Monday, December 2, 2013

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – November 2013

The following relate to urban development and urban design in general, specific projects, and sun/shade issues. They were derived from our twitter feed ( or @SunPosition).

71-storey tower planned for Edmonton to be Western Canada’s tallest building | Yahoo News


EDMONTON, AB - A new condominium tower planned for construction in downtown Edmonton would be the second-tallest building in Canada and, perhaps more notably, would topple a Calgary tower as the tallest building in Western Canada.

Dubbed the Edmontonian, the office/condo building would eclipse the city's current tallest building Epcor Tower by more than 100 metres and Calgary's Bow Tower by a mere 10 metres…

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Scituate resident seeks state regulations on turbine shadow flicker | The Patriot Ledger

SCITUATE, MA - A neighbor of the 390-foot-tall wind turbine on the Driftway is pushing state officials to require turbine owners to install technology that would shut down the machines when shadow flicker is detected.

While state regulations limit turbine noise, there is no limit on shadow flicker: the rotation of turbine blades causing alternating periods of shadow and light on surrounding buildings.

A group of residents have complained that their health is adversely affected by the noise and shadow flicker from the turbine, which is owned by Scituate Wind LLC, a partnership of Palmer Capital and Solaya Energy…

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Map: Who’s asking to re-zone (and redevelop) parts of Toronto’s Employment Lands | BuzzBuzz Home


TORONTO, ON - The housing boom in the city has caused homebuilders to look for just about any scrap of land to develop. With the Official Plan up for review, many are asking that parts of the city that have been zoned for employment — everything from office space to industrial work and light manufacturing — make the switch to other designations.

Today City Hall will be looking into some 116 conversion request in Toronto’s Employment Lands and we thought we’d dig through the planning department’s recommendations to see who’s asking to rebuild and rezone what.

Here are some of the interesting facts, odd requests and recognizable names we found, plus a map (below) to put it all in context:
  • Of the 116 applications, 92 explicitly requested residential building in the Employment Lands, though two were for temporary living quarters.
  • One of those temporary living quarters was for the band Billy Talent, who want to add a temporary residence above their recording studio on Logan Avenue in the East End.
  • Woodbine Entertainment Group is asking that the southeast portion of 555 Rexdale Boulevard (that would be the Woodbine Racetrack) to be converted to Mixed Use Areas to allow for residential uses. Right now, that part of the 48 hectare property contains the Woodbine practice race track, stables and jockey dormitories.
  • Senior’s housing is kind of hot: there were four requests involving retirement communities and housing geared at seniors.
  • For King West residents who complain about the smells drifting from Quality Meat Packers at 2 Tecumseth, consider this: after receiving a request to convert the area from Employment Lands to a Mixed Use or Regeneration Area designation, the Planning Department suggested changing it to a Regeneration Area. However, the neighbourhood’s Garrison Common North Secondary Plan has to be amended to allow the business to keep operating until “the current meat processing operations cease.”
Play around with our map to get the scoop about sites that could see redevelopment or get shut down by the city: article and map -

Neighbours of proposed Barrie condo voice their concerns | The Barrie Examiner


BARRIE, ON - Good planning is obviously a matter of opinion, and perspective.

After hearing a presentation Monday about proposed eight-storey, 92-unit condominium apartment at 556, 560 and 568 Essa Rd. in Barrie, most area residents had little good to say about it at a public meeting.

“There is no possible way that building represents good planning,” said Dave Johnstone of nearby Warner Road.

“I just think the building is too big, too tall,” said Rachael Draper of Coughlin Road, also close by.

“Five stories is the maximum I would like to see in the neighbourhood.”

Dr. Orson Wedgwood, who lives on Drury Lane, said he is concerned about the precedent this project could set.

“High-rise developments should be sited in areas with existing high-rises, or very few low-rise residential buildings in proximity,” he said. “Intensification is vital, but it must be done with respect to existing residents and in harmony with the local built environment, not just at the whim of what developers want.”

A petition opposing this development has 54 signatures.

The property owner, Saverino Investments, has applied to rezone this two-acre parcel on Essa Road's east side, south of Mapleton Avenue, for residential apartment use from single-detached home and residential hold zoning.

Brian Goodreid, Saverino's planning consultant, has submitted 24 letters of support to the city for the rezoning application from Barrie residents and business owners.

The form letters said this development would significantly improve the appearance and attractiveness of Essa Road, and would help revitalize the street and improve the local economy. Goodreid says the letters were collected by a neighbour of the project.

Goodreid says the development is good planning, and architect Michael McKnight says it wouldn't be an eyesore, as one speaker suggested Monday.

“There are balconies on every unit,” McKnight said. “We feel it is an attractive building.”

The city has received several letters opposing the development, ranging from privacy loss, more traffic, shadowing and decreased property values to it being out of character with the neighbourhood.

“These are premium lots we all own,” said Irene Peterkin, also of Warner Road. “They are no longer to be considered premium lots. This is a very large blow to the land value.”

Coun. John Brassard, who represents this part of the city, says this type of development is likely to be the area's future, including the widening of Essa to five lanes with sidewalks.

“It's a cow path that needs to be done as soon as possible,” Brassard said of Essa.

“Essa Road is an example I often use of why we are behind in road construction,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman.

That construction is scheduled to be done in 2015-2016, subject to council approval at budget time.
If the condo project gets timely approval from council, it could be built in 2015.
Lehman, however, wondered aloud about whether this project could be lowered to six stories and still maintain approximately the same number of units.

Barrie's 2009 intensification policy identifies Essa Road as one of five intensification corridors and nodes.

This policy identifies appropriate areas in the city and related policies to guide intensification initiatives - to encourage growth through increased residential density and mixed-use development.

It establishes four principle areas where intensification is encouraged, including: the Urban Growth Centre, or downtown Barrie and Allandale; primary and secondary corridors consisting of arterial roads such as Bayfield and Dunlop streets, Essa Road, Duckworth and Yonge streets; primary and secondary nodes at significant intersections along the primary and secondary corridors; and South Barrie GO Station near Yonge Street and Mapleview Drive East.

A series of guidelines have also been created to help direct new development within these intensification areas, and are viewed to be complimentary to the existing city urban design guidelines.

They are to create attractive and safe pedestrian areas, support transportation of all types and result in attractive designs.

The Saverino development's conceptual site plan indicates there will be 109 parking spaces. The plan also includes a shadow impact study, a functional servicing report and traffic brief, and a planning justification report.
A public meeting is one of the first stages of Barrie's planning process. Next city planning staff will write a report on the application for Barrie councillors to consider.

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Cheers, Ralph

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