Representative Bill Fischer says new building violates city rules and will negatively impact neighbourhood
The Erlton Community Association appealed against the approval of a development permit for the property at 3010-3020 Erlton St. SW at the Calgary Subdivision and Development Appeal Board on Feb. 14.
When ownership of the property on the corner of 30th Avenue and Erlton Street S.W. changed hands in early 2012, it seemed that everything would remain the same.
But soon afterward construction began that would turn the two residences into a four unit multi-residential building, with two of those units located in the basement and two on the ground floor.
Bill Fischer, chairman of the Erlton planning committee told the Calgary Journal, "The issue first came to our attention when a neighbour called the building inspector and asked 'where's the building permit for all this construction activity?' And there wasn't one."
Fischer has lived in Erlton community for 30 years. Located in Ward 9, Erlton is an inner-city residential neighbourhood. Many buildings in the community are condominiums, apartments or infill homes.
The owners of 3010 and 3020 Erlton Street SW, Gordon H. Crooks and William H.H. Crooks, did not speak during the hearing at the Calgary Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.
A stop work order was issued by the City of Calgary Development Authority until CityTrend, a company that specializes in urban planning, design and approvals for clients, applied for a development permit. Its application was granted on Dec. 19, 2012 with several relaxations to land use bylaws pertaining to parking and entranceway location:
- Section 122, which does not allow tandem parking, has been relaxed to allow cars to park behind each other in the driveway.
- Section 581 2a, which dictates units on the ground floor must have separate, individual access points, has been relaxed. Units A3020 and B3020 are accessed through a shared entrance.
- Section 581 2b, which dictates a multi-residential development must have an entrance visible from the street that the unit faces, has been relaxed, Entrances to A3010 and A3020 are not visible from the street.
The two main concerns of the community association pertain to parking and the overall design of the building.
Fisher stated that parking is at a premium along the street, where funeral-goers often park while they attend funerals at the cemetery across the road. The community also experiences an increase in traffic during the Calgary Stampede each July.
During the appeal, Fischer said the setup of the driveway at 3010-3020 Erlton St. S.W. would force visitors to the property to park on the road.
He added that the unusual layout of the house will cause confusion.
"The entranceways weren't built to comply with the bylaw, when they could have been constructed to comply with the bylaw...the entranceways face the neighbour's yard and are concealed from the street, so the building basically doesn't have a street presence," said Fischer.
In his presentation, Peter Shryvers, with CityTrend, sought to address the concerns expressed by the community association, stating that signs would be posted to identify the units to passersby on the street.
He added that the parking arrangement would allow cars room to maneuver around one another and should allow the streetscape to remain unchanged.
At the hearing on Feb. 14, the Calgary Subdivision and Development Appeal Board allowed the appeal in part, making several amendments to the conditions of the building permit.
Among these amendments was the condition that residents must park on site. Also, the status of the building would be changed to "new residential," meaning that no further bylaw relaxations will be granted on account of the building being adapted for different use.
In regards to the outcome of the appeal, Fischer said: "Despite the appeal board and the development authority putting the condition that all the residents must park on the site, who's going to enforce it? And how will you know whether or not they're complying? So I don't believe that's a solution."
Peter Shryvers of CityTrend did not reply to an email requesting his thoughts on the outcome of the appeal.
- By KRISTINE SARETSKY