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Thread: Tree-felling on infill lots touches nerve

  1. #1
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    Default Tree-felling on infill lots touches nerve

    Curious to know some of your thoughts on this issue.

    Tree-felling on infill lots touches nerve with many Edmonton residents


    BY ELISE STOLTE, EDMONTON JOURNAL

    EDMONTON - Rows of mature apple trees, tall spruce and elms — neighbours get ticked off when developers clearcut lots in mature neighbourhoods. But as city hall prepares to wade into the debate, it’s already clear that mandating the preservation of trees on private property is a touchy issue.

    “Trees are a big deal. They set the tone. You walk down the street in the early evening, you hear the birds chirping as you walk along,” said Derrick Forsythe, a Queen Mary Park resident upset at yet another tree-felling down the street from his home.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...073/story.html
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    Preserving a nice mature tree adds significant value to an infill property when they build a new house on the lot. Some builders just don't get it.


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    ^ More cost in labour to work around tree than is lost in value from cutting it down.

    Sadly this means the appeal of the entire neighbourhood is damaged.

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    And we wonder why no one wants to do infill? Too many rules, which usually means delays and added costs.

    If the tree is on the property let the owners decide what to do with it. Lots of these infill lots have a tiny house and are overgrown with trees. Any excavation will usually damage the root system and eventually kill the tree. Best to start with a clean slate. Then plant the trees to fit the landscape.

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    We recently sent out notes to homes within 60m of our property explaining our plans, showing elevations and indicating that we plan on cutting down some trees on the lot. We didn't have to send out the note since we haven't applied for anything yet (april), and even when we do, no variances are going to be needed, so notifications aren't required.

    Out of 22 letters, we got 3 responses back, all positive. Two of them essentially said, 'good, there's too many trees on there anyways' along with 'let us know when the arborist comes in, we may want to trim some of our trees too'.

    There are seven mature trees in the backyard, all over 50' tall (6 elms, one willow). Combined with the mature trees on the adjoining lots, the backyard gets no sun, which is a shame considering its a full south exposure. We'll be leaving 2, possibly 3 trees in the backyard.

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    This is in my neighbourhood and I don't think it's too big a deal. We don't have a shortage of trees and as long as they're replanting the trees will be back.

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    I love trees. I really do.

    But I can see why some homeowners (much less in-fillers) might want to eliminate particular ones. There's the root system causing structural damage, so much shade that it's impossible to grow anything even grass, and sometimes the tree is dying from the inside and (although picturesque) is a real danger.

    It's why I like boulevards, especially city managed ones, where you can have your tree canopy and have the crews come by periodically to check their health and do necessary trims.

    But this is not to say I haven't seen some really irresponsible lumberjacking.

    Eve

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    That tree fence is fine if it is entirely on the owner of the tree's yard. If it is partly on the yard where excavation needs to happen then it is just a passive-aggressive stunt.

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    They saved a lot of mature elms in Belvedere when they did infill Holland Gardens on the site of the old seniors residence


    Note the row of trees running left to right.
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    On boulevards absolutely. there should be strict rules about damaging those trees and severe penalties for non-compliance.

    On private land though, different story.
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    The issue isn't just trees, and it isn't just infill. Its of a specific gentrification that exists in Edmonton that wants to infill established neighborhoods with houses that are much bigger than pre-existing or any houses on the block. So that the excavation required is much larger than that which would have previously existed. Sometimes by two or three times as much.

    What occurs to me that is if in moving to a neighborhood and wanting every spec in your house and footprint to be far different, and having all trees cut down to facilitate is that it isn't really respecting the neighborhood, the familiarity, the continuity, or even fit. So that the new prospective homeowner has sometimes set themselves up for potential discord with new neighbors and not just because of the trees. Because in moving to that neighborhood and demolishing what stood before (often enough homes that are loved by neighbors and that hold memories) they aren't respecting those memories of what a community is.

    Its disconcerting how disconnected we are as a society that Gentrified big box housing in mature neighborhoods has become the mode and including clear cutting any trees to facilitate. ironically with these often enough being considered environmentally friendly sustainable builds..

