A look at Calgary’s Main Streets initiative

Looking to Calgary’s future growth, the City’s Main Streets initiative will both engage citizens and utilize economic research.

At present, the initiative is gathering local perspectives about main streets issues through a number or workshops throughout the city. There are 24 main streets currently in Calgary, according to the Municipal Development Plan, many of which were formed along historic streetcar lines.

The initiative will take approximately two years to complete under three phases, the first being learning and understanding, the second analysis and evaluation and the third implementation planning.

For information on community workshops, click here.

Included in the Main Streets initiative and recently brought up in council, is the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Laneway housing investigation.

According to the City, a number of recent land use redesignations that implement the area’s redevelopment plan have been adopted by council along the west side of 10th Street N.W. including an increase in building height and density.

The investigation includes the potential for laneway housing. With Calgary’s vacancy rate hovering around 1.4 per cent, one of the lowest in Canada, laneway housing has the potential to provide some relief. Laneway houses, as defined by the City, are referred to as a detached garden secondary suite or detached garage secondary suites.

“For any community that’s going through this kind of corridor or main street study, the technical work has now been done,” said Ward 7 Coun. Druh Farrell who added laneway housing is a real example how the back of a home and how neighbours adjacent to various Main Streets can actually benefit.

On Nov. 14, council approved long-term recommended design for the laneway, including separate pedestrian accommodation via a sidewalk on the east side, as well as retention of two-way traffic with implementation of lay-bys on the east side. The only councillors to oppose the vote were Sean Chu and Andre Chabot.

Current communities which utilize laneway housings include McKenzie Towne, Garrison Green and Garrison Woods.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *