Banner photo by Ara Shimoon, glorified.ca
Hillhurst Sunnyside Planning Committee
The Hillhurst Sunnyside Planning Committee (HSPC) is a standing committee of the HSCA that reports to the HSCA Board of Directors. Planning Committee bases its response to new proposals in the community using the Hillhurst Sunnyside Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP), a statutory document which ultimately guides development in the community. The ARP was drafted in consultation with the community and approved by City Council in 1988; after three years of community engagement, the Part II Transit Oriented Development Area amendment was approved in 2009 with the most recent revision in December 2018.
HSPC’s activities are guided by its Terms of Reference, which was ratified by the Board of Directors in November 2013 and revised in January 2018.
How It Works
The HSCA Planning Committee has no formal jurisdiction or authority in planning matters and thus is unable to reject or approve applications but instead plays a valuable role in: providing advice, background information and community context; expressing the aspirations of the Community Association to the City of Calgary (the “City”) and to applicants; and advocating for development that fulfills the vision as described in the Area Redevelopment Plan.
The HSPC represents the interests of the community by carrying out its mandate from the HSCA and its Board of Directors under these terms of reference. The HSPC will endeavor to provide community members with information on developments and advice on navigating the planning process and will endeavor to enable and encourage individual community members to engage in the process directly, regardless of their views. The HSPC, however, cannot always align its views with those of all community members nor is it always possible to champion all community member positions.
As a volunteer-driven committee, the HSPC must chose where to commit the time available. At this time, the HSPC has decided to focus on large multi-family redevelopments throughout the community and mixed-use developments primarily on 10th Street and Kensington Road.
Applications for infills and multi-family buildings are reviewed through HSPC’s Infill Subcommittee. We coordinate with volunteers to hand out notices to immediate neighbours to advise residents about where they can view the plans and direct their feedback. However, due to limited resources, residents should also take a proactive approach using the City’s Planning & Development Map and take note of onsite signage.
Note: the community does not have the option to comment on Contextual Dwelling applications (read details here).
Smaller and localized development applications like renovations, and change of use will be noted. As there are many of these types of applications, the HSCA Planning Committee has determined that it can only offer direction, advice and contact information for the affected residents to use for objections, appeals and followup.
The HSCA has a staff position to assist the HSCA Planning Committee to carry out its mandate. Part of her job is to assist residents in finding the information they need to participate in the planning process. Lisa Chong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Federation of Calgary Communities offers free Partners in Planning courses to educate community members and volunteers about the planning process. Courses are held on Saturday mornings throughout the school year. Participants can take as many or as few courses as they would like. Courses range from topics on the Land Use Bylaw, to development appeals to community character, heritage, transportation, and green spaces. Attendees can also ask questions and interact with City of Calgary and Federation planning staff.
Sign up for courses and/or workshops on the Federation’s website at: https://calgarycommunities.com/our-services/urban-planning/education
The purpose of the HSPC is to assist the HSCA in realizing the following vision – taken from the ARP:
“Hillhurst/Sunnyside is a community where neighbours are friendly, supportive and helpful to each other. Where new residents are welcomed into a safe and friendly community. Where the special qualities of the neighbourhood are cherished in the village atmosphere – beautiful tree-lined streets, eclectic variety of shops and services in Kensington, small public plazas, river and escarpment pathways, access to Downtown, SAIT and the University, and choice of schools in the community. Where there is a strong sense of civic pride and neighbours are actively engaged in creating a vibrant, sustainable community for the future while respecting its unique history and character. Where there is a strong commitment to lifestyles that promote environmental stewardship and ecologically friendly behaviours.”
In fulfilling the above vision, the HSCA Planning Committee uses the Hillhurst Sunnyside Area Redevelopment Plan (“ARP”) – which defines and communicates the community context to developers and the community at large – as the general guide as to how it forms its expressions of support, its critical comments and its objections to any particular application. Link to the City of Calgary website version of the document below: