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Thread: Oliver land swap and high-rise

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    Default Oliver land swap and high-rise

    Abbey Lane proposal/swap for the former St.John's school site and former OCL site. (104ave/118st)


    https://www.edmonton.ca/residential_...ohnsschoolsite
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    It is acceptable size, but that has to be cleaned up. Interesting negotiation nevertheless.
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    Definitely have some mixed feelings about losing park space (even if replaced by the swap), but I like seeing actual density on 104 Ave. Will be interesting to see how this plays out.
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    I like the idea and prefer placing a new park in the middle versus along 104ave.
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    I'm also for this land swap. It will make a nice extension to the existing community garden at 120 st and 103 ave. Since OCL had to demo their existing building anyway, it should make for a great new hub; community league building, gardens and park space.

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    It would be nice to move some of the trees if possible.

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    I agree, some of them should be able to be moved.
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    Don't live in Oliver, so maybe shouldn't chime in - but I'd agree that a high rise versus park on 104 Ave makes sense - as long as land being swapped is turned into as nice, or even nicer park.
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    think the brewery district has had an impact drawing this sort of development?

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    ^ more likely the WLRT
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    All of the above imo. Everything is right across the steet or within walking distance for daily needs. The project look decent in a prime spot for high res. I welcone a change and development on a parcel of grass that I didn't even know was a park.
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    It's a very good location as is with access to shopping across the street, walkable to 124st, easy into Downtown. With the WLRT that would be hard to beat in Oliver excluding river valley views.

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    Will be a good location in relation to the LRT if there is a station close enough to the building.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    it is directly across the street from a future planned station.
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    I like the swap. Having the area's park/playground space more in the centre of the neighbourhood (between Jasper & 104 Ave) makes sense to me. Any park/playground area attracting kids right next to an LRT stop strikes me as potentially problematic / future issues.

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    Swap is a terrible idea for the community. There are literally kilometres of sites along 104 ave that could accommodate similar development that aren’t public parks. City owns an entire contiguous block on this site and would be giving that up for I’m not sure what exactly in return. The whole proposal is a result of developer fearmonger tactics and it is insane it has got this far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bleppers View Post
    Swap is a terrible idea for the community. There are literally kilometres of sites along 104 ave that could accommodate similar development that aren’t public parks. City owns an entire contiguous block on this site and would be giving that up for I’m not sure what exactly in return. The whole proposal is a result of developer fearmonger tactics and it is insane it has got this far.
    Unfortunately I would have to disagree. This swap makes a lot of sense for many reasons provided above.

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    ^yup. Agreed. But essentially hastens the closure of Oliver’s outdoor pool. I wonder if we might get a new outdoor pool somewhere to replace it. And the arena is still open, yes? Cause that too would be on the chopping block obviously. My understanding is the new downtown community rink hasn’t been as available to public and MacEwan university as first promised, so I worry this will limit central. ice surface availability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    But essentially hastens the closure of Oliver’s outdoor pool. I wonder if we might get a new outdoor pool somewhere to replace it. And the arena is still open, yes? Cause that too would be on the chopping block obviously.
    The pool and arena are on the western half of the block and don't necessarily need to be closed/chopped. I am basing that on my understanding from the renderings, etc.

    The city website actually says... "...the northeast corner of 104 Avenue NW and 118 Street NW to allow for a high-rise residential tower" which would put it across 104 Ave in the Oliver Square / Brewery District or whatever.

    I think they meant to say the site is on the northeast corner of the subject BLOCK rather than the intersection.

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    i think it will go through at council. having a tower on 104 is good for TOD and there will be less shadow casting upon residential. a new park off 104 and not on a street that connects to the strip mall, will be quieter and friendlier as well. overall this is a good swap as the city gets a bigger chunk of land in return. kinda sad because oliver park has been there for so long but i think it's a good trade. more high density dev in a central area, and more park space in return.

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    I've lived in the area for about 12 years and I think it's a good trade. Oliver Park has only ever seemed to be a "park" in name only. I mostly thought of it as a place for the arena to dump Zamboni scrapings. Moving it next to the community garden would make it a good complement to the garden, and away from a high-volume traffic route that's going to become a construction zone before becoming a high-volume mash-up of traffic.
    I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

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    ^ agree completely. I am also a long time Oliver resident I can't fathom the OCL decision on this. I pass by this "park" on an almost daily basis and in the summer it is hardly used. Parents go out of their way to take the kids to Kitchener park for the water feature or Oliver school for the playground. Who would want to relax right next to 104 Ave.?

