City of Regina
Saskatchewan CA

RPC Public Report.
RPC20-3

15-OCP-03 Proposed Yards Neighbourhood Plan

Information

Department:Planning & Development ServicesSponsors:
Category:Not Applicable

Report Body

ISSUE

The application proposes to amend the Design Regina: The Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 2013-48 (OCP) by adding Yards Neighbourhood Plan as Part B.18 to the OCP. The Yards Neighbourhood Plan sets the policy framework for subsequent planning endeavours, including a concept plan, rezoning, subdivision, as well as public investments.

 

The proposal supports the goals of Design Regina: The Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 2013-48 (OCP).


IMPACTS

Policy / Strategic Impact 

 

The recommendations support OCP goals by providing opportunities for a full range of mixed use: residential, commercial, institution and civic activities and supporting intensification, development of a complete neighbourhood as well as maintaining and enhancing the City Centre as the primary civic and cultural hub.

 

The Regina Revitalization Initiative (RRI) integrates the former intermodal lands into the City Centre by adding an estimated population of 2,500 new residents to achieve the OCPs target population of at least 10,000 new residents within the City Centre as outlined in OCP Policies 7.8.2 and Map 1 Growth Plan. Additionally, the RRI also incorporates vision and principles approved in the report CR11-99 approved by the City Council on August 22, 2011 which recommends that Over the next 10 – 15 years, the Regina Revitalization initiative will realize a generational opportunity to revitalize the heart of our city by converting industrial and underused lands into a vibrant and energetic residential, commercial and retail development.

 

Financial

 

Future application for concept plan and subsequent development permit will require demonstration of servicing implication and costs of any additional infrastructure or changes to existing infrastructure that may be required to directly or indirectly support the development, in accordance with City of Regina (City) standards and applicable legal requirements. The municipal infrastructure that is built and funded by the developers will become the City’s responsibility to operate and maintain through future budgets.

 

Environmental

 

The policies within the proposed Yards Neighbourhood Plan require that further environmental, geotechnical and quantitative risk analysis be submitted for review prior to concept plan, rezoning and development permit approval. A noise and vibration study has been submitted with recommendations to mitigate the impact of rail facilities on adjacent future land uses. The proposed Yards Neighbourhood Plan incorporates the recommendations of the study by including the policy for landscape buffer and setback requirements for building from the property line adjacent railway line.

 

OTHER OPTIONS

Administration recommends approval of Yards Neighbourhood Plan.

 

There are two alternative options to the recommendation of approval:

 

1.      Deny the proposal Development will not occur on the subject property if City Council denies the application. Administration would be required to draft and submit a new plan for City Council’s approval before the site may be developed.

 

2.      Refer the proposal back to the Administration. If City Council has specific concerns with the proposal it may refer back to the Administration for further review. Referral of the report back to the Administration will delay approval of the Yards Neighbourhood Plan until requested information has been gathered or changes to the proposal have been made. This would result in delay of approval depending on the scale and nature of the request.

 

COMMUNICATIONS

The applicant and other interested parties will receive a copy of the report and notification of the meeting to appear as a delegation, in addition to receiving written notification of the Councils decision.

 

DISCUSSION

As a part of the RRI, the City of Reginas Land and Real Estate Management Department has applied to amend the OCP by adding Yards Neighbourhood Plan as Part B.18 to the OCP. This Plan will guide redevelopment and transformation of a portion of the former Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) intermodal yard, along with redevelopment of Dewdney Avenue between Albert and Broad Streets and addresses opportunities to connect Downtown to the Warehouse District. This Plan provides the policy framework to consider more detailed planning endeavors to realize the Plan, including a concept plan, zoning regulations, subdivision and development approvals, as well as capital improvements. The proposed Yards Neighbourhood Plan provides a strategy and flexibility to accommodate mix of residential, commercial, open space, sports and recreational and institutional development within an urban and walkable environment.

 

The process to develop this Yards Neighbourhood Plan has included an analysis of servicing potential. The proposed transportation network can accommodate projected traffic. The future concept plan shall demonstrate servicing capacity and, that the development can proceed without having a significant impact on existing water and wastewater service levels.

 

The Yards Neighbourhood Plan has been prepared in conformity with the City’s requirements for stakeholder engagement and analysis, and generally aligns with the OCP. Letters were mailed out to property owners in the vicinity, and a public open house was held for the public to participate and provide comments and feedback.  Regina Warehouse and Downtown Business Improvement Districts were engaged. A more detailed accounting of the respondent’s comments and Administration’s response is provided in Appendix B.

