Horse Hill has an Area Structure Plan (ASP)
Nothing in this Community will change for at least 2 - 4 years as all the plan does, is realize areas and neighborhoods that will be identified in the future. It also serves to STOP the unnecessary and unwanted development that has attempted plagued this area since annexation. Things like the Stockyards which took alot of work and resources to avoid will no longer fit into the areas "structure plan." All these inputs will now have to be set into a Neighborhood Structure Plan (NSP).
A brief update to the past two days;
Day 1 - This day started out with some brief rules set out by the Deputy Mayor, Kim Krushell which we were all advised Mayor Mandel would be slightly delayed. We heard from the City Planning that this ASP and it's draft would be "supported" by them and for the many reasons why. One of the main points to support it was because the NE section of Edmonton is now below the ten year mandate in which there is enough serviceable lots to supply the housing demand. They identified with the Horse Hill Energy and Technology park in place to the north of us, Heartland, and the twinning of highway 63 to Fort Mc Murray there will be a need to offer affordable housing for those who wish to locate in Edmonton.
Supporters spoke first - this group consisted of many experts from the design and development industry who gave the insight to the technical information pertaining to process and why things are on the map as they are. These too are the people who worked very close with each of the city departments to attain the locations of amenities. Then it came to NEEA members and supporters, other owners like St. Stephen Cemetery, other smaller developers, Capital Region and so on. Once the supporters were done the non-supporters began - these were comprised mostly of GEA's Local Foods Team, private citizens not residing in the area and our local North East Agricultural Producers (NEAP). Not all the non supporting speakers were heard from so day two was needed and day one was now over.
Day 2 - Finished up with more pro food experts? eaters more like it, NEEA even got personally attacked and recited from our blog! City Council even heard from one of these that this "status quo development" had no foresight or imagination. It was now time for Council to ask tough questions of their Administration Team. Once through those questions as there was much discussion around this outer ring road which the City has no say over its location, the map indicates only a suggestion from the Province at it's location. This was what the Ag producers were concerned over. If the ASP was approved, they felt it would mark this spot permanently, this was shown not to be the case as in the documentation for the ASP, it clearly indicated in many locations through out this ASP document stating it can and may move. A motion to have this literature clarified was made by Councilor Gibbons, voted on and was passed. Meeting was then voted on to close, accepted and passed. Council then had the opportunity to speak to the bylaw which some took advantage of where Councilor Gibbons expressed some history of the area and explained he had been the representative for this area for many years and understood the dynamics and that he was going to support the bylaw. When all Councilor had had their chance to address the bylaw, they voted on the first reading, passed 10 - 3 with Councilors Iveson, Henderson and Sloan voting against making it pass. The Mayor then asked for second reading, again 10 - 3 with the same three against the bylaw officially passed! The bylaw now goes to the regional board for approval which may take as long as six weeks as we have been told. As the regional board has identified Horse Hill as a growth area, it seems automatic it will be accepted and passed as well.
The process ahead now is; nothing will be changed in the area until an NSP is passed which will most likely be applied for shortly after the capital region passes the ASP. There is no indication where yet, but it has to be done as the planning process will take a while and Edmonton is definitely short in NE Edmonton for development. Before any shovel is in the ground, it will be approx. two years as this is how long it takes to get plans in place and accepted with more public consultation.
The North East Edmonton Alliance is proud to thank those who assisted us from the Development Community to support our wishes, keeping us informed and respecting each of our members with the utmost respect. This gratitude applies to the City of Edmonton, Stantec, Walton, Cameron and Crest Developments.
NEEA is proud to display our working relationships, this is how a Community shares it's desires and dreams. Our endeavors would have been much easier if our NEAP neighbors would have worked with us instead of involving a community with little to absolutely no track record within this Community. The "status quo" for Horse Hill had been supported by this Community from 1982 - 2009. At the MDP in 2009 it is this group who made it clear they did not want to work with the community by showing up to the public hearings with the Greater Edmonton Alliance (GEA) and implementing their agenda and not that of the community as a whole. Due to their creation of this process and distrust, NEEA was formed which consisted of those with insight and imagination to break the "status quo" planning of the past and to pass this ASP.
For the shot at NEEA during the public hearings by the gentleman opposing this plan about our strong ties and pro development. They offered to work with us, and by no means did they write our presentations, tell us what we wanted and control a community with misrepresentation. You just cant get that without being passionate about our land and community!
Thank you to everyone who assisted throughout this process, ALL NEEA members are excited about the future for Horse Hill.