For more information, visit Toward a Renewed Land Use Bylaw.

Property assessment is the value placed on a property for municipal and provincial taxation purposes which comes from measurement, analysis and interpretation of the real estate market. It is a separate, independent process from local area planning and The City does not manage property values through the planning process.

The current Property Tax Customer Review Period is in effect now until March 10. This is your current and annual opportunity to review and ensure the accuracy of your Property Assessment. You can check, review and compare your notice online. For more information visit calgary.ca/Assessment

Transportation Planning is responsible for reviewing and providing input on local area plans and development applications.

Site specific development considerations are assessed at the development permit stage and are informed by requirements in the Land Use Bylaw, policies within the Guidebook for Great Communities and in alignment with City development requirements.

The City of Calgary partners with builders and the public to help ensure new home construction in established neighbourhoods is both safe and mitigates negative impacts to the city’s inner-city communities.

There are Community regulations that address potential issues including site maintenance, noise, as well as the use of streets. For more information visit Calgary Infill Construction Bylaws and Regulations.