Issues Facing the Garneau
1/ Increase in High Density Developments :
The current zoning regulations governing development in The Garneau date back to 1983 and the Garneau Area Redevelopment Plan. Due to its wonderful location, there has been for many years and continues to be mounting pressure on The Garneau to have increased numbers of condominiums and high density apartment developments at the expense of single family residences. The Garneau Area Redevelopment Plan of 1983 had foreseen a certain amount of this occuring, and certainly within the past 20 years this is what has happened with almost in every instance, contiguous collections of previously residential homes being demolished and replaced with either high density apartment buildings or condominiums. In the process, many of the very reasons why many people wish to live the area are being destroyed.
It is certainly Preserve Garneau's opinion that this has gone too far and that an assessment of the current density and its effects ought to be made. Without restrictions on further high density developments in the area, all of the historic nature of The Garneau will be destroyed and lost to future generations of Edmontonians and visitors to our city.
2/ The University of Alberta's Long Range Redevelopment Plan [LRDP]:
The issues pertaining to The Garneau were well covered in Ms Cruden's "Legacy" article.
Even though Section 62 [formerly Section 50] of the University's Act allows the U of A to be exempt from Municipal zoning and building regulations with regards to what it builds on its own lands, we are hopeful that the U of A will be sensitive to the wishes of their neighbours and the Sierra Club and the Edmonton public at large as it plans for the future of the historic homes which constitute The Campus in Garneau.
The ongoing construction of high-density buildings in The Garneau brings increased traffic to the area. By voting to implement its LRDP, the U of A's Board of Governors on June 21st 2002, have guaranteed that the U of A's Main Campus will be one of the most densely populated campuses in North America. This is despite the conclusion by the U of A's own planning consultant Mr. Kim McKenzie in 2000 that the U of A's Main Campus is already almost twice as densely developed as it should be by international standards. The U of A's LRDP by planning to realign 111th Street and build another highrise revenue generating parking lot on 89th Avenue, will divert more traffic into residential North Garneau. With the U of A Hospital also close by, on 112th Street, large additional amounts of traffic enter into the Garneau district every day, especially at peak periods. From the University's perspective scant attention if any has been paid to alternate transport solutions to these problems such as the UPASS proposed by its own Students Union, which would envision increased ridership on public transportation and lessen the volumes of traffic entering the area. The university could even subsidize the student UPASS by the savings in not having to build unnecessary and unwanted parking lots in North Garneau.
Saving the Best of the Past for the Future
email: doug.gorman at preservegarneau dot org