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    The OCL of 2019 is clearly not the OCL of 2009 (or when Jarrett Campbell was in charge).
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    ...for record, JC is not in support of the land swap and supportive of the OCL's position.
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    So Jarrett would rather have the park right beside a major thoroughfare instead of a quiet insular part of the neighborhood?
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    My understanding is they want the city to buy the property south of the community garden and have both parks.
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    ^I am quite certain it is south of the community garden. One of the reason to not build there is because of the shading issues.
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    ^You're right, I was upside-down. I deleted my post.
    I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    So Jarrett would rather have the park right beside a major thoroughfare instead of a quiet insular part of the neighborhood?
    This is a false dichotomy. One of the many great things about the Oliver Park site is that 3 of its 4 sides face relatively low traffic streets. So, it could allow for a playground, but could also allow for many other things. This is in stark contrast to the site south of the garden, which has a much more narrow range of uses, and is thus much less valuable to the community.

    I'd also note the Oliver Park site has had a playground for as long as I can remember (at least 15 years, probably longer) and I have yet to read any news stories about children playing in the park deciding to spontaneously sprint into oncoming traffic on 104 ave.

    This "land swap" is a cynical developer shakedown, from the which the community stands to benefit nothing. There are literally dozens of other sites along 104 ave that could house this development and for some reason people think it's a good idea to put it on the one single site that's publicly held? It makes absolutely zero sense. It narrows the possibilities of future community amenities in exchange for... a condo tower built by a suburban developer. That people are even considering this as a good idea is completely baffling to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenco View Post
    ^I am quite certain it is south of the community garden. One of the reason to not build there is because of the shading issues.
    People keep forgetting that the site south of the garden isn't currently zoned for high-rise development. (This however didn't stop the developer from releasing a bunch of renderings showing a tower designed to cast as much shade as possible on the community garden in an obvious and cynical ploy to drum up fear in the community and thus generate support for this farcical proposal).

    As an aside, this is one of the many reasons why it's bad for council to say yes to literally every rezoning that comes across their desks. Although, as I said, the land south of the community garden isn't currently zoned for highrise development, residents can hardly be blamed for thinking that council would nonetheless approve a rezoning their given their track record.
    Last edited by bleppers; 30-01-2019 at 10:32 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bleppers View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    So Jarrett would rather have the park right beside a major thoroughfare instead of a quiet insular part of the neighborhood?
    This is a false dichotomy. One of the many great things about the Oliver Park site is that 3 of its 4 sides face relatively low traffic streets. So, it could allow for a playground, but could also allow for many other things. This is in stark contrast to the site south of the garden, which has a much more narrow range of uses, and is thus much less valuable to the community.

    I'd also note the Oliver Park site has had a playground for as long as I can remember (at least 15 years, probably longer) and I have yet to read any news stories about children playing in the park deciding to spontaneously sprint into oncoming traffic on 104 ave.


    The city has taken it upon itself to impose a 30kph zone beside every un-fence playground in the event a child does exactly that. Why not on 104 avenue?
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    It is a major artery, so I don't think that is a good idea imo.
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    The ocl was wrong not to endorse the land swap. I understand they want it all, parks in both locations... I just can’t see it.

    The peace garden needs to be protected. A high rise directly south of it would ruin it sadly. You can’t grow all the things they do in full shade...

    As for Oliver park, it’s always been a dogs breakfast, unless it’s changed there seems to be no commitment on the future of the pool and rink. A large chunk of what is perceived to be park is actually land dedicated for the ocl and a future hall and what’s is actually the park has long been over looked.

    Paul Kane and the peace garden are far more interesting spaces.

    I’m sure the swap will happen.

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    the square footage of the existing park (not counting the pool and arena) is about 150% larger than the plot of land south of the peace gardens. does anyone know if there's compensation of any sort for that inequality?

