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  • Council seeking community input on Municipal Development Plan and Land Use Bylaw amendments

    Residents can share their ideas on how the city develops new communities by completing a survey until Aug. 23

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    Chestermere City Council is seeking feedback on new options for the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and Land Use Bylaw (LUB).

    In September of 2020, city administration presented potential changes to council to the MDP and LUB for developing new communities and are now encouraging residents to share their ideas on how the city will develop future communities.

    “We heard loud and clear from our community that they had concerns with the initial amendments presented to council in September 2020,” said Mayor Marshall Chalmers. 

    Adding, “At the time, Council requested that Administration provide new options based on resident feedback and then provide a second opportunity for the community to provide their comments.”

    Following the presentation to council, the public voiced their concerns over the potential loss of Chestermere’s character, including larger lots and wider roads, and parking congestion in future neighbourhoods.

    At the July 13 Committee of the Whole meeting, Chestermere City Council was presented with new options for considering future amendments to the MDP and LUB.

    “As with any amendments to major city plans and bylaws, council wants to make sure these changes help us continue to maximize efficiency and build amazing neighbourhoods in Chestermere,” Chalmers said.

    The proposed amendments to the MDP and LUB included administration and applications from the development community now providing additional options, reducing scope, for council’s consideration to the original proposal, proposed changes would only apply to new neighbourhoods not yet developed resulting in efficient use of property tax dollars, and the changes will keep Chestermere’s primary single-detached housing district as having the largest minimum area and width of any municipality in the Calgary region.

    “Our goal is to work closely with council, our community, and our developers as this helps us as a city to ensure a cohesive vision for long-term growth can be realized,” said Senior Planner with the City, Jordan Furness.

    “Ultimately, the city needs to provide more options for diverse, sustainable housing in Chestermere and that is why these amendments are being considered,” he said.

    Chestermere City Council is now asking for community input on options for future community development.

    The proposed change to the MDP would increase the amount of narrower lot single-detached housing allowed in new neighbourhoods.

    The MDP currently states that in any new development, narrower single-detached homes will be limited to 35 per cent of total single-detached homes in the neighbourhood, as a result, any new neighbourhood development will only have 35 per cent R-1PFD or R-1PRL land use designations and the remainder will be primarily single-detached houses.

    The initial amendment option was to remove all limits on the use of narrower single-detached homes in future neighbourhoods, so future neighbourhoods may have a majority of narrower single-detached homes.

    A second amendment option has now been provided. It would see narrower single-detached homes limited to 35 per cent of the total dwelling units in future neighbourhoods. 

    The narrower lots would be dispersed throughout future neighbourhoods to avoid concentrating them in one area, so future neighbourhoods will be allowed more of the narrower single-detached homes, but not as many as option one which could see the 35 per cent limit on narrower single-detached homes within all single-detached homes removed.

    The proposed changes to the LUB would grant minor reductions to the minimum lot widths, areas, setbacks, and minor increases to lot coverages. 

    Further, changes to reduce red tape would allow for more efficient approvals for developments meeting the LUB requirements.

    “A critical component accompanying these amendments is the introduction of a new map distinguishing future growth areas from established areas, illustrating the changes only impact future developments,” Furness said.

    City administration has created a survey that asks residents to review the previous discussion on the amendments, review the current, proposed, and new options, and to provide their feedback to council until Aug. 23.

    Council will be discussing and considering the options for the MDP and LUB amendments at the Sept. 7 Regular Meeting of Council, where one of the options could be approved depending on city administrations presentation and feedback collected from the survey.