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Thread: lot subdivision signs

  1. #1

    Default lot subdivision signs

    Has anyone seen the lot subdivision signs around Edmonton? I saw some in the Aspen Gardens area. It has a website attached. http://edmontonlotsubdivision.com
    The site has some information about the issues with lot splitting.

  2. #2
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    There are only three ways to make housing more affordable in our neighbourhoods:

    - Subdivision to smaller lots.

    - Higher density construction.

    - Price control.

    For obvious reasons, price control is a bad idea. This group is against the other two.

    Just another NIMBY group trying to reserve their area for rich old fogeys. Lest they get undesireables like "renters" in their area.

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    typical nimby's. 'We are not being heard' is their euphamism for 'you're not doing it my way'.

    It's similar to the people in Laurier park who voted ninety-some percent that they didn't need sidewalks in their area. As if they had the right to determine what goes on city property.

    I don't think infill affects affordability at all in some of the uppity neighbourhoods. In most cases, the new infill property will be significantly more expensive than the house that was there originally (usually twice the price). But it does increase density, lower tax burdens for the neighbourhood and helps the sustainability of the schools, community leagues, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    typical nimby's. 'We are not being heard' is their euphamism for 'you're not doing it my way'.

    It's similar to the people in Laurier park who voted ninety-some percent that they didn't need sidewalks in their area. As if they had the right to determine what goes on city property.

    I don't think infill affects affordability at all in some of the uppity neighbourhoods. In most cases, the new infill property will be significantly more expensive than the house that was there originally (usually twice the price). But it does increase density, lower tax burdens for the neighbourhood and helps the sustainability of the schools, community leagues, etc.
    yes, eveyone that's against something is a "typical nimby".

    until it's one's own backyard and then it's not a nimby issue at all, it's increased traffic, insufficient emergency services, insufficient utilties (water, power, telephone), higher crime rates, out of character for the neighborhood, decreasing property values, higher taxes etc. etc. etc.

    in most cases, they're wrong on most of the concerns and virtually every one of them can be successfully dealt with. of them all, however, i think that the "out of character for the neighborhood" might in some cases be the one we rue the most as a city in ignoring, much as we now rue the loss of character and history resulting from the loss of too much of our heritage building stock.

    unfortunately (or more accurately fortunately), i think we do have some areas - i can think of some streets and crescents in old glenora as an example - that are heritage as streetscapes and that where allowing random infill and subdivision of lots will destroy them as sure as we allowed the tegler and the post office and the carnegie library to be destroyed.

    the difficult part of these discussions is determining where this is real and where it simply wishful thinking. a street in glenora is an easy place to see/accept this. a post war "new urban" street with 1,600 sf bungalows and 50 foot lots might be less obvious, partly because there are more of them. does that mean that none of them have value? and if we aren't going to protect all of them, should we not give some preference to protecting those streets whose owners want to maintain them? if that's the case, nimbyism might will serve the interests of more than those whose back yards are in question.

    after all, at the end of the day, all of our back yards are city back yards and there are aspects of all of them that well deserve to be protected even if it's not the same for each one.

    these are difficult questions for individuals and neighborhoods and cities and there are no "all right" or "all wrong" positions. and taking a position might be nimby and it might not be, but even if it is, that doesn't necessarily make it invalid or wrong.
    Last edited by kcantor; 28-09-2015 at 03:05 PM.
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  5. #5
    highlander
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    ^Are you suggesting that once it's your backyard you become irrational and present illogical arguments?

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    ^Are you suggesting that once it's your backyard you become irrational and present illogical arguments?
    "absolutely", although not always, if you are asking me that of the "collective" you.

    and "absolutely not", not even sometimes, if you are asking me that personally.

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    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  8. #8

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    Anyone else pro-Infill anti-Lot Subdivision?
    What this translates into for me is "you can rebuild a house in our area as long as it is worth as much as ours"

    While I understand that subdivision will likely create more rental units it isnt the end of the world for a mature neighbourhood
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    ^It also seems to misunderstand what infill is. A one-for-one replacement isn't really infill, it's just an upgrade.

