Blank canvas

Developers creating public art ‘for the people that belongs to the people’

It’s Sunday morning and soft skiffs of white snow blanket the still green grass, while golden and red leaves cling tightly to drooping branches laden with the heaviness of an early fall storm.

As the sun streams through a parting overcast sky, melting the show of winter that has arrived all too soon, the landscape becomes an artistic vista – one of twinkling light and impressionistic colour as St. Patrick’s Island awakens to the day.

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The great balancing act

Urban developments are playing nice with rural areas, say experts

Responsible urban development currently taking place outside of Calgary proves that growth doesn’t have to come at a cost, say local agriculture and planning officials.

As subdivisions push evermore into rural areas — with neighbourhoods bordering on fields of wheat and other crops — their impact on agricultural land has recently become a hot-button topic, said Tim Dietzler, an agricultural expert with Rocky View County.

“This is not a new issue in this area or any area in Alberta with development new agricultural land,” he said. “But many municipalities now pay much more attention to the potential problems that can arise.”

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Lucky number three

Inner-city homeowners look up, not out

Good things come in threes – or so goes the superstition.

Calgary’s homebuilding industry seems to have taken this to heart, with three-storey infill homes emerging as a solution to what experts say is growing demand for “vertical” detached living options in inner-city communities.

“It is very cost effective to build up versus build out,” said Ron Butler, president of New West Luxury Estate Homes, which builds about 10 infills per year. “And building out is not an option given the limits of the lot.”

The City of Calgary currently limits the amount of land a home can occupy in a given lot, ranging from 40 to 50 per cent, depending on its zoning and size. Three-story homes provide a solution to providing additional living space where that ratio is already being tested, said Butler. (more…)

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The re-emergence of bare land

Development standard finds its way back into the Calgary region

When is a detached home still a condo? When it’s a bare land condo, an under-utilized development standard that is once again sprouting up in the Calgary region.

Developers in new areas such as Watermark in Bearspaw and Shawnee Park are designating some or all of their respective developments as bare land condos as part of a more collective approach to building and maintaining communities.

Bare land condos have previously popped up in other area communities such as Tanglewood Estates, The Lake at Heritage Pointe, Okotoks Air Ranch, Elmont Green and Lott Creek Grove.

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