Mature Neighbourhood Strategy
The Mature Neighbourhood Strategy is a Strathcona County initiative that involves planning for the future of older neighbourhoods in Sherwood Park.
The draft Mature Neighbourhood Overlay (890.3 KB) is available for review.
Map of mature neighbourhoods (644.0 KB)
Overview of the Mature Neighbourhood Strategy (153.8 KB)
Thank you to those who attended the Mature Neighbourhood Strategy open houses or provided their input online! The information boards presented at the April 27 and 28 open houses are available to review below.
Past Open Houses and Online Engagement
Two open houses were held for residents to provide their input on the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay. The Citizens' Task Force has developed a Land Use Bylaw overlay to ensure development within mature neighbourhoods respects and maintains the established overall character of these areas. From April 29 - May 15, 2016 residents who were unable to attend the open houses also had the opportunity to provide their input online.
Dates: April 27 & 28
Time: 6 - 8 p.m. (drop-in at any time)
Location: Meeting rooms 1 and 2, Community Centre, 401 Festival Lane, Sherwood Park, AB
Mature Neighbourhood Strategy FAQs
The focus for Phase Two is creating policy that will protect park and green space in the mature neighbourhoods, as well as the development of a technical background study that identifies the defining features of mature neighbourhoods that contribute to their unique character. This technical background study will be used to create regulations and policies to protect the character of these neighbourhoods in the form of a Land Use Bylaw overlay.
Infill is not the focus of Phase Two of the Mature Neighbourhood Strategy – however, it is currently possible for a landowner to make an application for rezoning which may result in infill. Strathcona County does not have any policies or parameters in place tailored to mature neighbourhoods for reviewing, providing guidance and making decisions on these kinds of proposals.
Currently, there are no regulations in place to protect the character of these neighbourhoods as zoning regulations were not written according to how homes in the mature neighbourhoods were built. An example from the Land Use Bylaw is the maximum height. For certain types of single family homes the maximum height is 10 meters, or 2 and a half storeys, which is very different from the average one storey bungalow in many of the mature neighbourhoods. The draft Mature Neighbourhood Overlay would restrict the height to 8.5 meters when both of the lots on either side of the subject parcel are one storey bungalows. In this instance, the overlay would also requre a second story stepback of 1.5 meters. The regulations within the overlay ensure that the existing neighbourhood character is considered with respect to the scale and massing of new development.
The purpose of Phase 2 is to understand the form and character of our mature neighbourhoods, and to create policy and regulation to protect these features over time as new homes and additions are built.
Once Phase Two is complete, Council will decide whether or not to proceed with Phase 3, which may be a discussion with residents on when, where, and what type of infill may be considered, however infill is not the focus of Phase 2.
The Urban Form and Architectural Character Assessment is a technical background study that identifies the defining features of mature neighbourhoods that contribute to their unique character, including:
- Massing the arrangement of building/streetscape elements
- Architectural style of housing
- Siting – setbacks (placement of buildings on a lot)
- Building typology
- Roof styles/roof lines
- Type of Windows
- Historical identity
- Other contributing factors
The Urban Form and Character Assessment was completed in February 2015.
On March 10, 2015, Council accepted the Mature Neighbourhood Strategy Urban Form and Architectural Character Assessment as information.
In identifying what features and architectual characteristics make mature neighbourhoods unique, regulation and policy can be created from this at the direction of Council, to ensure new construction is in keeping with neighbourhood character.
On March 10, 2015 Council directed Administration and the Citizens’ Task Force to incorporate information from the Urban Form and Architectural Character Assessment in to policy and regulation. Since Council’s direction, Administration and the Citizens’ Task Force have been developing the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay.
Resident feedback was essential to make sure the technical analysis (Urban Form and Architectural Character Assessment) reflects what residents consider to be the defining character features of mature neighbourhoods. This input has been used to inform the regulations and policies in the draft Mature Neighbourhood Overlay.
The Citizens’ Task Force and Administration will be holding two public open houses for residents to provide their input and share their thoughts regarding the draft Mature Neighbourhood Overlay.
Information regarding these events will also be available on the County’s Public Engagement page. There will also be an online survey componenet for those who cannot attend the open houses, and pop-up street stalls throughout the project.
Join us April 27 & 28; drop-in between 6 – 8 p.m. in Meeting Rooms 1 & 2, Community Centre, 401 Festival Lane, Sherwood Park, AB.
The Task Force is made up of ten (10) residents from mature neighbourhoods in Sherwood Park.
A list of members can be found on the Citizens’ Task Force page. The Task Force will be assisting Administration with project tasks related to Phase Two of the Mature Neighbourhood Strategy.
Six (6) out of eleven (11) neighbourhoods are represented. Glen Allan, Mills Haven, Maplewood, Brentwood, Sherwood Heights and Village on the Lake each have representatives on the Task Force.
The Task Force worked closely with the consultant and Administration to help identify neighbourhood character elements, as well as helping with public engagement and communication with mature neighbourhood residents, during the development of the Urban Form and Architectural Character Assessment.
The Task Force is currently working with Administration on the preparation of the draft Mature Neighbourhood Overlay. The Task Force and Administration have been reviewing the Urban Form and Architectural Character Assessment, public engagement, as well as implementation strategies undertaken by other municipalities in order to complete this work. In addition, the Task Force is helping with the two open houses for the draft overlay and ongoing communication with the mature neighbourhood residents.
Residents of mature neighbourhoods were invited to apply for the Task Force by Strathcona County. Eligible candidates had to reside in a mature neighbourhood. All applicants were interviewed by the Governance Advisory Committee, and were then appointed by Council.