 

Land-use and Built Form Overview

 

The Plan Area consists of 26 hectares (64 acres) on land, bordered by Albert Street to the west, Dewdney Avenue to the north, Broad Street to the east and the CPR mainline to the south, as shown in Appendix A-1. Policy areas A, B, C, and D are identified within the Plan Area as shown on Appendix A-2. Area A consists of existing commercial development, which is largely built out, but has potential for intensification. The existing development will be allowed continue; however, any new developments shall conform to the policies within this Plan. The balance of the site identified as Areas B, C and D, occupies seven hectares (17 acres) of land, and consists primarily of the (former) railyard site, which is vacant. Area B within the railyard site allows for flexibility to be developed as recreational, sports entertainment facilities and/or convention centre or any other compatible land-uses including mixed use residential and commercial in the future. Area C and D allows for the development of parks and mixed-use residential and commercial development. A copy of the “Yards Neighbourhood” land-use map is attached to this report as Appendix A-

 

A primary objective of this Plan is to ensure that the built form transitions from the Downtown to the Warehouse District and that appropriate interface design is established. As such, this Plan requires that taller buildings be located along the south side of the Plan Area and adjacent to the pedestrian bridge and park. This is intended to ensure that buildings support an active public realm and appropriate transitions between building heights and massing (Appendix A-6). The Plan requires that any future developments along Dewdney Avenue shall confirm to height and massing guidelines set forth in this Plan and be further enhanced through a Direct Control District zoning regulation which can set specific design and development criteria to this site.

 

Mixed use residential and commercial development

 

The majority of the lands within the Plan Area are identified as the railyard site as outlined in the land use map [(Area B, C & D) Appendix A-2] accommodating future mixed-use development, including multi residential development. This Plan prohibits large format commercial, commercial uses that require large areas of outdoor storage and outdoor manufacturing, drive-thru restaurants, gas stations, and industrial uses. This Plan advances the goal of reaching a future residential population of up to 2,500 within the Regina Revitalization Initiative (RRI) lands as outlined in OCP Map 1 – Growth Map.

 

Railway Proximity

 

The applicant submitted a noise and vibration study for review and, based on that report, this Plan identifies the need to set specific parameters and policies to mitigate any risks associated with railway proximity. The Plan outlines the requirement of a safety buffer by having 30-meter setback from the south property line along the main track running east-west and 15-meter setback from the property line along the north-south line as a requirement for all building excluding accessory use or non occupancy building such as parkades. The landscape buffer shall be built as a combination of an earthen berm and sound attenuation fence within the setback for any residential development near the railway lines (Appendix A-3). This is aligned with Federation of Canadian Municipalities and Railway Association of Canada guidelines for the land uses in proximity to rail corridor.

 

The main purpose of the berm and the fence is to act as a safety buffer and mitigate any noise and vibration being generated by the moving locomotive. The Plan also requires that any landscape buffer shall be built in accordance with the recommendation provided by the noise and vibration study.

 

Parks and Open Space

 

Specific details of the Parks and Open Space will generally be identified through the concept plan process. However, the Yards Neighbourhood Plan provides general direction respecting major features such as landscaped green space, plazas or as a combination thereof and landscape buffers along the railway corridor (Appendix A-3).

Transportation and Circulation

 

Major components of the transportation and circulation system will include redevelopment of Dewdney Avenue to match the intended urban form by enhancing pedestrian oriented urban development. It will form a core component of the transportation system to a multi-modal landscaped boulevard that accommodates pedestrians, cyclists, transit and vehicles (Appendix A-5); a pedestrian bridge crossing the CPR corridor will also form a core component of the transportation system and public realm, linking the Downtown to the Plan Area; enhanced Albert Street and Broad Street underpasses; and an internal street network. The Plan provides high-level direction for the internal streets only, as the detailed solution will be identified through an approved concept plan (Appendix A-4).

 

Implementation

 

This Plan provides high-level policy direction for the growth, development and servicing of the Plan Area, as well as direction for more detailed planning and engineering work. Prior to development occurring, a concept plan must be prepared and approved by the City Council, followed by rezoning. The concept plan and zoning designation must be in conformity with this Plan.

 

Additionally, the Plan also outlines further requirements in regard to any environmental risks as well as complete quantitative risk assessment to mitigate any risks associated with the Railway site prior to approval any concept plan(s).

 

Administration recommends approving the application based on the following rationale:

 

1.      The proposed Plan is consistent with the OCP.

 

2.      The proposed Plan Area is well positioned for a mixed-use residential and commercial development due to its proximity to downtown Regina and will provide opportunities to materialize RRI visions and principles.

 

DECISION HISTORY

Amendments to the OCP require City Council’s approval, in accordance with Part IV of The Planning and Development Act, 2007. Ministerial approval is required before amendments to the OCP come into force.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Respectfully submitted,

Fred Searle, Director

Planning & Development Services

Diana Hawryluk, Executive Director

City Planning & Community Development

 

Prepared by: Binod Poudyal, City Planner II