In October 2012, the City of Calgary received an Outline Plan/Land Use Amendment Application to re-designate (rezone) and subdivide a 13 acre property known as “Jacques Site/or Jacques Lodge,” located North of Bow Trail, between single detached homes to the east and west. The site is owned by the Metropolitan Calgary Foundation and operated by Silvera for Seniors, a non-profit seniors housing organization that provides subsidized housing to lower income seniors throughout the city.
Currently there are approximately 55 single family units adjacent to the site. The plan calls for 890 new residential units, with a total projected population of approximately 1,165 people, up to 165,000 square feet of commercial, office and seniors support space, and to up to 400 employees arriving at the site each day. In total, redevelopment of the Jacques site would contemplate up to 1 million square feet of commercial, retail and residential use.
The rezoning was approved after almost two years of working with city planners, in an expanded role which allowed them to add some transparency around the sufficiency of the plan. Last minute concessions from Silvera regarding planned set-backs for existing homes were sufficient to allow Shaganappi community board members to speak in favour of the plan at the July public hearing. The density proposed is unchanged, but focussed more appropriately to the middle of the site.
If you are a resident adjacent, the zoning on the Jacques property adjacent to your houses is M-C2, which is medium density multi-residential, with varied building height and front setback areas that are intended to reflect the context of your houses. The MC-2 zone will be extend at least 50 metres from the property line across the lane at 26th Street, and at least 80 metres from the property line at the west side of 24th Street. Between these two M-C2 setback areas, 36 metre heights are possible in the middle of the site.
On the east and west sides of the property, building heights next to existing housing will be capped at 10 meters for 25 meters from the Jacques property line into the site (24 meters if you live on 26 Street); after which there will be a 16 meter limit total to the end of the MC-2 parcel. Jacques site buildings will need to be set back 8 meters from Bow Trail, 6 meters from the Jacques property line in the lane of 26th Street and 3 metres elsewhere on the property.
The Shaganappi ARP has some additional protections for residents adjacent to Jacques; a senior’s designation for the area in the middle of the site, a requirement for “exceptional signature architectural design” for any tall buildings at that location and landscaping requirements for the site more generally.
Also, if you are a resident of 26th Street adjacent, the November passage of the Shaganappi ARP allows for rezoning of your property to full M-C2 with a 16 metre height limit, from the previous R-C2, which restricted development to infills and duplexes to a 10 metre limit.
We do not yet fully understand the impact of rezoning at Jacques on the sale and development of the land, and the details of what will be built. However, we are hopeful that the viability of the project can be better justified by an experienced developer with specific plans at the development permit stage. Specifically, we would like to see plans to resolve significant traffic challenges and fully understand the implications of the planned re-configuration of the Sovereign Crescent hill.