It can feel frustrating to watch the world around you change without having the power to stop it. This is a feeling we know some residents of mature neighbourhoods have felt while lots on their street, or right next to their home, have been subdivided.
The City of Edmonton has bylaws that dictate to people what they can and cannot build. However, it wouldn’t benefit citizens to be overly prescriptive in these zoning requirements.
As it stands, builders and designers are provided a framework they need to work within, and as long as they follow those rules, the city won’t stop them from building their project.
When an application for subdivision is made in an established neighbourhood, a notification is sent out to adjacent landowners when there is no overarching land development plan in place. This notification is a requirement of the Municipal Government Act. The Municipal Government Act is provincial legislation that the City of Edmonton does not have the authority to change.
Comments provided in response to the notification are attached to the file as a record of support or nonsupport. Section 653(6) of the Municipal Government Act states that the Subdivision Authority must consider but is not bound by the comments of adjacent landowners.
The decision of a subdivision application includes the consideration of whether or not the size and area of the proposed lots meet:
- the regulations of Zoning Bylaw 12800
- technical servicing requirements by: EPCOR Water, Drainage Planning and Engineering, Transportation Planning and Engineering, and other technical specialty areas.
The opportunity to appeal a decision made by the Subdivision Authority (approve or refuse) is outlined by the Municipal Government Act. The Act does not allow for the appeal by an adjacent landowner.
There is always more work to do in the way we engage with the public. This is constantly on our minds and worked into our processes.
While we strive to create sustainable development plans that take into account all of the unique neighbourhoods in our city, we understand that, at times, it can feel for residents of those neighbourhoods that their concerns are not heard or understood.
Our goal is for all Edmonton’s neighbourhoods to be complete neighbourhoods, ones that can facilitate citizens at all stages of life and economics.
For a lot of our neighbourhoods, changes will be required to get there, and, with lot subdivisions and other infill projects, we’ll be constantly listening to try to understand the needs of all our resident groups: both those who speak up and those who often go unheard.