On October 28, 2011, 14 community leagues were informed that the City was interested in developing the undeveloped school site in their neighbourhood for residential purposes.
Communities were informed that a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) would be advertised to generate ideas for residential uses that complemented the individual neighbourhoods and fit within the City’s strategic directions.
These 14 communities were:
- Ermineskin *
- Henderson Estates
- Kiniski Gardens (South)
- La Perle (East and West)
- Ogilvie Ridge
- Wedgewood Heights
* Upon discovery of a previous Council commitment, the Ermineskin site is no longer being considered for new residential use.
This REFI process allowed private, public, not-for-profit and community groups to submit ideas for creative residential uses on these sites.
Each of the communities included in the RFEI, as well as four key stakeholder groups (Edmonton Urban Development Institute, the Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations, the EFCL, and the Canadian Home Builders Association - Edmonton), were made aware of the RFEI.
Five other surplus school building sites were not included in this RFEI because Administration had already recommended that they be used for future seniors’ housing. These sites are:
- Blue Quill
- Bulyea Heights
- Kiniski Gardens (north)
City Administration emailed communities leagues in these five communities to inform them of this recommendation.
Thirty Submissions Received
The City received 30 submissions suggesting various types of residential uses, such as secondary suites and medium density mixed housing, but the greatest interest was in developments involving seniors’ housing. There was also interest in a range of ownership options that included rental, cooperatives and owner-occupied dwellings.
City Administration reviewed each submission and on April 20, 2012 a summary of the review was shared with the 13 communities.
Additional Seniors’ Housing Recommended
As a result of the REFI, Administration recommended to City Council that, in addition to the five original sites recommended for seniors’ housing, three more sites be considered for seniors’ housing: in Miller, Overland and Wedgewood Heights. In October, 2012, following public information meetings and a public hearing, City Council approved Administration’s recommendation to establish seniors’ housing on these eight undeveloped sites.
Initial Preferred Uses for Remaining Sites
The RFEI submissions also helped Administration come up with a list of initial preferred uses for the additional surplus school building sites. These uses have not been approved by City Council and no actions have yet been taken on these sites.
Consistent with Council-approved public engagement policy, community residents will be engaged regarding future residential development proposals for these undeveloped building sites. Also, any future builders will engage with communities in a unique design process, prior to applying for development and building permits.