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Holyrood Gardens revised plan misses mark again, residents say

Click to play video: 'Questions raised about big infill project proposed for Holyrood'
Questions raised about big infill project proposed for Holyrood
WATCH ABOVE: A big infill proposal for the Edmonton neighbourhood of Holyrood continues to cause controversy. Vinesh Pratap explains – May 3, 2018

There are a lot of angry folks in Holyrood who were able to convince Edmonton city council last November to reject a proposed massive apartment complex on 85 Street. The revised plan has been unveiled and they’re just as angry.

The revised proposal includes 250 more units on top of the 1,200 that were rejected last time, with more, albeit shorter, towers.

“It was addressed in a way we didn’t expect so they now have six towers and it still creates quite a wall basically across the neighbourhood,” said Dave Sutherland, a spokesman for the Holyrood development committee.

He doesn’t like how 85 Street will seem cut off.

“It still casts massive shadows, especially on the directly adjacent properties.”

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Renderings of a revamped proposal for the Holyrood Gardens development in Edmonton. Courtesy, Regency Developments
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Renderings of a revamped proposal for the Holyrood Gardens development in Edmonton. Courtesy, Regency Developments
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Renderings of a revamped proposal for the Holyrood Gardens development in Edmonton. Courtesy, Regency Developments

READ MORE: Edmonton city council sends Holyrood Gardens proposal back to developer for more work

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Comments made at Wednesday night’s open house ranged from: “It’s a slap in the face,” to things a lot cruder.

Raj Dhunna, the CEO of Regency Developments, said the limited angle they’ve got to work with for the buildings is restricting them in what they can design. He also said they upgraded from proposed wood frame construction last time around.

“We now have concrete buildings in what we’re proposing. It allows for the uplift of 250 units to make the economics work.”

The tower heights range from four to 17 storeys instead of six to 22 in the last proposal.

Other changes include increases in the amount family oriented housing, a transit plaza near the LRT station, more access to bicycle amenities and the parkade ramps have been moved to help sight lines and pedestrian safety.

“We’ve addressed the better part of 15 or 16 items in what’s come back,” Dhunna said.

“Respectfully, I think we’ve really come back with an open and earnest conversation to change this design.”

READ MORE: Edmonton city council runs out of time for 1,200-unit Holyrood apartment debate

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Councillor Ben Henderson said after council sent some rules back to Regency, it was his hope the developer and the community could work together.

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“I’m not getting a sense that’s happened and that’s a lost opportunity at this point. I hope it can still happen.”

City planner Andrew McLellan said the next step is up to Regency.

“We’ll be talking to the applicant about what they might want to do to address some of the feedback. Ultimately, the applicant will decide what they want to do with their application to take forward to city council. The city hasn’t determined what our recommendation will be for council yet, but that will be our next step.”

Feedback from Wednesday’s open house is being compiled and will be in a report to city council for a final decision on the rezoning. There’s no firm timeline on when that will happen.

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