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    Quote Originally Posted by buildings View Post
    the square footage of the existing park (not counting the pool and arena) is about 150% larger than the plot of land south of the peace gardens. does anyone know if there's compensation of any sort for that inequality?
    I didn't think the development was taking all the land?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by buildings View Post
    the square footage of the existing park (not counting the pool and arena) is about 150% larger than the plot of land south of the peace gardens. does anyone know if there's compensation of any sort for that inequality?
    I didn't think the development was taking all the land?
    Its not, it’s taking a corner of the park

    See more info here

    https://www.olivercommunity.com/the-oliver-community-league-board-has-voted-against-the-proposed-land-swap-what-should-you-know/

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    I am just happy that there was a decision and things can proceed in some form...
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    When will the new Oliver Area Redevelopment Plan be done?

    Has the city even started it?

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    What a short sighted decision, I am very disappointed.
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    Absolutely the correct decision. Land swap was basically developer arbitrage, represented no net benefit to the community. Swap would have been in direct contravention to both of the active ARPs in the area. Encouraging to see some small sign of council paying any attention whatsoever to planning instead of just bending over backwards to satisfy developers.

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    Watch the peace park be plunged into near perm shade..... I’m so glad I sold the town house I owned that will abut this development. If it does go ahead those foundations will never withstand it.

    If the city won’t buy the land for additional park they should of swapped.

    The situation as is, is the worst possible one should towers be built on the old school site.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bleppers View Post
    Absolutely the correct decision. Land swap was basically developer arbitrage, represented no net benefit to the community. Swap would have been in direct contravention to both of the active ARPs in the area. Encouraging to see some small sign of council paying any attention whatsoever to planning instead of just bending over backwards to satisfy developers.
    I'm so happy for Oliver...we loved that area, its better than downtown..
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    Quote Originally Posted by H.L. View Post
    I'm so happy for Oliver...we loved that area, its better than downtown..

    I just feel like I am missing something here.

    Was the developer not proposing to restore the park space in a better location? As a parent, I would prefer my children playing at a park that is in the interior of the community instead of along an arterial road like 104th.

    Furthermore, doesn't it make sense to have the density concentrated directly adjacent to the LRT casting a shadow onto the Brewery District instead of in the middle of Oliver casting a shadow north to the rest of the existing community?

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    It wasn't really a one-to-one trade. And the current Oliver Park is the only contiguous block of AP in Oliver.

    Elise had a good review of the issue: https://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/...th-no-backbone

    There's other nuances too, like cost to replace the playground, which is valued at $500k and the City would be on the hook for.
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    As a resident, I completely side with your opinion here AUsenik. I'd rather park space be available further away from a main road, and would rather have condos closer to a future transit station. Just made too much sense to me. I'm fine with condos on the old school site too though, this was just a better option (in my opinion). As for parks in the neighborhood, I think there are plenty. With Paul Kane park, the park around Oliver School, river valley, and splash park a couple blocks west, park space is not what Oliver lacks, so I'm so surprised to hear that complaint from the Community League.

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    ^^Do you have evidence to support the claim of a $500k replacement cost for the playground? Looks similar to one that was installed about 10 years ago in Caboto Park that if memory serves came in at a fraction of that cost (maybe one-tenth).

    Had the land swap been approved, according to the Administration report recommending approval, the developer would have contributed $200,000 for play structures, benches and other amenities in the relocated park, $125,000 for public art, and a $55,000 goodwill payment to the Oliver Community League.

    I found the Council decision perplexing. Had thought it was one of those deals where the local Councillor sides with the self-appointed guardians of the neighbourhood, while the rest voted for what looks like a sensible land swap for the reasons cited by AUsenik above.

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    The City sided with the community league against the land swap, and they won. Not that I necessarily agree with it.
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    ^^^according to the City, Oliver, at 4.7 hectares of open green space per 1000 people and 1.2 hectares of municipal parkland supply per 1000 residents, has the lowest amount of park space in the entire city, so no, there is not plenty of park space for this neighborhood. Add to the fact that 90% of Oliver residents live in an apartment and therefore have no back yards to play, relax, bbq in, then the need is even greater.

    source: https://www.edmonton.ca/city_governm...ort_Stage2.pdf
    Last edited by buildings; 03-05-2019 at 07:26 PM.

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    ^Even if true, how is this relevant? The land swap would have resulted in no net loss of park space. Only the location of the park space would have changed from the edge of the neighbourhood along a major traffic artery to the interior of the neighbourhood.