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    Jaerdo,
    There is one other way of reducing prices in existing neighborhoods; unrestricted building in new neighborhoods.
    Simple supply and demand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Komrade View Post
    Anyone else pro-Infill anti-Lot Subdivision?
    What this translates into for me is "you can rebuild a house in our area as long as it is worth as much as ours"

    While I understand that subdivision will likely create more rental units it isnt the end of the world for a mature neighbourhood
    I would wager a lot of money that the lots these people are appealing (Aspen Gardens, Westbrooke), are not going to have rental anything. These are simply taking a 70-80' wide lot with a 1500 sq ft bungalow or 1.5 story from the 60's and splitting it in order to put a 2500 sq ft+ home on each of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph60 View Post
    Jaerdo,
    There is one other way of reducing prices in existing neighborhoods; unrestricted building in new neighborhoods.
    Simple supply and demand.
    I don't think that's the case. They are completely different buyers. One is driven purely by price, while the other is driven by value. Group A cannot justify paying 100K (or whatever) extra for being close to everything and have a short commute, while Group B embrace that trade off with open arms. Unrestricted building in new neighbourhoods really only affects the land cost, which in a new neighbourhood, is pretty low. The labour and material costs for an infill vs greenfield build are almost identical when one normalizes for quality levels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ralph60 View Post
    Jaerdo,
    There is one other way of reducing prices in existing neighborhoods; unrestricted building in new neighborhoods.
    Simple supply and demand.
    I don't think that's the case. They are completely different buyers. One is driven purely by price, while the other is driven by value. Group A cannot justify paying 100K (or whatever) extra for being close to everything and have a short commute, while Group B embrace that trade off with open arms. Unrestricted building in new neighbourhoods really only affects the land cost, which in a new neighbourhood, is pretty low. The labour and material costs for an infill vs greenfield build are almost identical when one normalizes for quality levels.

    Arguably he is right. The perceived value of a property just changes the price elasticity demand side. If one group places a higher value on location, they are willing to pay a higher price.

    However I would defend my first comment in saying that there are only 3 ways we (by this I mean the state) can influence prices. Of course, ralph is correct in saying that these 3 things all influence supply and demand. His comment about "unrestricted building" is essentially both option one and two that I noted combined.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ralph60 View Post
    Jaerdo,
    There is one other way of reducing prices in existing neighborhoods; unrestricted building in new neighborhoods.
    Simple supply and demand.
    I don't think that's the case. They are completely different buyers. One is driven purely by price, while the other is driven by value. Group A cannot justify paying 100K (or whatever) extra for being close to everything and have a short commute, while Group B embrace that trade off with open arms. Unrestricted building in new neighbourhoods really only affects the land cost, which in a new neighbourhood, is pretty low. The labour and material costs for an infill vs greenfield build are almost identical when one normalizes for quality levels.

    Arguably he is right. The perceived value of a property just changes the price elasticity demand side. If one group places a higher value on location, they are willing to pay a higher price.

    However I would defend my first comment in saying that there are only 3 ways we (by this I mean the state) can influence prices. Of course, ralph is correct in saying that these 3 things all influence supply and demand. His comment about "unrestricted building" is essentially both option one and two that I noted combined.
    Don't we already have unrestricted building in new neighbourhoods? Is there a shortage of lots available in new areas? Are people having to buy more expensive places in the heart of the city because nothing cheap was available on the fringe? I don't think that's the case. I think we already have unrestricted building in new areas.

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    ^ That doesn't increase affordable housing stock in the core, which is the subject at hand and the entire point of the new subdivision changes.

    Also keep in mind that sprawl has a hidden cost both to the consumer, and to society. Fiscally through infrastructure and services, but also socially and environmentally. If we had full cost pricing, it is likely that greenfield development would be extremely expensive.

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    It's simple, lower the cost of a competing product and all other products follow suit. You can say things appeal to different buyers, etc, but people who buy new in the boonies, vacate somewhere else. The people who move into that vacancy, vacate another.....
    The entire market is connected.
    As far as whether we have un-restricted building, look at Villeneuve.
    We could declare all of the core an anything goes area. Cut the red tape, eliminate the design committee, if you want to build 100 stories high, go ahead, here's your permit.
    If you cut the permitting time to nothing, the developer doesn't have to finance his property acquisition until approvals are done, again, lowering the cost.
    Before you all freak out and squeal, I'm not advocating all of this. I just don't agree when someone says there's only a set number of ways to do anything. Everyone talks about thinking outside the box, but usually they just build a bigger box.

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    The second link posted by zims23 above is interesting.

    The biggest gripe of neighbourhood residents seems to be that there is no mechanism for "the community" to appeal wide lot subdivision applications.

