Edmonton Minute: Pedestrian Bridge, Zoning Changes, and a Letter Writing Campaign
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
- There are a few smaller meetings bookending this week’s City Council meeting. On Tuesday, at 9:30 am, there will be a City Council Public Hearing to deal with a number of minor zoning amendments, including a proposal to create a small park in the Queen Alexandra neighbourhood. On Friday, at 10:00 am, there will be a Special City Council meeting held entirely in-camera to deal with a City Manager Update.
On Wednesday, at 9:30 am, there will be a City Council meeting. On the agenda are reports regarding a rapid housing initiative and supporting vulnerable Edmontonians. Administration is recommending that Council enter into agreements with Homeward Trust and the Right at Home Housing Society to support further affordable housing developments. Council is also considering increasing taxes on “derelict” properties by about a million dollars. Edmonton has 274 such properties. Should the meeting not wrap up on Wednesday, additional time is scheduled for Thursday at 9:30 am if needed.
- Boyle Street Community Services will continue serving Edmonton's vulnerable community while it lacks a permanent facility for the next 18 months. The organization, which aids individuals experiencing poverty and homelessness, will operate from five different locations, primarily the Bissell Centre East.
Last Week In Edmonton:
- The Old Strathcona Business Association, which represents around 600 businesses in the Old Strathcona and Whyte Avenue district, launched a letter-writing campaign calling for public safety improvements. The campaign targets the Province’s public safety task force, which was created in December, and asks for more police presence, a street outreach team, expansion of the window-repair grant, and a grant for businesses to purchase security equipment. Business owners have reported an increase in vandalism, crime, and safety concerns in the area.
- Local developers said that they are on board with Edmonton’s proposed zoning changes. Developers say the existing system is archaic and hampers development. The proposed city-wide rezoning would allow buildings up to three stories across residential areas in Edmonton, and reduce the use of special “direct control” zones which can delay the building process for a year or more. All sides of the zoning debate seem to agree that the proposed changes would make it easier for higher density housing to be built in mature areas. What they disagree on is whether that’s a good thing or not.
- A new pedestrian bridge, the Smith Crossing Pedestrian Bridge, has opened in southwest Edmonton to replace a century-old structure. Located along 23 Avenue, the bridge provides access to the MacTaggart and Larch Sanctuaries and connects to the trails around Whitemud Creek. The new bridge is designed as a tied arch bridge with an open, slender design to blend seamlessly with the natural area, ensuring safe access for pedestrians for decades to come. Construction began in November 2022, and the project was completed ahead of schedule and within its $6.3-million budget.
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