An overlay is a set of additional regulations placed on specific areas. The overlay supersedes or adds to the existing regulations of the underlying Zoning District.
The purpose of the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay is to provide for regulations within mature neighbourhoods that respect and maintain the overall character of these areas.
The Mature Neighbourhood Overlay includes regulations on height, setbacks, site coverage, landscaping, and architectural design elements that will have an impact on development within mature neighbourhoods.
For example: Should a homeowner wish to demolish their bungalow and rebuild a two and a half storey house on a street where only bungalows exist, the current regulations allow up to 10 metres in height. The overlay would restrict the height to 8.5 metres, which would also require a second storey setback.
The regulations within the overlay ensure that the existing neighbourhood character is considered with respect to the scale of the new development and massing.
The Mature Neighbourhood Overlay is intended to allow residents to make changes to their homes, but also ensure development within mature neighbourhoods will be in keeping with the existing character.
The Mature Neighbourhood Overlay is applicable to all of the mature neighbourhoods originally identified with the exception of Centre in the Park. Centre in the Park is still being built out and contains higher density development than the rest of the mature neighbourhoods.
It was determined that the general regulations applicable to the mature neighbourhoods did not apply to Centre in the Park. In addition, a neighbourhood level plan exists for Centre in the Park called the Centre in the Park Area Redevelopment Plan which is intended to guide future development and redevelopment within the plan area.
The regulations of the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay have been designed to apply to all mature neighbourhoods in a way that will still reflect their unique individual character.
General considerations and neighbourhood specific considerations from the Urban Form and Architectural Character Assessment were reveiwed to inform the regulations in the overlay.
The timeline to bring the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay to Council for consideration is June 2016.
We are currently in the second phase of this project, which includes the involvement of a Citizens’ Task Force. Members of the Task Force were appointed at the June 10, 2014 Council Meeting.
Citizens appointed to the Task Force will assist administration during this phase. They are welcome to speak publicly about the project, however a group spokesperson will be selected to speak on behalf of the group as a whole.
The 11 mature neighbourhoods were selected based on their age of build out primarily having occurred prior to 1980.
These 11 neighbourhoods (with the exception of Centre in the Park) are also the only residential neighbourhoods in Sherwood Park that do not have a neighbourhood-level plan in place to provide direction on how the area should grow and develop over time.
Upon detailed review of the Urban Form and Architectural Character Assessment, during Phase Two of the Mature Neighbourhood Strategy, it was determined that the general regulations being prepared for the overlay were applicable to all of the mature neighbourhoods exept Centre in the Park. As such, the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay does not include the neighbourhood of Centre in the Park.
As time goes by there is more potential for new home or major renovation proposals to come forward. Therefore, it would be beneficial to have a framework that has been vetted by the community that guides the review of proposals.
The County has a responsibility to ensure that we consider these matters now so that they do not become an issue in the future. We need to make sure we speak with residents and other stakeholders to come to an agreement as to what the future of these neighbourhoods should be.
Our project goal is to have a strategy in place that will provide residents, local government and other stakeholders with a common understanding of the vision for mature neighbourhoods. We also want to see continued support for core services such as schools, parks, transit and local business. It is hoped that by being proactive in addressing the long-term sustainability of mature neighbourhoods we will continue to ensure the older neighbourhoods remain great places to live.
This project is being undertaken by the Planning & Development Services Department of Strathcona County.
The Strathcona County Municipal Development Plan adopted by Council includes policy directing staff to consider the future of the older neighbourhoods of Sherwood Park. The policy reads as follows:
“Strathcona County will review opportunities in older neighbourhoods of Sherwood Park to redevelop, intensify and create complete and sustainable communities with the support of the local residents”.
As defined in Phase One, infill refers to instances where the number of dwelling units increases on a lot.
Examples may include constructing a duplex, a multifamily building, or demolishing a single family home on a lot, subdividing that lot, and putting up two new single family homes.
As defined in Phase One, redevelopment refers to instances where the number of dwelling units on a lot does not change.
Examples may include the construction of an addition to an existing house, or demolishing a single family home and constructing a new single family home in its place.
As homes age major home addition projects or rebuilds will be planned and development permit applications will be made. Administration would like to be proactive and ensure that as development permit applications in these areas increase over time, construction is in keeping with neighbourhood character.
There are currently no regulations in place to protect the character of these neighbourhoods, as zoning regulations were not written according to how homes in the mature neighbourhoods were built. An example from the Land Use Bylaw is the maximum height. For most single family homes the maximum height is 10 meters, or 2 1/2 storeys, which is very different from the average one storey bungalow in many of the mature neighbourhoods.
The Citizens’ Task Force along with administration have recently completed the preparation of the draft Mature Neighbourhood Overlay, which includes regulations and policies to ensure that new construction is in keeping with the character of the mature neighbourhoods.
This may be possible. An application could be made for rezoning and subdivision applications in order for this to be considered. There is currently minimal direction in place to guide the review of these types of applications in mature neighbourhoods.
This is one of the reasons a mature neighbourhood strategy is important.
Rezoning is when an application is made to change the zoning (district) of a property.
For example, an application could be made to consider rezoning a property from R1A Single detached Residential to R2A Semi-detached.
Any infill projects that the City of Edmonton is working on do not affect Strathcona County.
Infill is not the focus of Phase Two. Council will decide whether or not to proceed with Phase Three, which may be a discussion with residents on when, where, and what type of infill may be considered.
This feedback was presented to Council and is being used as part of Phase Two of the project.
During Phase One, residents indicated concerns with preventing inappropriate development from occurring in mature neighbourhoods, and preserving community character, parks and open space. This is why administration has undertaken the Urban Form and Architectural Character Assessment and the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay.
Planner II, Land Development Planning