Pork Chop Lots Could Be The Future Of Infill Development

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

There has been quite a lot of debate in the city about infill development, specific towards skinny houses. Residents of Edmonton either love or hate them. Regardless of where you may stand on the topic of skinny houses, a new compromise has been proposed in the city to develop what are known as “Pork Chop” lots. These lots are different from skinny house lots as lots are not split down the middle but rather remain front to back lots. They are given the name pork chop lots because of the layout of the properties – a house in the front with an accessible garage unit in the back that can be accessed through either a back alley or the front of the house. In other markets, these lots are known as carriage properties.

pork-chop-lotThis type of development appeals to the market of people who may want to downsize their property without having to actually leave or complete bulldoze their existing home in order to accomodate two seperate properties. The garage unit in the back can also double as a rental property that is able to produce extra income for homeowners. The benefit of having a rental property that is not attached to your existing home is the ability to have some privacy and seperation between you and your tennant.

The concept of Pork Chop lots comes from Denmark and members of the City Council are proud that our city has finally caught up to this trend that is common in markets such as Toronto and Kelowna. Supporters of the Pork Chop lot initiative are excited about the diversity that such a design can bring to a neighbourhood allowing families or seniors to stay in the front homes and have seniors or singles living in the garage rental units. City Councilors are thrilled about this concept because it allows the property owner to have a larger home in the front with a smaller home in the back which is not possible with a skinny house.

The City of Edmonton is entering it’s second phase of it’s infill development program and it’s goal is to have infill housing to consist of 25% of all new housing initiatives in the city. There will be public meetings to discuss this phase of the program that will commence in March of this year.

We, at Plex Developments, are proud of provide the highest quality and service when it comes to infill development in the City of Edmonton. Please contact us at 587-745-1322 for all your inquiries.

Plex Developments

14308 97A Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5N 0E9

(587) 745 – 1322

http://plexdevelopments.ca/

Plans Aim To Turn Edmonton Into An Urban Environment That Thrives In Winter

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Plans Aim To Turn Edmonton Into An Urban Environment That Thrives In Winter

Edmonton city council just approved some winter design recommendations that are aimed at creating thriving urban environments during the winter season. The recommendations place emphasis on adding podiums, balconies, and trees to tall buildings with the intentions of slowing down the wind. Focus has also been placed on raising crosswalks to keep pedestrians from the snow, planting evergreen trees to slow wind speed in walking trails and parks, and designing south-facing seating areas to create maximum sun exposure.

All of these guidelines have objectives that can be summed up into five core goals – block the wind, create maximum sun exposure, add color to the winter landscape, create some visual appeal in winter light, and build infrastructure that supports comfort during wintertime.

plex-12-29-image

Ben Henderson, a member of the Edmonton City Council, already acknowledges that Edmonton has played a role in creating hostile micro-environments for the city’s inhabitants. North-facing patios and downtown wind tunnels have been viewed as not good enough in creating a thriving environment in which people can enjoy their city, especially during the winter. Meanwhile, some of the city’s winter design policies have already been incorporated into the city’s Design and Construction Standards. These include guidelines on how tree planting should take place within various parts of Edmonton – evergreen trees planted for the intentions of blocking and dispersing cold winds, while deciduous trees are put in place to allow in light once their leaves wither.

Edmonton’s development officers are asking for studies of the tall buildings in relation to the wind found in current standards. The Edmonton Journal provides insight that there is very little outlined on the acceptable level of wind-related tunnel effect, and there is also no direct link between the developers’ rights to construct high structures and the need to soften wind impact, in particular for pedestrians. The new building guidelines also incorporate beauty, and under this directive, buildings are supposed to have colorful paintings and creative lighting. The beauty directive goes further to add that buildings’ trails should be softer and have glare-free lighting that enhances the area.

Before the recommended guidelines get council approval, Sue Holdsworth, the city’s winter city coordinator, notes that it will be a challenge to turn the guidelines into bylaws and enforce their implementation in private practice. Ms. Holdsworth therefore holds that the guidelines are meaningless if they are just left on the council shelves and not acted upon.

Rick Preston, Edmonton’s executive director of the Urban Development Institute, has suggested that the city council come up with a plan that establishes a point of contact among the developers who would love to experiment with the new guidelines. Further, he added that the upcoming Winter Cities conference, which will be held in Edmonton in February, should help the private and public planners navigate through the new design suggestions. There is hope that planners come up with feasible means to make the city a thriving urban environment during winter.

 

Plex Developments

14308 97A Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5N 0E9

(587) 745 – 1322

http://plexdevelopments.ca/

Preparing To Own Your First Home?

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Preparing To Own Your First Home?

Are you presently renting? Then you may have a dream to own a house of your own. A space in which you can decorate and furnish according to your wishes. Owning a house could help you settle down and stabilize in a comfortable, welcoming neighborhood. However, this decision is quite serious and you may be uncertain whether you are ready to move from renting to owning a home. Maybe you haven’t started saving yet! Thanks to the low mortgage rates these days and the flexible requirements for down payments, your first home may already be within your reach.