    That's because City Council recently decided that any residential lot wider than 50' in all land use zones could be subdivided in two. Making the subdividing of wide residential lots subject to appeal completely defeats and undermines the clearly intended purpose of Council's decision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph60 View Post
    As far as whether we have un-restricted building, look at Villeneuve.
    We could declare all of the core an anything goes area. Cut the red tape, eliminate the design committee, if you want to build 100 stories high, go ahead, here's your permit.
    I think that was Houston's model.

  21. #21

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    ^its basically Edmonton's model downtown, you can DC2 almost anything, but you have lots of buracracy to jump through first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by East McCauley View Post
    The second link posted by zims23 above is interesting.

    The biggest gripe of neighbourhood residents seems to be that there is no mechanism for "the community" to appeal wide lot subdivision applications.

    That's because City Council recently decided that any residential lot wider than 50' in all land use zones could be subdivided in two. Making the subdividing of wide residential lots subject to appeal completely defeats and undermines the clearly intended purpose of Council's decision.
    if "the community" is really serious about not wanting small lot subdivisions, they don't need to rely on the city to give them that (or not to take that away).

    as a group, any community is free to execute restrictive covenant agreements registerable at land titles, that say "these lots in this community will not be subdivided".

    if you and your neighbors don't want small lots on your street or in your community, don't whine to the city - simply agree not to create them and make that agreement enforceable.

    and if you and your neighbors aren't prepared to make that commitment, why should you expect the city to enforce that on others for you?
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  23. #23

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    As kcantor mentioned it's an interesting debate. I am pro-infill but anti-subdivision within the Westbrook area. Aspen Gardens less so because you could increase the density in there. But Westbrook, Fairway and Marlboro would look very odd with skinny homes and duplexes in there.

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    ^Agreed. Westbrook lot sizes are so huge it would be wasteful to only build skinny houses or duplexes. Permanent supportive housing would be a much better land use.

  25. #25

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    Not yet any of these signs in Highlands, which surprises me, as there has been quite an uproar in certain blocks on infill. I know that a group was formed to protest 1 particular plan for lot splitting on a property just off Ada Boulevard last year. In that instance it was splitting a 66 foot lot to create 2 modern skinny houses.

  26. #26

    Default Highlands

    Did that subdivision in the Highlands go through?

    I think you can order signs through this site:
    http://edmontonlotsubdivision.com/

    According to the website, it looks like there has been a legal case filed against a subdivision in Westbrook.

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    A 23 foot wide house isn't really a 'skinny house' is it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zims23 View Post
    Did that subdivision in the Highlands go through?

    I think you can order signs through this site:
    http://edmontonlotsubdivision.com/

    According to the website, it looks like there has been a legal case filed against a subdivision in Westbrook.
    All is quiet....there has been no activity for almost a year. I would not be surprised if the Westbrook suit is repeated in Highlands....

  29. #29

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    Rio Terrace residents are standing up for their community as well. Nice to see community members involved in their neighborhood.

    http://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/video?cli...ylistPageNum=1

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    mhmmm. Standing up for their community. Wouldn't it be a tragedy if one of your 40' lots was turned into 2 20' lots.

  31. #31

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    i don't see how this house


    would be any worse for the neighbourhood or bring any increased crime etc compared to the type of stock it replaces...



    seriously, in one version, you have an older home for $450k worth of tax base. in the other, you have 2 homes with $700k tax base each.

    my wife and I want a SFH, close to the core, and an infill property is the only way we will be able to afford something that actually appeals to us. and there are many other families like ours, so the market demand will definitely be there.

    if we want infill, we need to accept that the built form of the past is not necessarily the best built form for the present or the future.
    Last edited by kgb81; 18-03-2016 at 10:59 AM.

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    ^^Under the new infill policy adopted by Council last year for RF1, the lot would have to be a minimum of 50 feet wide in order to be subdivided into two.

    This new policy was hotly debated for many months both at City Hall and on discussion forums such as this one. When a decision was finally made, Council's intent was clear. This is a City-wide policy. Allowing neighbourhoods to opt out would quickly unravel the entire policy.
    Last edited by East McCauley; 18-03-2016 at 11:04 AM.

  33. #33

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    City Councillors are now suggesting to neighborhoods they should implement restrictive covenants on properties. It sounds like this is currently in the works for some communities. This blanket (easiest) approach taken by the city might actually make this works for them in the future.

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    ^This is my understanding.

