After a lengthy public hearing, Edmonton city council voted Monday not to move forward with a controversial small-scale commercial development on a Glenora neighbouhood lot meant for multi-unit housing.
During debate, many councillors said this was a difficult decision. About 50 residents came to city hall to voice their support or express their concerns about transforming what is currently a one-storey home.
The property is just north of the planned Valley Line west LRT Glenora station at 104 Avenue and 134 Street.
The lot is currently zoned RF3 for small scale residential infill, but the proposed rezoning would have changed it to DC2 to allow for commercial development such as breweries, wineries or distilleries; child care; general retail; health services; restaurants; grocery or specialty food services and more.
City planning said about two-thirds of the community didn’t want it.
There is some commercial development in the area already. Across the street is a small building home to the Vi’s For Pies diner, along with a few other small businesses.
Opponents of the rezoning that attended the hearing wore green stickers that said “Family oriented development.” They worried the project would have taken away from Glenora’s family feel, green spaces and add to congestion.
“I’m just ecstatic, this means so much to people in our community,” Glenora resident Marie Gordon said. “I know it’s only one lot, but it’s the principle behind it and the fact that council talked about what neighbourhood means.”
“I think it came through resoundingly the neighbourhood really didn’t want this and I think they listened to that,” another resident, Sylvia Taylor, said.
Those who were in favour of the project really felt more walkable businesses would have enhanced the community. Ward 4 city councillor Aaron Paquette was one of two who voted in favour of the project.
“In my communities people would really, really want and love this development,” Paquette said about his northeast Edmonton ward. “For some reason it was felt that it wasn’t a fit in Glenora, so that is the way it went.”
Ward 3 councillor Jon Dziadyk also voted in favour of the proposed rezoning.
Global News asked Dan Belostotsky, the developer and founder of Otto Capital, for comment but he declined.
The property is zoned for multi-unit housing, but it’s unclear how the site will be developed moving forward.
— With files from Karen Bartko, Global News