Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Carvolth Neighbourhood Update

Earlier last week, I posted about an office development in Carvolth and how I was looking forward to seeing an updated plan for the area come forward to council. The original plan for the area was for auto-oriented office parks. On Monday night, Township Council considered the 1st and 2nd reading of an update to the Carvolth Neighbourhood Plan.

Carvolth areas.

The updated plan splits Carvolth into three distinct areas: a transit village east of 200th Street which will include a high street, live/work units, and a mixed of housing types that will be focused around walkability and transit; a Gateway node around the 200th Street interchange and corridor along 200th Street that is intended for high density, transit-oriented office development; and finally an area west of 200th Street which will be business-as-usual office parks with the exception of what the Township calls an “Outlet Distribution Centre” which is defined as:

An outlet distribution centre is defined as a regionally serving, upscale, destination/specialty mixed use, multi-tenant development, with a central pedestrian concourse linking retail, services, restaurants and possibly office and entertainment uses, but excludes grocery stores, conventional enclosed malls and large format ("big box") commercial establishments.
Carvolth propose land-use plan. Click image to enlarge.

Overall the plan caps out retail development at 10,764 square feet per unit with the exception of “one store up to 3,000 m2 (32,293 f2) in each quadrant” of the land around the 200th Street interchange, plus a 32,293 square foot store integrated with a high-density office development near the east-bound Highway 1 off-ramp, and a 53,821 grocery store that must also integrate with a high-density office development along 200th Street. A grocery store up to 37,675 square feet will also be allowed along the 86th Avenue High Street. I believe the intent is to limit big-box, auto-oriented development.

There will be a requirement to provide 1/3 of parking in a structure or underground which is a good start in the office/mixed-use areas, though I believe that number should be higher to promote a more pedestrian-friendly public realm. For the high street, it is expected that most parking be underground. The Township will also be implementing a minimum height requirement of three storeys in office/mixed-use areas.

One of the features that I look forward to seeing built is the multi-use greenway (between 202nd Street and 204th Street) that will connect the residential area of Carvolth with the high street/transit exchange. The greenway will also include a park in the middle, and the whole corridor will be motor-vehicle free.

Proposed Carvolth greenway. Click image to enlarge.

Overall I’m very impressed with this plan and it is great to see that the Township many now have a plan to build a new pedestrian and transit-oriented community. My only reservation is with planned office park area to the west of 200th Street which seem to me as wasted opportunity to do something more innovative with “employment lands”. I am curious to see if/when an “outlet distribution centre” is proposed for that area and what it will look like.

No comments: