From one of Canada’s biggest cities to the many mid-sized and smaller communities that serve urban and rural needs alike, our industry works hard to build a competitive and sustainable Edmonton Metropolitan Region that contributes mightily to the economy of our province.
Together, with industry partners, we identify issues of impact and importance to the real estate development industry and pursue tactics to shape desired outcomes. We provide timely commentary, insight, and perspectives on a range of municipal issues and initiatives. We draft position papers and reports, and share and present letters to councils and administrations.
Our Board, committees, and staff have identified ten advocacy priorities to focus our efforts:
Strategic Taxation Policy
Residential Property Tax Subclassing is the concept of charging different property tax rates for different types of residential property. In Edmonton, the “Other Residential” subclass is made up of residential properties with four or more dwelling units on a single title. This tax subclass has been in place for over 50-years and charges a 15% higher tax rate than most residential properties – and can adversely affect downtown development.
Safety Codes Permit Bylaw
The City of Edmonton is undergoing a comprehensive update to its Safety Codes Permit Bylaw. The purpose of this update is to establish the application procedures and fees for permits issued pursuant to the Safety Codes Act, the Regulations, and this bylaw.
Complete Streets Standard
The City of Edmonton’s Complete Street Design and Construction Standards were published in 2018 to consolidate various documents, including the Complete Streets Guidelines, the 2015 Roadway Design and Construction Standards, Universal Design Guidelines, and the Main Streets Guidelines. In 2023, the City of Edmonton will begin a more comprehensive update to the Complete Streets Design and Construction standards.
Land Use Bylaw Updates and Zoning Bylaw Renewal
The City of Edmonton is updating Edmonton’s Zoning Bylaw — the city’s “rulebook” for development — rethinking how, what, and why the City regulates in terms of land and development. Regionally, the city of Fort Saskatchewan, the city of Spruce Grove, the city of St. Albert, and Sturgeon County are currently at varying stages of updating their respective Land Use Bylaws.
District Plans are anticipated to serve the City of Edmonton as statutory plans to guide how collections of neighbourhoods will redevelop and change. They should detail where growth is expected to occur across 15 districts by providing more precise direction based on the land use concept outlined in The City Plan.
Growth Management Framework
The Growth Management Program is a key component of implementing The City Plan and should provide a transparent process for where, when, why, and how the city prioritizes and supports growth to enable ongoing development as the city grows to a population of 2 million. Attracting and supporting talent and investment is key to Edmonton’s success.
Right-sizing Infrastructure Standards
The land in our region is finite, and so is people’s ability to afford it. We need to be strategic in how we build on private and public lands so that we can develop livable and welcoming communities and cities. With up to 40 per cent of the land in new neighbourhoods dedicated directly to cities for public purposes, we can nearly double our collective environmental, social, and economic impact if public land management meets private sector innovation and efficiency.
Infill Servicing and Upgrades
To prompt discussion and identify concrete actions to support intensification and downtown vibrancy.
Development Costs and Charges
Development costs and charges come in many forms and there’s an ongoing risk to private industry that they continue to escalate and/or are not applied in a fair or transparent manner. It is a top priority of UDI to engage in all areas where additional municipal charges are being contemplated and to actively participate in discussions to ensure sound methodology and process is followed.
Private land development as well as public sector agencies, such as the municipalities and the province, have been facing challenges with pipeline operators whose practices relative to crossing agreements and rights-of-way are presenting impediments efficient and responsible development and redevelopment. Working through this issue collaboratively is important to enable efficient and cost-effective growth across all areas of the city and region.