    Registering a restrictive covenant against subdivision of your own property is not binding on any adjoining properties without such covenants. So even if half the property owners in a given neighbourhood followed through and registered restrictive covenants on their properties, the other 50% of the lots could still be subdivided.

    This is different than the historic restrictive covenants (like the 1911 Carruthers caveat in Glenora) where the covenant was registered against all land titles by the developer at the time of initial subdivision.

  35. #35

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    more news. Lot Subdivision is impacting more communities.

    http://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/video?cli...ylistPageNum=1

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    I don't know, I mean it sounds like they don't really have a reason for not wanting it. It's essentially "infill is good, but we don't it here. I bought my house for a lot of money and worked hard to get here, therefore others shouldn't have that opportunity for a potentially lower price." Pretty selfish if you asked me.

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    There is a big difference between Infill and Lot Subdivision.

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    Not really. Without lot subdivision its guaranteed that the house you build will be more expensive. Original house+new build costs. It would not be sustainable for every infill house to cost 800,000+ dollars. The only way to infill while keeping similar house prices is subdivision.

  39. #39

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    ^I agree, I'm a big believer in subdivision. I honestly don't think there is much housing in Edmonton that is so amazing, that it shouldn't be sub dividable. For example, much of Glenora has no real architectural merit, even the stuff in Alexander Circle. Additionally, if we really care about the environment, removing poor efficiency homes and replacing them with the latest technology makes a lot of sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seamusmcduffs View Post
    Not really. Without lot subdivision its guaranteed that the house you build will be more expensive. Original house+new build costs. It would not be sustainable for every infill house to cost 800,000+ dollars. The only way to infill while keeping similar house prices is subdivision.
    Or allow secondary, garage or garden suites in more places. How about more duplexes, row.
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanO View Post
    Or allow secondary, garage or garden suites in more places. How about more duplexes, row.
    I like duplexs and row, but its a harder sell in many old suburban locations. I do think row makes a lot of sense for arterials.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IanO View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seamusmcduffs View Post
    Not really. Without lot subdivision its guaranteed that the house you build will be more expensive. Original house+new build costs. It would not be sustainable for every infill house to cost 800,000+ dollars. The only way to infill while keeping similar house prices is subdivision.
    Or allow secondary, garage or garden suites in more places. How about more duplexes, row.
    Yeah that too. I shouldn't have said only. But when you subdivide and put two skinny homes, they often have at least as much square footage as the bungalow that was there before, so I think it's a much more attractive option for a lot of people. Being detached is also a big selling point.

    I agree we should have a lot more row and duplexes though, but right now I think their is a bit of a stigma against them.

  43. #43

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    The city has stopped talking up the affordability lately. These lots and homes are usually far from affordable. I do not see how taking a $450k home and splitting for two $800k home is affordability. There are a lot more buyers at $450k price point.

    Knocking down a perfectly good 1200 sq ft home to built 2 2k sq ft skinnies is not great environmentally either. The energy it takes for the demolition, new contruction and filling up the landfill far exceeds the benefits of a more efficient larger house.

    Infill in neighborhoods where the housing stock is in need of replacement should be looked for row housing and other options. Especially if close to downtown. What we are seeing now is developers favoring premier neighborhoods because that is where the big money can be made. This is actually hurting the hoods that need development and hurting the premier hoods that were doing just fine before the city messed with everything.

  44. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by zims23 View Post
    Knocking down a perfectly good 1200 sq ft home to built 2 2k sq ft skinnies is not great environmentally either. The energy it takes for the demolition, new contruction and filling up the landfill far exceeds the benefits of a more efficient larger house.
    I disagree. You increase the density of the land (twice as many families), and you probably even combined over two houses, have lower gas usage versus the old one.

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    ^^There are a lot of questionable assumptions in your comment.

    What may look like a "perfectly good" house from the outside may well have structural issues, and/or plumbing, electrical, furnaces, insulation, windows, doors or drains that need replacing (this list is by no means exhaustive).

    The "premier" neighbourhoods raising the biggest stink about the new City-wide infill policy have housing stock that is in many cases 50 years or older. Not all houses there are in immaculate condition. In many cases, it is more economical to replace the existing single house with two new homes on the extra wide lots.

    Developers also have to pay a lot more money to buy a tear down in a so called premier neighbourhood. It's not a question of developers favouring these neighbourhoods. It's just that they were blocked from subdividing wide lots in these neighbourhoods until City Council decided last year to allow it in all land use zones including RF1.

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