Edmonton

'Skinny lots' one step closer to becoming reality in Edmonton

On Wednesday night, the city’s executive committee voted unanimously in favour of amending Edmonton’s zoning laws to allow single-residence 50-foot lots to be subdivided into two smaller 25-foot lots.

City council will debate amending zoning laws for smaller lots, garden suites in early 2015

Skinny lots, garden suites and garage suites may become a more common sight around the city after the city's executive community put forward a unanimous recommendation that council explore amending zoning laws. (CBC)

“Skinny lots” are one step closer to becoming a reality in Edmonton.

On Wednesday night, the city’s executive committee voted unanimously in favour of amending Edmonton’s zoning laws to allow single-residence 50-foot lots to be subdivided into two smaller 25-foot lots.

If approved, the proposal would also mean more garden or garage suites could be built in any neighbourhood.

Now, the committee has asked city council to consider the idea, and to prepare a report looking into the possible impact of adding skinny lots to Edmonton’s older neighbourhoods, such as Glenora.

This is not good news for David Percy, who lives in the neighbourhood. Percy says subdividing the existing 50-foot lots will hurt the neighbourhood.

"Blatantly, there are some many historical districts in Edmonton that will be badly affected,” said Percy. "Heritage houses will be lost."

Percy says he's not anti-infill, but he doesn't like the City's "one-size fits-all" approach.

"The problem is it overrides every other value - whether it's heritage, whether it's scenic or anything else - it's subordinated to infill."

Instead, he’d like to see certain neighbourhoods be given special protection but Coun. Andrew Knack says that's not an option.

"That's pitting neighbours against neighbours,” he said.

Others, like Carmen Douville, spoke out in favour of the proposal, saying more central infill housing would allow her to keep living close to downtown.

"I personally don't want to live in the suburbs,” she said. “It doesn't fit with my lifestyle and living centrally is very, very, very important to me but the cost of living centrally is astronomical.”

City council will debate the skinny lot proposal in early 2015, followed by a round of public consultation.

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