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Viscount Bennett Re-Development

Important Community Information !!

Your community association has prepared this information about the upcoming sale of the Viscount Bennett site. We will be having a Community Meeting at ----- at 7:00 pm on Tuesday- September 27 at the hall

Viscount Bennett Sale and Rezoning                                                                                                                                                      Sept 2022

Background

The Viscount Bennett site will be sold to a developer in the near future. We don’t know who the developer will be or what they will ask City permission to build HOWEVER we assume that they will want a predominantly residential development with many buildings 6 stories or more in height if they can figure the access out. This information sheet will help you stay in touch and let your opinion be heard

 -Viscount Bennett has been around for approximately 70 years dating back to the 1950’s

- Current zoning is RC-1  (single detached housing)

-served as a Junior and Senior High School with approximately 2000 students at the height of its life

-site is approximately 11 acres (11.49), approximately half of which (6 acres) is playing fields, and 3 acres are parking lots which are part of the community’s open space count

-the buildings were shuttered about 3 years ago and the sale process began

-Calgary Board of Education owns the site and will receive all funds from the sale

-the sale process also saw the City, who had a right of first refusal to purchase the building decline to exercise this right (spring 2020)

-the sale process is well under way and a sale may occur soon now that we are emerging from COVID

-the school is bounded on the east side by Crowchild Trail, on the south and west by RC-1 single family dwellings and across the street to the north by a medical clinic, new multi-family unit (under construction), an old postal outlet and small multi family building. The land to the northwest is mostly zoned RC-1 with some RC-2 (semis) and DC.

-the actual green/open space of approximately 6  acres has and continues to be well used. This area (as well as the 3 acres of parking) is included within the calculation of green space for the community. We do not want to lose the 6 acres of well used green space.

-the site is problematic when redevelopment is being considered since there is only one real access to the site via Richmond Road

-the city has and continues to state that no entry/exit to the site from Crowchild Trail can be provided

-the community has existed virtually since it’s inception in the 1950’s having the site and green space as part of the community and does not want to lose this space to redevelopment.

 

Development Options

In the matter of future use the first 2 choices below have been ruled out by the City and School Board:

1.Turning the majority of the space into a park. By virtue of the city declining to purchase the site, we assume they are not willing to go this route

2. Sale for use as a school site. This option has been explored by CBE and there has been no interest.

3.  A third option – site development under the current RC-1 zoning (which is the zoning of the surrounding area) – is outlined below:

 

Assumptions – Option 3       RC-1

12 acre site (6 open space, 3 parking, 3 buildings – to be demolished)

3 acres for open space (roughly equivalent to the land the buildings occupy- ¼ of the total site area)

9 acres for housing

Approximately 5 houses per acre-  roughly equivalent to adjacent development

No commercial or retail development

Occupancy rate of 2.7 people per dwelling unit

The City and developer will want much more density than this option would allow

Outcome if the City agreed with this option

Design an attractive and highly desirable single family addition to the neighborhood consisting of approximately 45 units with 3 acres of open green space and 9 acres of land for housing

-this property provides an opportunity to design and create a unique new inner-city RC-1 development combined with the significant green space allocation

-this is a density of approximately 5 UPA which is similar to the adjacent homes

-develop the site as RC-1 to minimize the impact in an area that has only one way in and out (45 additional houses would generate approx. 450 additional vehicle trips per day with about 10% occurring during the 2 rush hours)

 -retain approximately 3 acres of land as green space to be included in the design process

-there is neither a need for nor should there be any consideration for retail/commercial development on the site given the access limitations and the fact that the land is adjacent to RC-1 land

-provide a low impact from traffic standpoint acknowledging the difficult location

-population increase of approximately 135 persons

Other Development Options

We assume the developer and the City will be supporting a medium rise (4-6-8stories) , medium density development with the largest buildings along Crowchild. The City has already published the draft of our new Local Area Plan that shows the some of the east side of 25 St upzoned. There are many ways the added density /housing/small retail/ could be accommodated on the site if the developer and City wanted it. We have not seen specific developer plans yet.

 

Next Steps

Come to the Sept. 27 meeting

We will continue to inform you of the progress of this file – Feel free to contact, Phil Harding at  email viscountbennett@richmondknobhill.ca

 

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.  Phil Harding, Director Viscount Bennett RKH Community Assn.