Edmonton Votes 2017: Infill a major concern for voters, candidates in southwest Ward 10

Ward 10 is in south-central Edmonton and has almost 54,000 eligible voters.

Nearly every candidate vying for a seat in the ward lists infill as a major platform issue

New infill homes share a block with older bungalows in Ward 10's Allendale neighbourhood. (Rick Bremness/CBC)

Ward 10 stretches from Pleasantview in the north to Bearspaw in the south. West to east, it runs from Whitemud Creek Ravine to Calgary Trail.

Ward 10 has dealt with LRT issues for years, since the Century Park LRT station opened — but a permanent park-and-ride solution has never been found. Now, the city is preparing to extend the LRT south to Ellerslie Road. The next council will have to deal with final plans for that leg of the transit system.

The issue of infill development has also been a hot topic in this ward, with some residents using restrictive covenants to stop development work.

Nearly every candidate vying for a seat in the ward lists infill as a major platform issue.

Winning acceptance of infill

Jan Hardstaff is a director with the Alberta Low Impact Development Partnership and a resident of Parkallen in Ward 10. She said whoever is elected will need to listen to residents about development concerns.

"Just slow this process down and listen to communities," she said. "Right now, it's developer-driven, it's economically driven."

Hardstaff, who is also a landscaper, said she is not opposed to infill, but the way it has been done in some areas poses risks for flooding and environmental damage, not to mention damage to neighbouring properties.

"I want infill," she said. "I just want smart infill. I want responsible development and I want big-picture thinking."
Ward 10 has the city's highest percentage of retired people. (Rick Bremness/CBC)

She added: "What the city, I think, needs to do is look at how is infill impacting communities and how can we mitigate it. If that had been done at the beginning, if they had really consulted with communities properly and people had more of a buy-in, there would have been more acceptance of infill."

2016 municipal census statistics

Population: 78,075

Eligible voters: 53,535

Owns home: 43.9%

Rents home: 42%

Lived in home five years or more: 38.5%

Mainly drives to work: 65.9%

Takes transit to work: 20.5%

Main language other than English: French (2.7%)

Income under $30,000: 8.1%

Income $60,000 to $100,000: 13.7%

Children in preschool: 4%

Children from kindergarten to Grade 6: 5.3%

Interesting statistic: This ward has the city's highest percentage of retired people (12.8%).

Neighbourhoods: Parkallen, Allendale, Pleasantview, Lendrum Place, Grandview Heights, Lansdowne, Malmo Plains, Empire Park, Royal Gardens, Rideau, Duggan, Greenfield, Aspen Gardens, Westbrook Estates, Sweet Grass, Steinhauer, Blue Quill, Blue Quill Estates, Ermineskin, Skyrattler, Keheewin, Twin Brooks, Bearspaw, Blackburne, Richford, Blackmud Creek, Cashman, Cavanagh, Callaghan, Allard

Five candidates: Vieri Berretti, Samantha Hees, Sim Senol, Michael Walters (incumbent) Glenda K. Williams

Samantha Hees, Glenda K. Williams, Vieri Berretti, Sim Senol,Michael Walters (Ward map: City of Edmonton; candidate photos supplied)

CBC Edmonton's candidate survey responses

Vieri Berretti, 52, was born and raised in Edmonton

Family: one child
Credentials: former restaurateur; art history/ancient and classical history, University of Alberta
Top issues: better consultation with individual communities on infill and densification, transit and use of surplus school sites.
City's biggest challenge: economic diversification: create a central hub for manufacturing and distribution

Samantha Hees, 29, has lived in Edmonton her entire life 

Family: in a relationship
Credentials:  curriculum administrator, University of Alberta; level two child-care provider, MacEwan University; unit clerk certificate, NorQuest College
Top issues: help make Edmonton more accessible and inclusive; improve transit and traffic; infill
City's biggest challenge: managing rapid growth

Sim Senol, 46, has lived in Edmonton for six years

Family: married with three children
Credentials:  administrative professional officer, human resources/finance co-ordinator at the University of Alberta; B.Sc. in business administration, M.Sc. in organizational behavior/human resources.
Top issues: improve transportation and services; better consultation with communities on infill projects
City's biggest challenge: fiscal sustainability of managing urban sprawl

Michael Walters, 46, has been in Edmonton 25 years

Family: married with two children
Credentials: city councillor; former not-for-profit executive director; public policy consultant
Top issues: bolster sustainability of mature neighbourhoods; significant infrastructure catch-up in the neighbourhoods south of Anthony Henday; improve public transit
City's biggest challenge: managing growth in new areas while investing in significant renewal of older parts of Edmonton

Glenda K. Williams has lived in Edmonton since she was a child

Family: single
Credentials: BA
Top issues: review rules for infill housing; review reasons for cutting bus routes; review security of neighbourhoods to help curb crime
City's biggest challenge: need for low-income housing and transportation

Ward 10 candidates forum: Wednesday, Oct. 4 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at L.Y. Cairns Junior/Senior High School, 10510 45th Ave. 

Ward Issues:

With files from the CBC's Natasha Riebe