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Amendment allows for flexibility, more affordable housing


Lacombe City council approved changes to the land use bylaw allowing developers flexibility to provide more affordable housing options.

The bylaw changes stem from a developer’s application request for modifications to the Residential Detached Narrow District (R1-N).

These changes, which allow for minimum setbacks for front and side yards and the minimum parcel area, will apply to all land designated R1-N.

“Council is excited to continue its commitment to fostering a business-friendly and growth-oriented government,” said Mayor Grant Creasey.

“These amendments to our land use bylaw, initiated by the development community, aim to diversity options for developers and residents alike.

“Moreover, these changes will introduce more high-density residential areas, paving the way for increased affordability in Lacombe’s housing market,” he said.

Since its introduction in 2016 with the adoption of Land Use Bylaw 400, the R1-N district has aimed to provide residential development on narrower lots.

While like the Residential Detached District (R1), R1-N allows for smaller lot sizes and construction footprints.

Reduced front and side yard setbacks provide additional flexibility in housing design and size, and decreasing parcel width may expand neighbourhood density incrementally.

R1-N developments are also considered part of the entry-level housing market.

The lot and house size in the district are traditionally smaller than a typical detached dwelling, making an R1-N home more affordable.

The City’s planning department also recommended the changes after comparing them with other municipalities.

The changes align with the Smaller Housing Options section in the Municipality Development Plan as well.