The Riley Communities Local Area Planning project was initially launched in early spring 2019, but was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Council recently directed Administration to make revisions to the Guidebook for Great Communities (Guidebook) and return to the Planning & Urban Development Committee no later than January 2021. The Guidebook is a key tool used by citizens, stakeholders and The City when a community plans its future growth through a local area plan. Due to the connection between the Guidebook and local area planning, the Riley Communities Local Area Planning project will remain paused—to allow time for refinements to the Guidebook to be made—and will relaunch in early 2021.
To stay connected to the Riley Communities Local Area Planning project and future opportunities to get involved, please sign up for email updates. To learn more about local area planning in Calgary, visit calgary.ca/LAP.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The boundary for Area 4, the Riley Communities, is 16 Ave NW in the north, the Bow River to the south and Centre Street N to the east and Crowchild Trail to the west and beyond to include all of West Hillhurst.
There are 4 communities within the policy area including: Sunnyside, Hillhurst, West Hillhurst and Hounsfield Heights - Briar Hill, that share common destinations, infrastructure and amenities. There are activities that naturally join our communities, such as shopping and parks, and physical boundaries that can separate us, such as the river and major roads.
Through the local area planning process, we’ll work together to create a future vision for how land could be used and redeveloped in the area – building on the vision, goals and policies outlined in Calgary’s Municipal Development Plan and the proposed Guidebook for Great Communities
Why is this happening?
Communities change and evolve over the years. Buildings gain character, community demographics change, trees mature, local amenities and businesses change ownership and offerings. A big part of a community’s life cycle is redevelopment, which often begins when communities reach a certain age and homes, buildings and amenities need to be refreshed and revitalized or renewed and replaced.
Looking more broadly, across the whole city, we need to consider where and how growth and development should happen. We need to consider the sustainability and our city’s urban footprint, we need to ensure existing infrastructure can be maintained and amenities and facilities in established neighbourhoods have the population needed to support them to ensure they continue to thrive. We also need to balance the need to grow and develop with the need to retain and enhance the unique character of our neighbourhoods, historical resources and the natural environment.
What is local area planning?
Through local area planning, we look at the fabric of a specific local area, the community’s vision for the evolution of the area, the ideal places to accommodate growth, and how to make the best use of limited land – balancing the need to increase density, improve mobility and enhance places and spaces to live, work and play.
Increased growth and redevelopment is anticipated in the communities of Sunnyside, Hillhurst, West Hillhurst and Hounsfield Heights - Briar Hill over the next few decades.Working together, we will create a local area plan to help guide growth and redevelopment in a way that integrates and enhances the existing fabric of the communities and ensures the area is vibrant and thriving in the future.
WHAT COMMUNITIES ARE INVOLVED & WHY
The Area 4: Riley Communities Local Area Planning project is one of the 40-45 multi-communities areas in the city part of our local area planning program. This project includes the communities of: Sunnyside, Hillhurst, West Hillhurst and Hounsfield Heights - Briar Hill.
Through the local area planning process, we’ll work together to create a future vision for how land could be used and redeveloped in the area – building on the vision, goals and policies outlined in Calgary’s Municipal Development Plan and the proposed Guidebook for Great Communities.
A new local area plan will fill gaps in communities/areas where no local plan currently exists and replace other plans that are largely outdated. In this project context, the local area plan will cover multiple communities and will be a statutory plan adopted by Council as an Area Redevelopment Plan.
How are local area plan boundaries determined?
Local plan areas are primarily established by using large roads (such as Crowchild Trail, Deerfoot Trail, Anderson Trail, Mcknight Boulevard, Shaganappi Trail) or geographic features (rivers, major parks such as Nose Hill, Confederation or Fish Creek parks) as boundaries between plan areas. These features are not only easily identifiable on a map, they really shape the way we go about our daily lives. Our daily experience is not confined to our immediate community. If you see someone at the park, library or grocery store, you probably use similar amenities, face similar challenges and love the same things about the area you live. It only makes sense to plan communities with these shared experiences in mind. Prior to launching this project we met with community associations and business improvement area representatives in the plan area to discuss the boundary and it is still subject to change.
The boundary for Area 4, Riley Communities, was discussed with local Community Associations and Business Improvement Area representative prior to being confirmed. The original boundary used Crowchild Trail as the boundary edge, but it was expanded to include the entire community of West Hillhurst.
What is a local area plan?
A local area plan is a plan that provides local specific direction to guide where growth and change should happen within a specific local area. Throughout The City these exist as statutory and non-statutory plans and include but are not limited to: Area Redevelopment Plans, Area Structure Plans, Station Area Plans, Design Briefs, and Land Use Studies. This plan would be adopted by Council as an Area Redevelopment Plan.
For those wanting to do further reading, here are some helpful background documents on the project, City planning processes and on growth and redevelopment. As the project progresses, this library will be added to with more resources.
How was "Riley Communities" determined as the name?
Local community associations and business improvement areas were asked for project names suggestions early on and those suggestions were collected and sent back out to community associations and business improvement area representative through a survey for further input. "Riley" was a name that kept coming up due to the connections to Riley Park and the Riley family - who the park was named after. In the end, Riley Communities was the top preference and ultimate selection that was chosen for the official name of Riley Communities Local Area Planning.
- Why developed neighbourhoods need to grow and evolve
- How we will grow - MDP Map and Goals
- How we guide growth and redevelopment
- Raising a smart city - Smarter Growth Initiative
- Land Use Redesignations - How it works
- The Planning System Journey