    My final thought would be is when did we start valuing 3000ft homes and no pleasant beautiful yard and trees vs having an appropriately sized house that affords every other possibility on a lot?
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    We recently sent out notes to homes within 60m of our property explaining our plans, showing elevations and indicating that we plan on cutting down some trees on the lot. We didn't have to send out the note since we haven't applied for anything yet (april), and even when we do, no variances are going to be needed, so notifications aren't required.

    Out of 22 letters, we got 3 responses back, all positive. Two of them essentially said, 'good, there's too many trees on there anyways' along with 'let us know when the arborist comes in, we may want to trim some of our trees too'.

    There are seven mature trees in the backyard, all over 50' tall (6 elms, one willow). Combined with the mature trees on the adjoining lots, the backyard gets no sun, which is a shame considering its a full south exposure. We'll be leaving 2, possibly 3 trees in the backyard.
    Theres a difference between reasonably pruning and limiting the trees as they have matured and taken up space which should probably be occurring anyway vs clear cutting all the trees.

    When people plant trees they chronically underestimate such things as how much space is required between trees, how much space from house, paved driveway, etc. When trees have matured its often necessary to thin out anyway and should occur. But taking them all down as seemingly most developers do is more the issue.

    IMO one of the things that seperates Edmonton from Calgary is the preponderance of beautiful mature trees which in Calgary you only see a lot of near bodies of water due to their semi-arid conditions.
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    Monster infill


    Infill homes in the Forest Heights neighbourhood.
    Photograph by: John Lucas , Edmonton Journal

    New Edmonton infill compliance team to battle ‘mountain of mistrust’
    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Edmon...682/story.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by 240GLT View Post
    On boulevards absolutely. there should be strict rules about damaging those trees and severe penalties for non-compliance.

    On private land though, different story.
    The City should be adding boulevards and boulevard trees to neighbourhoods without them as part of the neighbourhood rehabilitation process, primarily by reducing the width of over-wide streets.

    With thriving boulevard trees, the trees on private property become less of an issue. It's also hard to imagine the city justifying mandating trees on private property as a public amenity when the public right of way is designed as cheaply as possible with zero accommodation for trees, or aesthetics in general.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Monster infill


    Infill homes in the Forest Heights neighbourhood.
    Photograph by: John Lucas , Edmonton Journal

    New Edmonton infill compliance team to battle ‘mountain of mistrust’
    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Edmon...682/story.html
    Let's find the tiniest house and 2 new 2 storey and shoot it at a particular angle to amplify! Reporting!
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    I have seen worse. Way worse.
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    I'd like to see trees kept on the property, but the new house often prevents them from doing that. There's an infill house going up near me (no, not the High House), where he removed the existing trees, but many of them looked to be in bad shape, and they hung over the existing house (a bungalow). Hard to build a new 2 storey house with a tree in the way. I've seen his landscaping plans and he plans to have a number of new trees planted on the property.
    They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by IanO View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Monster infill


    Infill homes in the Forest Heights neighbourhood.
    Photograph by: John Lucas , Edmonton Journal

    New Edmonton infill compliance team to battle ‘mountain of mistrust’
    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Edmon...682/story.html
    Let's find the tiniest house and 2 new 2 storey and shoot it at a particular angle to amplify! Reporting!
    Maybe if the tiny white house had some massive old trees in the yard the houses on either side wouldn't seem so overbearing - hence lets force old homes to keep old trees!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 240GLT View Post
    On boulevards absolutely. there should be strict rules about damaging those trees and severe penalties for non-compliance.

    On private land though, different story.
    The City should be adding boulevards and boulevard trees to neighbourhoods without them as part of the neighbourhood rehabilitation process, primarily by reducing the width of over-wide streets.

