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    Categories: Local News

Helping shape St. Albert’s future

Some of the display boards available at the residential districts review community workshop.

Stacked townhouses. High-rise apartments. Narrow lots for single-family homes.

These ideas and more were available for consideration as part of the residential districts review community workshop held on Thursday evening.

More than 60 people participated in the workshop. They were asked which housing forms they’d fully support seeing in St. Albert, which they’d support with conditions and ones they would not want to see at all. There were also opportunities for written comments.

Single-family home options ranged from estate homes to narrow lots to having homes with back lanes and rear garages.

Secondary suite options, like garage and garden suites, were up for discussion as well.

The stickers indicated there were many who supported ideas like rear lane garages and narrow lots, though the idea of rear lanes drew a mixed bag of the written feedback. The idea of allowing different kinds of secondary suites was met with sticker-based approval.

Multi-family homes saw a range of duplex and townhouse options, from stacked townhouses to side-by-side duplexes. The most stickers appeared to support side-by-side duplexes and street-oriented town homes.

Apartment types ranged from high rises to complexes that would reach a maximum of four floors. High rises, defined as having more than 10 floors, drew some of the most feedback, with handwritten sticky notes with terms like “not here” and “no where” appearing.

There was also a board where people could indicate their support for mixed-use neighbourhoods in general.

“I’m supportive of the mixed use,” said Terry Sperling, a resident who was attending the workshop. He said his neighbourhood of Akinsdale is a good example of an area that hosts many housing forms.

He was pleased with the consultation giving residents a chance to share their preferences.

Bonnie McInnis, from the consulting firm Stantec, said she was happy with the turnout.

The different housing forms on display for people’s consideration are just ideas.

“The idea is to sort of gauge people’s opinions,” she said.

But it is too early to speak to trends, she said. Stantec will be compiling this information and other feedback to include in their report, with other opportunities for feedback on a draft coming in April.

There’s also an ongoing opportunity for discussion and updates on the website http://stalberthousingreview.mindmixer.com.

As well as the residential district workshop, there were open houses held at the same place on proposed sign regulation changes, as well as digital displays, and the friendly annexation of a part of Edmonton.

The proposed sign regulation changes include new categories like entry feature signs and subdivision promotional signs. Other suggested changes include limiting A-frame signs outside of businesses to one sign per business only during business hours, permitting developer marketing signs in commercial and industrial signs, allowing a new maximum side of fascia signs, and limiting portable signs to 60 days maximum, with a 30-day rest period required in between each permitted round.

There were also rules proposed around the sizes allowed for multi-panel real estate signs, like the kinds that often are in front of condo buildings, and to allow for digital signs with static images.

As for the annexation, the City of St. Albert has begun the process to take over land from the City of Edmonton that has been orphaned by Anthony Henday Drive. The annexation is so far a consensual one.

St. Albert Gazette: The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.