west jasper/sherwood community league, edmonton, ab
west jasper / sherwood community league, edmonton, ab

Planning News

Communities Green Space Assessment Report

Please take the time to review the city’s draft strategy called Breathe, especially Part 3. Type in Google:  edmonton.ca/breathe.
** Most Important – after reading the report:

  • Complete the Survey, available until April 15th , if only to state, that this report must accurately reflect what exists in EACH community by detailing the amount of green space in correlation to the population within each community. 

Builder Licensing

It is shocking to hear that the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Shaye Anderson, confirmed that builders are not currently required to have any specific qualifications to construct a house in Alberta.  The Minister is proposing that all builders are licensed.  He is consulting with the building industry and the public about requiring builders to demonstrate that they are financially stable and have the competencies and skills to work in residential home construction. Combined with the mandatory new home warranty, builder licensing would improve builder accountability and quality of residential construction.

Our neighbourhoods have experienced shoddy development in the past.
Please express your support for builder licensing and send an email ASAP to: 
builderlicensing@gov.ab.ca and copy:  minister.municipalaffairs@gov.ab.ca

Infill Compliance Team

Due to the complaints received from mature neighbourhoods regarding poor construction practices, council created an integrated inspection and enforcement team.  This team was to be comprised of a community standards peace officer, a development compliance officer and a safety codes officer.  They were to perform routine inspections at infill sites.  Unfortunately, building inspections are not occurring in a timely manner or at all.  A progress report from administration will be presented at the Urban Planning Committee on Wednesday, April 5th.  Communities will provide their update.

Missing Middle Overlay

City council has decided select neighbourhoods that fall under a broad range of criteria:   pre-war II communities, non-RF1 areas, neighbourhoods in need of revitalization, transit avenues & nodes, etc. will be chosen for single lot apartment houses.  These apartments  may be 10 meters tall, have smaller front setbacks, and larger build-outs with multiple suites.  This policy promotes poor urban design.  Three storey buildings should not be built adjacent to bungalows.  Also, apartment houses that do not have back yards should not be permitted in the core of communities that lack park space.  Administration will provide details of this overlay at the September 6th Urban Planning Committee.

New Mortgage Rules Will Affect 2017 Housing Sales

The media recently reported that there is a glut of resale houses and rentals on Edmonton’s market. To compound this situation, home buyers that do not have 20% down payment must now qualify for the Bank of Canada interest rate which is nearly double the lender’s rate. For example, individuals who previously qualified to purchase a house for $450,000 with a standard 5% down payment now only qualify for a $360,000 house. Also, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is concerned about the high debt loads of consumers. They are considering raising the required down payment from home buyers with loans backed by CMHC mortgage insurance. As well, mortgage lenders may have to pay a fixed amount toward the CMHC mortgage insurance which could further raise mortgage rates.

Property Sales and Income Tax

Revenue Canada now requires all property that is sold from this year on must be reported on your income tax. This includes your primary residence. If you do not report, you could pay $100 per month in penalties for late reporting, up to a maximum of $8,000.  Property owners will no longer be able to avoid capital gains tax on investment properties.  Revenue Canada will be monitoring sales through Land Titles. Important to note, capital gains tax will be levied against secondary suites in your primary residence when you sell.

Mature Neighbourhood Overlay (MNO)

An important amendment to the MNO will require better urban design for infill. City council is supporting the recommendations from our Jasper Place ARP team that semi-detached and rowhousing shall have the front and rear façade of each dwelling staggered a minimum of 0.6 meters behind or projecting forward of the other attached dwelling. This will reduce the massing effect. Also, all housing must have a minimum of three different exterior finishing materials or cladding on all facades facing a public roadway.

Municipal Government Act (MGA)

The provincial government has implemented some excellent changes to the MGA. The public may now file a complaint with the provincial ombudsman if they feel that city council has not followed their relevant legislation, policies or procedures. Also, in 2017, another Bill will be introduced to the MGA that will require all elected officials follow a Code of Conduct which will be detailed in the MGA.