    With thriving boulevard trees, the trees on private property become less of an issue. It's also hard to imagine the city justifying mandating trees on private property as a public amenity when the public right of way is designed as cheaply as possible with zero accommodation for trees, or aesthetics in general.
    Exactly. Make the roads narrower and move the sidewalks out to the edge of the ROW and there will be plenty of room for trees.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMorrocco View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by IanO View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Monster infill


    Infill homes in the Forest Heights neighbourhood.
    Photograph by: John Lucas , Edmonton Journal

    New Edmonton infill compliance team to battle ‘mountain of mistrust’
    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Edmon...682/story.html
    Let's find the tiniest house and 2 new 2 storey and shoot it at a particular angle to amplify! Reporting!
    Maybe if the tiny white house had some massive old trees in the yard the houses on either side wouldn't seem so overbearing - hence lets force old homes to keep old trees!!
    That white house isn't even 800 sq ft. On a 5500 sq ft lot. What a waste of space. The one on the left is a semi detached. As mentioned, the photograph in the article was taken to sell controversy, rather than represent reality. In reality, it looks fine:
    https://www.google.ca/maps/@53.54556...3cRI7cXu6Q!2e0
    And the house that was on the left originally was still significantly taller than the small white house:
    https://www.google.ca/maps/@53.54565...ffL5S6Jufw!2e0

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    That white house isn't even 800 sq ft. On a 5500 sq ft lot. What a waste of space. The one on the left is a semi detached. As mentioned, the photograph in the article was taken to sell controversy, rather than represent reality. In reality, it looks fine:
    https://www.google.ca/maps/@53.54556...3cRI7cXu6Q!2e0
    And the house that was on the left originally was still significantly taller than the small white house:
    https://www.google.ca/maps/@53.54565...ffL5S6Jufw!2e0
    Counterpoint

    The small house first owners were probably a couple and their 3 or 4 kids living in 800ft2 plus 800ft2 in the basement, 1,600ft2 total.

    The two new homes on either side are probably 3,200 or 3,600 ft2 and most likely are for a couple and maybe one kid.

    That is a waste too because you have the same land area with less people in a house that uses more energy to build and heat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Counterpoint
    The small house first owners were probably a couple and their 3 or 4 kids living in 800ft2 plus 800ft2 in the basement, 1,600ft2 total.
    The two new homes on either side are probably 3,200 or 3,600 ft2 and most likely are for a couple and maybe one kid.
    That is a waste too because you have the same land area with less people in a house that uses more energy to build and heat.
    You glossed over the part where I mentioned semidetached. The house on the left has 1500 sq ft/side. The one on the right is 2200sq ft. It's all on the city's website. So that's three homes where there originally were two.
    And a modern built home will certainly not use more energy to heat, even if it is twice the size.

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    Being a duplex now, the building on the left is oriented on the lot the opposite way than it was before. Look at the shadow it casts on the little White House. It also towers over the neighbour's back yard where the original structure did not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SP59 View Post
    Being a duplex now, the building on the left is oriented on the lot the opposite way than it was before. Look at the shadow it casts on the little White House. It also towers over the neighbour's back yard where the original structure did not.
    The new and old house are oriented the same with the front doors on the front.
    Who cares if it casts a shadow on the house. A taller building (and the one there before) is going to do that. There's nothing but lawn in the front of the house. And there's no windows on that side of the white house. The picture was taken later in the day (backyard faces west) in October. To say a new house can't cast a shadow is ridiculous.
    The backyard is fine, no obstruction from either house, they get all that nice west sun and view of downtown.
    Last edited by nobleea; 31-03-2015 at 03:08 PM.

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    The other point is the expectation that your neighbourhood is going to remain static is completely unreasonable. The nature and character of neighbourhoods in big cities changes over time. In my neighbourhood there are number of duplexes and one triplex that have gone up that are quite nice. They did necessitate the removal of some trees but new ones are planted and growing.

    For example this lot when I moved into the neighbourhood had one tiny house, less than 800 sq ft, a giant crumbling garage, and a beautiful monster of a tree. I was sad to see the tree go however what filled the lot with is great and new trees were planted that will grow.

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    So the two older house did not have trees and the newer on the right has replanted trees. Then the old house on the left is replaced and has no trees.

    Hmmmm seems like personal preference if you want trees or not. And another useless subject that city council should not be wasting their time on.

