City Council carried the first reading of bylaw 011-20, which is a bylaw to amend the land use designation of 21 lots under direct control at the May 19 Regular Meeting of Council.
Under the amendments, the Development Officer will be the approving authority for development permit applications in single direct control districts.
“This is a staff-initiated land use bylaw amendment application, and land-use redesignation from direct control to standard,” said the Senior Planner of Community Growth and Infrastructure, Karl Mielke.
“This bylaw is in response to direction council gave administration in February to look at single-detached direct control residential districts and look for opportunities to pull some of those lots out of direct control,” he added.
Since 2017, there have been 20 development permit applications for single-detached dwellings brought to council for review and decision.
The 20 applications were within the Kinniburgh Phase 6, Kinniburgh Phase 7, and Kinniburgh South Phase 1 subdivisions.
In 2019 Chestermere City Council approved the redesignation of all six lots in Kinniburgh South Phase 1 from direct control.
Although the Kinniburgh South Phase 1 subdivision was opened in 2017, there has only been one single-detached dwelling building within two years.
However, since the redesignation in July 2019, two additional houses are now under construction.
“This implies that the rationale behind the application was correct, and approval for rezoning allowed the builder to provide custom homes that met all land use bylaw regulations without requiring any variances,” Mielke said.
“The rezoning also resulted in faster and more efficient review and approval turnaround times with the approving authority delegated to the Development Officer. Overall, the rezoning enhanced the marketability of the lots, which further resulted in faster build-out of the community,” he said.
City administration conducted the same review for the Kinniburgh Phase 6, and Kinniburgh Phase 7 vacant direct control lots.
Currently, more than 80 per cent of the direct control area has been developed in the Kinniburgh Phase 6 subdivision.
“Due to its proximity and frontage in relation to the established estate neighbourhood of East Lakeview, and the applicability of specific regulations only contained in this district, this area meets the intent of direct control and staff recommends that it remain under direct control,” Mielke said.
Adding, “This would hold the remaining three lot owners to the same development standards that the previous 37 were held to.”
In the Kinniburgh Phase 7 subdivision, the first single-detached residential direct control development permit application was presented to council in February.
Since February, council has approved development permits for 11 out of 21 lots available in the Kinniburgh Phase 7 subdivision.
“In terms of aligning with pathways to an Amazing Chestermere, this bylaw would maximize efficiencies by reducing red tape in our application process,” Mielke said.
“It would empower staff to become more outcome-focused by making the decisions on development application in these low-density residential districts, and that would lead to improved customer service,” he said.
Adding, “Applicants would have a faster turnaround time, and would have more certainty knowing that there’s an appeal period, the decision is made by the Development Officer, and that would help make those lots more marketable.”
Following the first reading of bylaw 011-20, Chestermere City Council also scheduled a Public Hearing on June 16 beginning at 6 p.m.