Following extensive public consultation and a thorough review of the Residential Mixed District (R4) and similar comparator districts, City council has approved a stakeholder review of potential changes to the R4 District Bylaw (400.42).
“Council is encouraged to see the early results of the R4 District Review,” Mayor Grant Creasey said. “We look forward to approving amendments to the R4 District in the Land Use Bylaw in early 2023 with the help of further feedback and input from our community.”
The Residential Mixed District (R4) is one of nine residential districts in Lacombe and allows for an extensive range of residential uses from single detached dwellings to multi-unit apartments.
Over time, the variety of permitted and discretionary uses and the range of built forms in the R4 District have created uncertainty for neighbours and developers, affecting potential redevelopment investment.
Council directed administration to review the Residential Mixed District using a public consultation process.
Meanwhile, there are several recommended changes to the R4 District contained in Bylaw 400.42. These include:
• Amending the Purpose Statement to better reflect R4’s role as a medium-density residential district by adding the goal of facilitating well-designed compatible infill development and clarifying its intent to allow a mix of lower and medium-density forms of housing.
• Using plain language to describe the density allowed for multi-attached housing by firstly stating it is permitted up to three units, and secondly, by indicating it is discretionary at four units or more.
• Deleting Apartment Housing as a use in the district
• Clarifying that the maximum density in the district is 55 dwelling units/ha (for any housing style allowed, including multiple housing developments)
• Clarifying that the maximum number of units for multi-attached housing is six dwelling units per building
• Giving the Development Authority additional discretion to require conditions to support compatible development, firstly, for parking design and secondly, for screening between higher and lower-density residential uses and/or augmented landscaping.
The R4 District review was initiated in June 2021.
It consisted of a public and stakeholder engagement process conducted through a contracted firm, Intelligent Futures, and a planning review (conducted under contract by Parkland Community Planning Services).
The review considered how improvements could be made to the district. Bylaw 400.42 focuses on proposed changes to the R4 District. Steps to address the other matters raised by the public will be incorporated into Administration’s business plans and future Strategic Plan recommendations where appropriate.
Prior to first reading of Bylaw 400.42, council is seeking further input from the public. Residents can view the proposed changes in detail at lacombe.ca/R4 and send their feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.