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    I think it has to do with personal preference, but also lot coverage. If you're going to be pushing up against the 40% max and it's a standard lot, there's not a whole lot of room to move around and stage things during construction if there's a forest on the lot. Some people might pay 5K extra to haul away all the backfill dirt, which leaves a bit more space. Others would rather spend that 5K on new landscaping/fences.

    I think it's fair to say that a spec home developer or someone slapping up a cheap semidetached/duplex might be less willing to salvage mature trees over and owner-driven infill.

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    When did falling become felling anyway.

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    Felling trees is arborist/lumberjack/fancy talk for "chopping down", and has been for centuries. Falling trees happens in windstorms/snowstorms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SP59 View Post
    Being a duplex now, the building on the left is oriented on the lot the opposite way than it was before. Look at the shadow it casts on the little White House. It also towers over the neighbour's back yard where the original structure did not.
    The new and old house are oriented the same with the front doors on the front.
    Who cares if it casts a shadow on the house. A taller building (and the one there before) is going to do that. There's nothing but lawn in the front of the house. And there's no windows on that side of the white house. The picture was taken later in the day (backyard faces west) in October. To say a new house can't cast a shadow is ridiculous.
    The backyard is fine, no obstruction from either house, they get all that nice west sun and view of downtown.
    If you look at the old house it was maybe 24 feet deep. The new duplex looks like it is 40 feet deep and each side might be 16-20 feet wide (max) on the front. That is why I am saying that the orientation is changed. The previous house would have cast a much smaller shadow than the new monster building. The monster also goes further back into the yard than the old.

    The people who might live in the little white house might care about being in the shade all day.
    Last edited by SP59; 01-04-2015 at 03:00 PM.

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    I don't know if such a law exists here, but there is such a thing as "ancient lights". I wonder how it might play out in this case.
    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedicti...Ancient+lights
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Felling trees is arborist/lumberjack/fancy talk for "chopping down", and has been for centuries. Falling trees happens in windstorms/snowstorms.
    And all these years I thought a lumberjack would fall a tree or trees were ready for falling etc. Felling pronounced fell not fawl. Always keep learning in life.

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    Four fellows had forlorn feelings as they felled four firs forthwith and watched them fall forward to the ploughed field in fallow and felt the fall wind and frigid rain pelt against their felt fedoras.

    Wanna find out what the fourth fellow, named Jack, said as he drove forty down the forked road in his lumbering 4X4 about his four season tires?

    In the fourth grade, I drove my vocabulary teacher to drink.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 01-04-2015 at 06:35 AM.
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  34. #34

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    90% of the infill I have seen in the city so far sucks. Mega Suburb style mansions on lots. No front or back yard. Does nothing for the area. However how can you tell a private property owner that they cant cut down their own trees?
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    How, make it part of the DP. Make it a win win by way of faster circulation times or reduced fees or or or.
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanO View Post
    How, make it part of the DP. Make it a win win by way of faster circulation times or reduced fees or or or.
    Who gets to decide which trees can be cut down? Does the city just look at streetview, or drive by? Will it be decided by a certified arborist? Who pays for the arborist?
    Request a landscaping plan for the DP, by all means. Maybe you if you say that you'll save/keep X, Y, Z tree you get a speedier treatment. But what happens to the development that had no trees to speak of? Shouldn't they get the same speedy treatment?

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    Good questions, but there are options is what I am getting at.
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    I'm fine with letting people cut trees down, as long as they have to plant new ones like in new developments. Further to that, I'd like to see minimum landscaping requirements improved upon, especially completion of garages in laned areas. Some of them look terrible.
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  39. #39

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    This might not be the place for it, but I'm less concerned with a tree going down in infill than I am with endless suburbs that look like this:

    Single alleyway in Brintell. To be fair, these people have only had a decade or so to get their crap together...













    Funny thing is, I find these are the types of folks who complain most about those nasty inner city and downtown neighbourhoods.
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    Very little garbage , butts, puke marks, beer bottles, spit blobs, or drunk bodies laying around though. Quite neat. Lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbones View Post
    Very little garbage , butts, puke marks, beer bottles, spit blobs, or drunk bodies laying around though. Quite neat. Lol
    I live in Westmount, we have none of those things either plus we have trees.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbones View Post
    Very little garbage , butts, puke marks, beer bottles, spit blobs, or drunk bodies laying around though. Quite neat. Lol
    in other words, boring...
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    Don't most HOA's demand a garage be built within a few years? How do some of those people get away with it?

