Podcasters poke plans for districts in Edmonton

Podcasters poke plans for districts in Edmonton

· The Pulse

With district planning policymaking afoot at Edmonton city council, podcast hosts Troy Pavlek and Mack Male took a look at what the proposed plans mean for the city on Episode 260 of Speaking Municipally.

"This can be thought of as part two of the zoning bylaw renewal process," Pavlek said. "One of the big points of criticism that opponents had for ZBR was that it should be done in tandem with district planning."

The City of Edmonton shared its final draft of the District Policy and plans on April 17. A news release says this is an update to existing planning that will streamline and modernize planning to help realize the City Plan.

"I think it's a really good exercise to simplify the number of statutory documents we have that help us make these kinds of decisions," Male said. "The more we have, the more chance there is for ambiguity."

Specifically, a chief function of the plan is to determine whether existing plans, such as area redevelopment plans and neighbourhood structure plans, should be "kept, changed, or retired," the city release says. Pavlek said the plan is similar to ambitions for the Valley Line LRT in that it may not move the needle on density.

The news comes shortly after city manager Andre Corbould's departure. In a separate segment, the hosts discussed news that Corbould has landed a new gig — as executive advisor to Danchilla Consulting, a "partner of" Integrated. Strategic. Partners., a news release said.

While final, the draft district policy and 15 proposed district plans won't be put into action any time soon. The city is hosting three virtual public information sessions from April 22 to 24 before holding public hearings from May 28 to 30. Then, the draft is subject to approval by the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board in the context of its Regional Evaluation Framework. And even after that, council won't make a final call until this fall. If the public hearings about zoning bylaw renewal are any indication, Edmonton should expect spirited debate at the end of May.

Hear more about district planning, an audit on Blatchford, the new CEO at Edmonton Unlimited, the proposed pedestrianization on Rice Howard Way, and more on the April 19 episode of Taproot's civic affairs podcast.

Photo: Edmonton is likely getting sliced into 15 districts through the proposed district policy and plans. The overall plan won't go into force until at least this fall and must be approved by the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board. (City of Edmonton)