Narrower infill houses may begin popping up in older city neighbourhoods like Hillside after Grande Prairie City Council gave all three readings to a bylaw allowing the construction of these residences.
The new rules will allow up to three row houses of two single detached homes on lots which currently allow only a triplex, two semi-detached homes or one single detached home in the Residential Transition District approximately 2.5 per cent of all residential areas.
One reason for the change to the bylaw is to provide greater variety for infill development and possibly increasing home ownership as single family homes are more likely to be owner occupied while triplexes are predominantly rental properties.
“This plan is really for in-fill options in the Residential Transition District, in particular we made amendments to the Hillside Revitalization Area plan tonight,” Mayor Jackie Clayton said after Monday’s meeting. “The plan encompasses multiple types of housing whether it be row housing or narrow single-family housing or duplexes.
“With the plan, council was very happy with what the opportunities would be going forward in regards to the design standards and development standards.”
The amendments will provide more options for builders in the area.
“This plan brings forward a combination of different types of housing,” Clayton said. “It also allows row housing and narrow housing within the same densities. The structure plan will help industry with building more opportunities because the lot width and the side yards have now been addressed.
“The infill development comes with a range of challenges; however, the presentation tonight the concerns and challenges that not only council had but industry had as well. We look forward to seeing what this will lead to down the road for housing options in that area in particular.”
Mezzanine on hold
The second-floor mezzanine for the new Smith Activity Reception Centre won’t be part of the initial construction after a motion recommending it be completed was defeated in a 4-4 vote Monday afternoon.
“Council tonight had a discussion in regards to an amount of $400,000 that had been earmarked for a second floor of the Activity Reception Centre,” Mayor Jackie Clayton said. “The discussion was around whether or not the second floor should be put in at the initial construction phase or considered for further down the road.
“After further discussion, administration let us know that there was no cost savings to put the second floor in now and if it was decided (to build it ) further down the road, there would be minimal interruption to the operation of the facility.”
The main goal is just to get the building completed and in service by the end of the year.
“Right now, we are really excited to get it open and operational,” Clayton said. “However, we are not completely sure exactly what uses are going to happen on a regular basis. We don’t have programming established yet and in my opinion and in council’s opinion tonight it was let’s see how this facility serves our community and serves the neighbourhood.”