    Also I could forgive those homes if the front of the houses are tree lined boulevards.
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    Isn't Brittnell just another normal neighbourhood that doesn't have an HOA? These are pictures of alleys, not streets, I don't see why we should be expecting people to build garages if they don't want them. Or paving their parking areas for that matter.

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    I just think it's ugly. Clearly I have higher expectations of my surroundings when it comes to the single most expensive purchase I'll ever make in my life.
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    To put it back on topic: as far as I can tell, only one or two yards even bothered to put a tree in.
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    Personally i wish they would just require some sort of landscape plan. I may like Trees.. but its THEIR tree, not mine. so just a policy saying that there should be 20% or so of your lot being covered in trees and leave it at that. if people want 1 Spruce Tree or 10 Shrubs thats fine. if they want to cut down a Mature Tree and plant a small one.. thats fine as well. Just Some sort of easy, quick and relatively cheap checklist so infill actually becomes something thats financially feasible.

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    My friends in calgary did a semi infill as their house. Had to cut down this huge suckering bush that had like 8 1" caliper trunks in the front yard. The city asked that they replace it with an equal size. They wrote the requirement as an 8" caliper tree. That's a bloody expensive tree and possibly not even possible on the front yard they had. They didn't put in an 8" caliper tree, or any tree, and the city didn't do anything about it, because they had no say in it.

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    Further story:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...laws-1.3030885

    "Mature trees also hold a real value for nearby homeowners, many of whom bought into a certain neighbourhood because of its tree-lined streets.

    And the trees add more than just charm, he added, noting they also serve a practical value in providing privacy, temperature control and providing a home for wildlife in the urban centre.

    The issue is a touchy one, however, since it puts the onus on builders and will require balancing landowners' interests with what the city determines to be best practices.

    "We need to deal with it very carefully," Walters said.

    "[Mature trees have] a lot of value, and so as much as we need to be cognizant of the value of property rights, we have to figure out a way to maintain that forest as well.""

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    That white house isn't even 800 sq ft. On a 5500 sq ft lot. What a waste of space. The one on the left is a semi detached. As mentioned, the photograph in the article was taken to sell controversy, rather than represent reality. In reality, it looks fine:
    https://www.google.ca/maps/@53.54556...3cRI7cXu6Q!2e0
    And the house that was on the left originally was still significantly taller than the small white house:
    https://www.google.ca/maps/@53.54565...ffL5S6Jufw!2e0
    Counterpoint

    The small house first owners were probably a couple and their 3 or 4 kids living in 800ft2 plus 800ft2 in the basement, 1,600ft2 total.

    The two new homes on either side are probably 3,200 or 3,600 ft2 and most likely are for a couple and maybe one kid.

    That is a waste too because you have the same land area with less people in a house that uses more energy to build and heat.
    basements do not carry or contribute to the square footage of a house unless it is at least half way about grade or is finished and has proper windows.

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    Another little house demolished here in Beverly and so went the ENTIRE lot. Every living green thing whether large or small, young or mature whiped away. I just don't understand the rational behind the complete destruction of a property to slap and ugly, non similar,visually vomitous structure in it's place. Really... do people actually believe this is responsible progress? I moved into a SINGLE family area because I do not LIKE multi family housing. PERIOD. Why the hell would I want a duplex or worse a tri or 4 plaex next door? This city is looking at one aspect..Revenue and doesn't give a damn what those of us think or have no use of.
    Last edited by cnr67; 25-07-2015 at 09:56 PM.
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    ^The total loss of mature greenery was unfortunate and likely unnecessary, but what is wrong with a duplex next door? Nobody is forcing you to live in it, and there are plenty of people who don't have a problem with shared walls. As for appearance, poor choices of design and finishing materials can result in an ugly detached house just as easily as an ugly duplex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnr67 View Post
    Another little house demolished here in Beverly and so went the ENTIRE lot. Every living green thing whether large or small, young or mature whiped away. I just don't understand the rational behind the complete destruction of a property to slap and ugly, non similar,visually vomitous structure in it's place. Really... do people actually believe this is responsible progress? I moved into a SINGLE family area because I do not LIKE multi family housing. PERIOD. Why the hell would I want a duplex or worse a tri or 4 plaex next door? This city is looking at one aspect..Revenue and doesn't give a damn what those of us think or have no use of.
    I agree. The mass majority of infill so far in Beverly has been out of place & poorly done.