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    The community league wants park space for BOTH lots.
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    Quote Originally Posted by buildings View Post
    ^^^according to the City, Oliver, at 4.7 hectares of open green space per 1000 people and 1.2 hectares of municipal parkland supply per 1000 residents has the lowest amount of park space in the entire city, so no, there is not plenty of park space for this neighborhood. Add to the fact that 90% of Oliver residents live to apartment, and therefore have no back yards to play, relax, bbq in, then the need is even greater.

    source: https://www.edmonton.ca/city_governm...ort_Stage2.pdf
    Wouldn't this be true in every city? Of course the neighborhood with the greatest density would have the least per capita. This is a poor judgement to measure appropriate parkland in, in that to be comparable to single family homes in outlying neighborhoods, there would have to be a park on every second block (or something ridiculous).

    Also this proposal doesn't change the amount of parkland in Oliver, it is a land swap.

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    Ok..... Oliver park isn’t this massive park everyone think it is.

    A) the rink and pool isn’t park space.
    B) a huge area is lease hold land for an Oliver hall.
    C) Oliver has had a plan for kinsmen park where the splash pad is... there is playground equipment there and at Oliver school. Other types of park spaces are needed

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    East McCauley. While the area was equal, the land value of the school site was half the land value of the Olive park site. That factors into it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buildings View Post
    East McCauley. While the area was equal, the land value of the school site was half the land value of the Olive park site. That factors into it.
    For a development site, yes. The opposite is true for a park. It makes you wonder if the speed limit on 104 Avenue by the park will be forced to go down to 30 km/h.
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    There is a pool, hockey rink, a chikdren's play area, and a grass field wiyh pkacemrnts of trees, so i dont resk think of it as a park. I agree with AUsenik. Why bother having a transit station by TD then? This was/is quite a puzzling decission all around imho. Residence should be near traffic artery and amenities while a park more central and calmer environment. This is a no brainer!
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    ^the existing site is still only 2-3 blocks from LRT, totally manageable.

    The bigger issue here is land valuation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by East McCauley View Post
    ^^Do you have evidence to support the claim of a $500k replacement cost for the playground? Looks similar to one that was installed about 10 years ago in Caboto Park that if memory serves came in at a fraction of that cost (maybe one-tenth).

    Had the land swap been approved, according to the Administration report recommending approval, the developer would have contributed $200,000 for play structures, benches and other amenities in the relocated park, $125,000 for public art, and a $55,000 goodwill payment to the Oliver Community League.

    I found the Council decision perplexing. Had thought it was one of those deals where the local Councillor sides with the self-appointed guardians of the neighbourhood, while the rest voted for what looks like a sensible land swap for the reasons cited by AUsenik above.

    I have built several playgrounds in my day, and $500K is a ridiculous number. $200K would have been enough to build a fantastic playground including structures, benches, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buildings View Post
    East McCauley. While the area was equal, the land value of the school site was half the land value of the Olive park site. That factors into it.
    The existing Oliver Park land has no monetary value. So how can it be twice as valuable as the school site?

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    It absolutely is... LRT, amenity, commercial.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AUsenik View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by East McCauley View Post
    ^^Do you have evidence to support the claim of a $500k replacement cost for the playground? Looks similar to one that was installed about 10 years ago in Caboto Park that if memory serves came in at a fraction of that cost (maybe one-tenth).

    Had the land swap been approved, according to the Administration report recommending approval, the developer would have contributed $200,000 for play structures, benches and other amenities in the relocated park, $125,000 for public art, and a $55,000 goodwill payment to the Oliver Community League.

    I found the Council decision perplexing. Had thought it was one of those deals where the local Councillor sides with the self-appointed guardians of the neighbourhood, while the rest voted for what looks like a sensible land swap for the reasons cited by AUsenik above.

    I have built several playgrounds in my day, and $500K is a ridiculous number. $200K would have been enough to build a fantastic playground including structures, benches, etc.
    the other $300k is for planning and consultants and reports and open houses and community consultations...
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanO View Post
    It absolutely is... LRT, amenity, commercial.
    Provide an example anywhere in Edmonton where close proximity to an LRT Station doubled the land value relative to a location 2 blocks further away?

  66. #66
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    I didn't say that it doubled, but perhaps 20-30 points.
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  67. #67
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    Intuitively I would have thought the location 2 blocks away would have jumped in value.

    Most people want to be in walking distance to LRT, commercial, etc...but a lot of people have a problem being directly adjacent to it given the extra noise, light, traffic.

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