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The Skyrattler site at 1055 Saddleback Road was approved by City Council for First Place housing in 2006.

In February 2014, Executive Committee passed a motion directing Administration to defer implementation of the Skyrattler site to the last phase of the program in order to explore potential alternative site locations within the neighbourhood for the First Place development.

What's Being Built?

Many Edmontonians dream of owning their own home but don’t have the financial resources to make it happen. Young professionals, single parents and residents in middle income brackets can find it particularly tough to break into Edmonton’s housing market, which is one of the most expensive in Canada.

The City’s First Place Program teams with banks and builders to develop vacant surplus school building sites into attractive townhomes.  The homes are market priced, with a five-year deferral on the land portion of the mortgage, making them more accessible to first time buyers.  

A public design engagement process involving selected community volunteers helps to shape development in each neighbourhood. This forms the basis for the development permit approval process that follows.

Potential Alternative Building Site Locations

Potential Alternative Site Options

In response to the 2014 motion passed by City Council, the City is investigating the feasibility of an alternative site location for the Skyrattler First Place townhome development.

Initially there were two potential alternative site locations being investigated:

  • A parcel of land at 810 Saddleback Road that is part of Taylor College and Seminary
  • The parcel of land at 119 St NW and 23 Ave NW (10MB), previously intended for the Blackmud Creek Bridge Crossing

The owners of the Taylor College site (810 Saddleback Road) contacted the City in early 2017 wishing to continue the 2015 discussion regarding incorporating the First Place development on a portion of the Taylor College site. However after further discussions with the owners of the Taylor College site, that site has been removed from further consideration.

This means the only alternative building site under consideration for the First Place Program development is at 119 Street NW and 23 Avenue NW, which was previously intended for the Blackmud Creek Bridge Crossing that was subsequently abandoned by Council.

The original Council-approved site at 1055 Saddleback Road also remains under consideration.

Next Steps

Anticipated Timeline

Winter 2017/2018 - Outreach & Public Engagement Design
The City will reach out to Skyrattler residents to help identify opportunities to improve on how we communicate and engage with the community. This feedback will be used to design the public engagement process that will be used to gather input on the potential First Place development sites.

Winter/Spring 2018 - Rezoning of Potential Alternative Sites
In order for the City to verify if the potential alternative site at 119 Street and 23 Avenue is a feasible alternative, a rezoning application for the proposed First Place land use for the site (townhomes) must be submitted through the normal land development application process for technical evaluation and consideration by City Council. There will be an opportunity for residents to share their views with Council when the proposed rezoning goes forward to Public Hearing.

Spring to Fall 2018 - Community Input on Site Options (dependent on outcome of rezoning)
Should Council approve the rezoning for the alternative site, the City will then reach out to the Skyrattler community to gather input on considerations to take into account when determining the First Place development site location - either the 119 Street and 23 Avenue alternative site, or the Council-approved site. This feedback will be used to inform a report to City Council for their final decision on the location for the Skyrattler First Place development.

If Council does not approve the required zoning for the potential alternative First Place building site, design engagement and development will proceed on the original Council-approved building site.

Winter/Spring 2019 - Council Decision on Site Options (dependent on outcome of rezoning)
If rezoning for the alternative site is approved by Council, City Administration will prepare a report for City Council recommending the location for the First Place development within Skyrattler. Both the Council-approved site and the alternative site will be presented in the report. The recommendation presented will take into account input received from the community along with other important criteria, such as technical and financial considerations. Based on the information presented in this report, City Council will make the final decision on the location for the Skyrattler First Place development.

Fall /Winter 2019/2020 - Design Engagement (Developer Led)
A group of neighbourhood residents will be recruited through an open application process to work with the builder/operator to help design the new homes on the Skyrattler First Place site and ensure they are a good fit with the surrounding neighbourhood. This will include providing input on design elements, such as building orientation and shape, number of homes, rooflines, site access, vistas, and exterior home design details and landscaping.

Spring/Summer 2020 - Construction & New Homes Sales
Construction and new homes sales will begin after the completion of the design engagement process. The new homes will be constructed in accordance with the outcome of the design engagement process.

What We’ve Heard

In Winter 2017/2018, the City will be reaching out to the Skyrattler community to help identify opportunities to improve on how we communicate and engage with them. This feedback will be used to design the public engagement process that will be used to gather input on the potential First Place development site options, which will begin in Spring of 2018.

Feedback collected from the public engagement process will be compiled into a series of What We Heard documents and posted online for public viewing.

Council Reports

July 4, 2017 - City Administration brought forward an information an information report to Executive Committee (item 6.7) on the the investigation of alternative site options.

April 12, 2016 - City Administration presented a report to Executive Committee (item 6.5) summarizing the consultation done with the owner of Taylor College lands (810 Saddleback road) exploring the option of integrating the First Place townhomes into the Taylor College site redevelopment. At that time, no development at Taylor College was expected in the near term, so there was limited opportunity to integrate the Skyrattler development. As result, Executive Committee passed a motion referring the report back to Administration to explore other options and return to Committee.

February 18, 2014 - Administration presented a report to Executive Committee (item 7.1)  responding to questions included in a motion passed by City Council on November 14, 2013 pertaining to the Skyrattler First Place housing site and other surplus school sites. Executive Committee passed a motion directing Administration to defer implementation of the Skyrattler site to the last phase of the program in order to explore potential alternative site locations for the First Place development within the neighbourhood.

November 14, 2013 - Councillor Walters submitted an inquiry requesting Administration to investigate and provide further information regarding whether the Skyrattler neighbourhood and its surplus school site were suitable for development under the City's First Place Program and report back to Executive Committee.

Email Updates

Stay informed about the project by signing up to receive regular email updates. Contact the City at firstplace@edmonton.ca.

For More Information

First Place Homes

Telephone

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Email firstplace@edmonton.ca

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