    This one really ticks me off:
    https://goo.gl/maps/i7mEZ

    While the house is could be argued as nice its massive compared to everything else on the block and the sliver property to the left of it now looks awkward and out of place
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    Quote Originally Posted by Komrade View Post
    This one really ticks me off:
    https://goo.gl/maps/i7mEZ

    While the house is could be argued as nice its massive compared to everything else on the block and the sliver property to the left of it now looks awkward and out of place
    I agree

    The set back is incorrect IMHO. The average setback for the properties built in the 1950's and 1960's on that ave is further back than the new house. I bet that the builder argued that the old original homes built before Beverly was part of the City of Edmonton were closer to the road but that not be the new standard.

    If the house was built a bit further back it would not look so imposing
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    ^I think the big house is quite attractive. Sure, it dwarfs the bungalow beside it, but eventually that house should be replaced by something taller as well. There is also nothing wrong with the setback. Most people rarely use their front yards, so big front yards are a waste of space. Infill should result in more housing the same space, and that means using space more efficiently by building up instead of out and making front yards smaller to preserve the back yard space that people do actually use. There will be a transition period where the newer houses look out of place, but eventually it will be the 1950s back-set sideways bungalows that look funny.

    There is a huge problem with the new house though, that being the ugly garage appended to the side. That sort of nonsense should never have been permitted. When there is an alley, garages belong in the back, no exceptions.

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    If the house is far enough back from the front property line I think the setback is considered from the front of the house, not the front of the porch. It is pretty clear that the house is not set more than a meter closer to the road than the house on either side of it (if any). Since it is close to being inline with the house on either side i doubt he would have to have done any arguing at all.

    The house on the corner is pretty much a doll house and would likely look awkward with anything new that would be built beside it.

    I don't like that that new house has a front drive garage.

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    Yeah, aren't front drives only to be approved if there are the majority of other houses on the blockface with front drives? Or does that not apply in this neighbourhood?

    Of course there's always the possibility they went to SDAB and won.
    They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

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    Private land means that the owners can cut whatever trees they want.

    End of story.

    Everyone who disagrees is a fool or worse. There are no justifications for thinking otherwise that are not turned to mush the moment some former blabbermouth gets their own piece of land and has to start managing it, willy-nilly.

    The strip of grass that pretends to be a boulevard is of course a separate story. But once you get beyond the reserved utility allowance, that's it.

    I've had to cut trees, beautiful trees I've loved, because they were diseased. Do you replant? No, not necessarily. Not if the soil is diseased.
    Last edited by AShetsen; 26-07-2015 at 04:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Komrade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cnr67 View Post
    Another little house demolished here in Beverly and so went the ENTIRE lot. Every living green thing whether large or small, young or mature whiped away. I just don't understand the rational behind the complete destruction of a property to slap and ugly, non similar,visually vomitous structure in it's place. Really... do people actually believe this is responsible progress? I moved into a SINGLE family area because I do not LIKE multi family housing. PERIOD. Why the hell would I want a duplex or worse a tri or 4 plaex next door? This city is looking at one aspect..Revenue and doesn't give a damn what those of us think or have no use of.
    I agree. The mass majority of infill so far in Beverly has been out of place & poorly done.

    This one really ticks me off:
    https://goo.gl/maps/i7mEZ

    While the house is could be argued as nice its massive compared to everything else on the block and the sliver property to the left of it now looks awkward and out of place
    I can't see anything wrong with this house other than the houses around it.

