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Infill Development Discussion

AccUnit

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Amen on the zoning front. What has been demonstrated is that developers build within existing zoning framework. Look at the proliferation of infills, zoning was changed to allow for them and they were built and sold in huge quantity. What is holding back the innercity and mature communities from more growth and density, current zoning. Personally I think the majority of mature communities should be zoned MC-1 & Mc-2, that way you leave room for townhomes and small apartment buildings to go up. The city can't rely on the development community to push for rezoning because it just doesn't make sense to take that large of a risk or wait that long.
 

Calgcouver

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Amen on the zoning front. What has been demonstrated is that developers build within existing zoning framework. Look at the proliferation of infills, zoning was changed to allow for them and they were built and sold in huge quantity. What is holding back the innercity and mature communities from more growth and density, current zoning. Personally I think the majority of mature communities should be zoned MC-1 & Mc-2, that way you leave room for townhomes and small apartment buildings to go up. The city can't rely on the development community to push for rezoning because it just doesn't make sense to take that large of a risk or wait that long.
Agreed. The problem is the city sets the precedent, both on approvals and the allowable zone, you have little reassurance on what you can reasonably punch into a proforma outside of that. The City would do well if they were proactive in rezoning areas to a more reasonable zone than RC2 or RCG to give developers a little bit of reassurance on what type of multi-family form are appropriate. Having a zone that facilitates rowhomes while getting rid of the bullshit restrictions that keep existing neighbours appeased is key. A 15% rule on front setback for homes is not conducive to stick to when you are dealing with ranch-style bungalows that were horizontally-oriented and setback far from the curb. That shouldn't be the form that we mirror or orient future buildings in relation to. Front setbacks on anything detached or semi-detached are ridiculous in Calgary (honestly, in most places in North America. Even my sisters new detached house in Mahogany has a large front yard, and a postage stamp of a backyard when you add a rear detached garage. I feel front setbacks are far too large in the city, and people would prefer private, backyard space and a front porch that is closer to the curb. Similar to the streets in Hillhurst, even a bit closer to the curb would be perfect.
 

AccUnit

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agreed on the setbacks, when you have more dense housing that is meant to interact with the street it doesn't make sense to push away. Save the space for more functional backyards and patios so people can get both street life and privacy. What people forget about rezoning is that not all parcels will maximize more dense zoning. There are examples of this already, for example in Killarney, there are a ton of infills however there are still many homes where the original bungalow remains, and this is a community that has gone all in on building them for 20yrs plus. You even see it in the beltine, new towers are predominantly 20 stories or more however there is a lot of older stock and a handful of single family homes that have been repurposed. The result of updating and intensifying zoning as communities and demographics change is more variety in building age, suite mix, price, and aesthetic which overall makes for great neighborhoods.
 

Surrealplaces

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Totally agree on the setbacks. Front yards or setbacks really don't have much function and are mostly a waste of space IMO.
 

retrofiturbanism

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TLDR?

No more of this shit:
https://www.google.ca/maps/@51.0172...4!1sPAUn4UYU14MdV45F0oqsUA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

We should be be building a Calgary version of this to replace older ranch style bungalows:
https://www.google.ca/maps/@39.9817...4!1sFTrPVdEWgox6vc5dNTp7FQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
Agreed. But I would allow a small setback for the rowhouses to allow for front porches and small planter boxes to separate the porches from the street. 10' should do it (includes the patio).
 

Calgcouver

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Agreed. But I would allow a small setback for the rowhouses to allow for front porches and small planter boxes to separate the porches from the street. 10' should do it (includes the patio).
A setback for a planter and porch is definitely neccessary. The Philadelphia example i was using was a bit extreme. Setbacks similar to these in Trinity-Bellwoods, Toronto would probably be closer to optimal: https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.6488...4!1srW-QO5tCi3SE5uKtbNi3rA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Or this East Vancouver example for new build: https://www.google.ca/maps/@49.2544...4!1sVOfDkG5XL2GWlRSviXwlUg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
Here is another: https://www.google.ca/maps/@49.2514...4!1sj3Bc4eW-vOg6651TW3kddw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Affordable Portland Example: https://www.google.ca/maps/@45.5052...4!1sp602EOagE_b3JQ_-a_b8mg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

PoCo townhome example, with a bigger setback: https://www.google.ca/maps/@49.2583...4!1sI5hOM9R_Nw2Tmxms6HVw5Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Cambie Corridor example: https://www.google.ca/maps/@49.2490...4!1sKpRK1oWsHeReVTEUdo3Pvg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Anyone have examples of what type of form they think would be optimal for infill in Calgary?
 
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Surrealplaces

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I think 10' is fine for a setback on residential back streets, and minimal setbacks (to allow for wide sidewalks) for corridor streets.
 
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Social Justice

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CBBarnett

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This development is the perfect scale for the type of neighborhood it's in. We need 100 more of these in inner city neighborhoods outside of Downtown, Beltline, Mission and EV.
Completely agree. This scale can fit practically anywhere in currently lower density neighbourhoods, would love a few hundred of these beauties replacing all 1970s era bungalows around the universities to create more of a mid-density urban vibe.
 

Cowtown

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This development is the perfect scale for the type of neighborhood it's in. We need 100 more of these in inner city neighborhoods outside of Downtown, Beltline, Mission and EV.
Indeed, and in inner city hoods a bit further out Tuxedo, Capitol Hill, Sunalta, Killarney, Albert Park, etc..
 

Surrealplaces

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Mountain Man

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I don't see buildings being built right up to the sidewalk in CAlgary any time soon, most people in this city would much prefer to have a larger setback and front yard. Also, lots in the inner city are still quite large here, the townhomes or row houses that would be built right out to the street would be massive! I also prefer tree lined streets to having brick and stone right up to the sidewalk.
 

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