12-15-plex-image

There are many reasons why you may want to own a house. It could be you are getting married, moving somewhere for a new job, leaving your parents’ home or even having children. Owning a house helps you feel at home and establish yourself in a good neighborhood. In addition, buying your own house can be a smart investment. It could provide you with a substantial return in the long run. Considering the value of Canadian homes is increasing quite steadily, invest in one as early as possible. You can redirect the money that you are paying as rent into your down payment or mortgage.

Another important thing about moving from renting to owning is that there is an advantage in terms of taxes for purchasing a house. When you sell your home for more than what you actually paid for it due to the increase in value, this becomes your tax-free income. You do not have to pay any tax to the government for that. If you are selling your home at a price that is 25% more than what you paid, then the entire profit will go straight in your pocket. At the end of the day what matters more than the investment value is the joy and pleasure of owning your own house and enjoying your privacy. You will have peace of mind. The best time to stop renting and instead buy your own house is when you are ready to invest that amount.

Keep in mind that the amount of your mortgage payment will vary from one house to the next. In order to calculate the prevailing mortgage rate, you can use a reliable mortgage calculator online. It will help you easily obtain an estimation of the amount. Also, depending on the amount of your down payment, you have options. You can opt for a low mortgage payment if you pay less than 20% as a down payment for your house. In addition to a low down payment, you will need to have mortgage default insurance, but this can be either added to the amount you borrow or paid right away.

 

Plex Developments

14308 97A Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5N 0E9

(587) 745 – 1322

http://plexdevelopments.ca/

Inaugural Design Competition Brings Fresh Ideas

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Inaugural Edmonton Infill Design Competition Brings Fresh Ideas

In its first annual Edmonton Infill Design competition, creative designers and architects came up with many innovative thoughts and ideas. The competition had eighty-two entries from all over the world. This entry number appears to indicate that there is a plan for development and growth in the Edmonton area as many participants were curious and excited about entering.

One of the striking entries of this completion was named Inclination. Kennedy Create presented it and it was awarded in the Open category as a Merit. The project was presented as being on semi-private community space with a summer/winter feature as a winter ice slide with a route for rainwater.

12-8-plex-image

The goal is for infill housing to be something different but in a good way. It can be something where parents have a secure place for their kids’ fun and enjoyment while creating some sweet memories. You could say that some of the city’s lots are very cookie cutter, so the motive is to create some grey area outside of the norm. The ice slide was both unique and appealing to families. This is in the first stages, and they are looking into different aspects, like the cost and clients’ opinions to convert the ideas into reality.

The city reports any space that is fifty feet and larger has the possibility of being divided. Though it was meant to be a welcoming step, it did not impress everyone. Once people saw the community shift a bit, they appeared to be worried. Infill design has not received as much appreciation until recently. The problem is not with the infill design; it could be a problem with the designers. The city has many things to be inspired by, and it is the responsibility of the designers to do justice with their infill creations.

 

Plex Developments

14308 97A Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5N 0E9

(587) 745 – 1322

http://plexdevelopments.ca/

Establishment Of A New Team To Combat Infill Rule-Breaking In Edmonton

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Establishment Of A New Team To Combat Infill Rule-Breaking In Edmonton

The establishment of an infill police unit in the city of Edmonton has been welcomed to step forward in combating development rule-breakers. This has left many at city hall anxious to see how this will help rid unlicensed and unsafe projects in the city.

For a long time, city hall has been working on proper building and construction policies that enhance residents’ welfare. Infill development has thus been a primary concern at city hall especially when it is considered that previous years witnessed cases of rule-breakers walking free due to lack of enforcement capabilities. It was until last year that the council, through the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues, received a list of problems in the development sector. It was revealed that lots of systemic issues have been affecting the city, such as poor drainage systems, unfenced excavation sites, mountains of dirt and even cases of foundation holes creeping passed property lines.

11-18-plex-image

The infill police unit is thus a step to curb such problems by ensuring builders are abiding by the law for the good of those who live here. It is thus a common thing to see police officers like Darren Anderson driving around in trucks with safety code inspectors who help prevent builders from breaking set rules. They are also tasked with ensuring that building sites are fenced and clean enough with no harm to boulevard trees.

One officer revealed that most of the building sites visited were due to complaints from concerned neighbors. However, the officers also check records to evaluate construction projects going on throughout the city. The Edmonton infill police has thus fined more than 100 builders and warned another 400 since their operations took shape in July. The unit has visited 300 properties and helped prevent progression of dangerous projects.

Records show that the unit spotted over 60 infill properties where the builders had no permit or were not operating within the stated regulations in the permit. However, the team has identified lack of knowledge on safety concerns as a reason for occurrence of most of these cases. As the director of development and zoning in Edmonton, Livia Balone puts it, most of the team’s efforts are to educate property owners and builders on what is required.

The establishment of the special team came as a response to problem builders who even work at night as expressed by neighborhoods in the city. The main aim of the team is to carry out inspections and ascertain that builder work is within the law for the good of Edmonton residents. It remains to be seen how effective this new approach will help in the next few years.