    Here's the reality of a city and life and general: change happens. It's reasonable to keep it manageable but pointless to constantly resist it.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gord Lacey View Post
    Yeah, aren't front drives only to be approved if there are the majority of other houses on the blockface with front drives? Or does that not apply in this neighbourhood?

    Of course there's always the possibility they went to SDAB and won.
    From the satellite view, over 50% of the existing homes do have front drives. Front drives doesn't have to imply front garages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Komrade View Post
    This one really ticks me off:
    https://goo.gl/maps/i7mEZ

    While the house is could be argued as nice its massive compared to everything else on the block and the sliver property to the left of it now looks awkward and out of place
    I agree

    The set back is incorrect IMHO. The average setback for the properties built in the 1950's and 1960's on that ave is further back than the new house. I bet that the builder argued that the old original homes built before Beverly was part of the City of Edmonton were closer to the road but that not be the new standard.

    If the house was built a bit further back it would not look so imposing
    The set back looks to be correct. You can be 1.5m closer to the road than the average of the setbacks on the blockface up to a minimum. In this case, that would include the covered porch. Looks to me to be correct.
    I'm not a fan of the attached garage, but it's allowed there. Looks to be one of the wider lots in the neighbourhood. The doll house to the left is on a super skinny lot. It's likely that nothing will be able to be built on that lot due to required set backs and side/back yard requirements. And that has nothing to do with the new house.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gord Lacey View Post
    Yeah, aren't front drives only to be approved if there are the majority of other houses on the blockface with front drives? Or does that not apply in this neighbourhood?

    Of course there's always the possibility they went to SDAB and won.
    From the satellite view, over 50% of the existing homes do have front drives. Front drives doesn't have to imply front garages.
    Yes, when pedestrians complain about front garages, the main issue is that the front drive usually cuts into the sidewalk and introduces the possibility of vehicles crossing. From that standpoint, there is little distinction between a driveway and a front garage.

  63. #63

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    I believe the house to the left is a historical house. It likely can't be tore down or made bigger to fit in with its new neighbor.

  64. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by EveB View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gord Lacey View Post
    Yeah, aren't front drives only to be approved if there are the majority of other houses on the blockface with front drives? Or does that not apply in this neighbourhood?

    Of course there's always the possibility they went to SDAB and won.
    From the satellite view, over 50% of the existing homes do have front drives. Front drives doesn't have to imply front garages.
    Yes, when pedestrians complain about front garages, the main issue is that the front drive usually cuts into the sidewalk and introduces the possibility of vehicles crossing. From that standpoint, there is little distinction between a driveway and a front garage.
    Traffic backing out into a bus route is also an issue. I used to live very near 114th ave and they were trying back then to eliminate all driveways onto 114th ave. Obviously they changed the goals or someone got away with it. I wonder if this house conforms or did they make an exception.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Komrade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cnr67 View Post
    Another little house demolished here in Beverly and so went the ENTIRE lot. Every living green thing whether large or small, young or mature whiped away. I just don't understand the rational behind the complete destruction of a property to slap and ugly, non similar,visually vomitous structure in it's place. Really... do people actually believe this is responsible progress? I moved into a SINGLE family area because I do not LIKE multi family housing. PERIOD. Why the hell would I want a duplex or worse a tri or 4 plaex next door? This city is looking at one aspect..Revenue and doesn't give a damn what those of us think or have no use of.
    I agree. The mass majority of infill so far in Beverly has been out of place & poorly done.

    This one really ticks me off:
    https://goo.gl/maps/i7mEZ

    While the house is could be argued as nice its massive compared to everything else on the block and the sliver property to the left of it now looks awkward and out of place
    I can't see anything wrong with this house other than the houses around it.

    Here's the reality of a city and life and general: change happens. It's reasonable to keep it manageable but pointless to constantly resist it.
    This sort of thing is happening in many older areas, including ours (Parkview). Some infill does stick out like a sore thumb, but in my experience, most infill adds variety and raises the desirability of the area, helping with resale values. Conversely, some newer developments such as Terwillegar Towne have a cookie-cutter look to the houses, making for a very bland existence. Having said all that, I LOVE the big trees in our neighbourhood, and would hate to see them removed during construction. Sometimes the trees are reaching end of life or are too close to the foundation, so must be removed, but if they can be saved, they should at least try to do so.