 

Plex Developments

14308 97A Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5N 0E9

(587) 745 – 1322

http://plexdevelopments.ca/

New Building Codes Bring Differing Opinions

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

New Building Codes Bring Differing Opinions

Newly constructed glass towers and condos may soon become a thing of the past. The government of Alberta may be adopting multiple changes for building codes in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The new provincial building codes that are supposed to come into effect November 1st will improve heating and lighting and energy efficiency for windows, building envelopes, and air conditioning to minimize greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible.

11-1-plex-image

The CEO of Westrich Pacific Corporation was not at all impressed upon hearing the new building codes even though they are exempt from the changes because of the permit being before November 1st. David Sanche, the CEO of Westrich, mentioned that building glass towers that are tall may now be nearly impossible.

The changes that are being enforced now have to be seen as a welcome step to meet the current national energy efficiency standards. Even though the plan was proposed earlier, Alberta had not thought about adopting it previously.

Sanche also mentioned how discouraging this implementation would be to other developers. While this may be true to some extent, developers like UrbanAge Homes are already a step ahead and exceeding the required standards.

Richard Nault, the operations manager of UrbanAge Homes, said that they’re not concerned with the new building codes at all. In fact, he went on to say this is a welcome step that would raise the bar for the construction industry and result in better quality developments.

Nault further added that new technologies in the world of automobiles have significantly improved how people drive. He believes it also makes sense that the housing industry evolve with time as well.

 

Plex Developments

14308 97A Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5N 0E9

(587) 745 – 1322

http://plexdevelopments.ca/

Winners Of Edmonton Infill Design Competition Announced

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Winners Of Edmonton Infill Design Competition Announced

Edmonton is undergoing a transformation. As one of the few municipalities in the Alberta province that continues to experience population growth, there is an increasing demand for infill. Earlier this month, the city of Edmonton launched the first ever Edmonton Infill Design Competition in a bid to encourage more progressive ideas about infill in this city.

After weeks of submissions and voting, we finally know who the winners are. The winners of the infill design competition were announced at an awards gala on Thursday, October 20, 2016.

10-26-plex-image

Infill design is a divisive issue in the city of Edmonton, but the winners have the answer for the critics, according to the jury. The winners will be featured in the city’s print and web material in the near future. The website will include their names, jury comments and critique.

The winners were chosen for their innovation to design for numerous occupants and for environmental, social and economic sustainability. The Edmonton Infill Design Competition was intended to inspire designers and buyers to be more creative with designing infill projects, according to Councilor Scott McKeen and Councilor Bev Esslinger.

The competition is a great initiative and will promote innovation and advance the design ethic for infill development in Edmonton, according to architect Johanna Hurme. The competition is among the many initiatives the city of Edmonton is working on to help promote more innovative infill in the city.

The competition began in the spring and required participants to abide by design rules for mature neighborhoods. After receiving over 80 submissions from across the country, 18 participants were shortlisted for different categories, including student awards and the People’s Choice Award. The competition was invented by Edmonton’s Infill Roadmap — a two year work plan to advance infill in the city.

 

Plex Developments

14308 97A Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5N 0E9

(587) 745 – 1322

http://plexdevelopments.ca/

Edmonton Area Passes 30-Year Development Blueprint

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Edmonton Area Passes 30-Year Development Blueprint

After a few years of disagreements and internal squabbles, the Capital Region Board (CRB) has put pen to paper on a development plan that factors in all the municipalities in Edmonton Metro over the next 30 years. The landmark agreement will ensure that new homes and real estate enterprises are built around points of transit and that havens of agriculture are preserved and even bolstered. The board is now bound to create a list of agricultural areas that will come under preservation and make rules for the residential plans set to be executed over the next three decades.

10-18-plex-image

There is a belief that the sources of income in the area are not exactly diversifying at the moment, which raises a need for approaches that look forward 30 to 50 years. In addition to that, the Edmonton area currently has around 1.1 million people, and this figure is projected to double by 2044. The thinking here is that by the time the 2040 rolls around, there will be enough dense suburbs for people to live in, find food and land productive jobs. The projection is that this plan will cut back on the annexation of land and save the authorities billions of dollars in costs related to development as well as general infrastructure.

While this plan has passed the test, there are still voices of dissent. The CRB has 24 members in its roundtable, and 22 voted for the project. Those who oppose it see it as not really keeping up with the needs of the people or staying within the confines of economic logic. Mayor John Whaley of Leduc County voted against the proposal because according to him, it did not factor in the agricultural area on the southern point of Edmonton. Also, Parkland County Mayor Rod Shaigec was instructed by his council not to agree to the plan.

The mandate of this project seems capped by the budget at the moment, and most members of the CRB indicate that they intend to move at a steady pace from the get go. The argument is that there is no need to introduce discussion involving the expansion of the mandate at the moment because such a decision is still way off.

Those who support the 30-year plan hail it as the gold standard for economic prosperity in the region. They believe it will protect agricultural areas that are not under immediate risk of encroachment but could come under that bracket in the future.

Plex Developments

14308 97A Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5N 0E9

(587) 745 – 1322

http://plexdevelopments.ca/