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    My neighbourhood in Westmount has a fair amount of infill happening, most of it pretty good. I do appreciate it when they make an effort to keep older trees like these guys did:



    These guys have a nice building however they took out two large trees on the boulevard that likely could have been worked around. They did replant though.


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    ^I think the trees in both of those cases belong to the city, and not the homeowner. So they would have been in no position to cut them down in the first place. In the second case, the city may have removed them due to disease or whatever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    ^I think the trees in both of those cases belong to the city, and not the homeowner. So they would have been in no position to cut them down in the first place. In the second case, the city may have removed them due to disease or whatever.
    If they were diseased it wasn't anything visible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    ^I think the trees in both of those cases belong to the city, and not the homeowner. So they would have been in no position to cut them down in the first place. In the second case, the city may have removed them due to disease or whatever.
    If they were diseased it wasn't anything visible.
    Was just chatting with some neighbours and it sounds like they may have taken it down without permission and paid the fine. The units were prefab and the trees were blocking crane access.

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    ^ The fine isn't big enough if it isn't stopping laziness like that. It should be at least $10,000 for each tree deliberately removed, plus the cost of planting a minimum 5 m replacement. It needs to be cheaper to find alternate equipment to work around the trees than to pay the fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    ^ The fine isn't big enough if it isn't stopping laziness like that. It should be at least $10,000 for each tree deliberately removed, plus the cost of planting a minimum 5 m replacement. It needs to be cheaper to find alternate equipment to work around the trees than to pay the fine.
    Agreed. And the fine should be the same for the arborist that cut it down.

  72. #72

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    Just a thought here, but could losing a single boulevard tree once in awhile actually be a good thing if it's re-planted? Could it possibly prevent all the trees reaching end of life at the same time, so you don't end up in a situation like Whyte ave where a whole group of them have to be removed at the same time?
    Last edited by Snake Eyes; 27-07-2015 at 11:50 PM.

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    Personally I don't mind if arbitrary trees are cut down during development even I do think it should be avoided where possible. Trees grow and as long as we're not levelling all the trees at once in a neighbourhood then the character can be retained.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Eyes View Post
    Just a thought here, but could losing a single boulevard tree once in awhile actually be a good thing if it's re-planted? Could it possibly prevent all the trees reaching end of life at the same time, so you don't end up in a situation like Whyte ave where a whole group of them have to be removed at the same time?
    Absolutely. But that should be planned and executed by the city and their team of arborists. Not some fly by night developer who's looking for an easy build.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    ^The total loss of mature greenery was unfortunate and likely unnecessary, but what is wrong with a duplex next door? Nobody is forcing you to live in it, and there are plenty of people who don't have a problem with shared walls. As for appearance, poor choices of design and finishing materials can result in an ugly detached house just as easily as an ugly duplex.
    Firstly,in most cases it has 2 stories to my one thus eliminating my PRIVATE back yard. Second, the designs are from the kleenex ideology. Pure nausea to the eyes. Third, double the amount of traffic and people. Again, I live where single family homes are because I do not appreciate what muli family is or what it can attract. Keep the cookie cutters where they belong. In the burbs and out of established and far superior areas of town.
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    ^ "What it can attract"? If you are talking about the usual neighborhood nuisances (unkept junky yards, drugs and prostitution), you are more likely to find that when old, run down bungalows aren't replaced by something new, regardless of whether the replacement is attached or not. For height, expecting infill to copy the small 1950s and 1960s sideways bungalows is not realistic. People with money will want more interior space and will build a bigger detached house, while people with less money will need to split the lot to make it affordable. If we are trying to preserve mature trees we want to encourage vertical development rather than expanding building footprints, so 2 storey (minimum) buildings are necessary. You have a good point about uninspired design and finishing, but you could say the same thing about the old rectangular box stucco bungalows too. Like many aspects of urban design, interesting house architecture started to die in the 1940s.

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    If your neighborhood is not growing, it's dying.

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