New Infill Rules Put Pressure For Unique Homes

Posted by Gurpreet Ghatehora on Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 at 11:05am.

The age of cookie cutter homes is getting shortened thanks to a new city ordinance regarding infills. The City of Edmonton has created a new set of rules that builders must follow when building infills in Edmonton’s mature neighbourhoods. In addition to using a minimum of three materials for the facade, builders can no longer put identical homes side-by-side.

Edmonton’s south side has been growing steadily for the past couple of decades and many communities feature near-identical homes in high frequency, which some people criticize as not being aesthetically pleasing for a neighbourhood overall. With the new rules, areas that are experiencing change, especially in residential areas, will now have to have a certain architectural diversity as to maintain a certain look.

The new rules are still not finalized but also included some new restrictions for other aspects of home building. The major restrictions include:

  1. Garages in the Garden: Rear-attached garages are on the table for many builders, but some people are resistant. They say the garages block sunlight and change the pattern of the neighbourhood.
  2. Front Garages: New restrictions are being proposed to limit where garages can be built. There’s a hope a ban on blocking new front garages in infills if there wasn’t one previous.
  3. New rules about cantilevers could change building widths. Right now, two feet of cantilevers on each side are required for homes. New rules could make it mandatory for only one side.
  4. Height: The height restrictions are set to increase to 8.9 meters up from 8.6. This is to help with roof insulation.
  5. Setbacks: Front setbacks are possibly going to be shortened to allow for more backyard space, although builders are divided on whether this will be a good idea.

 Edmonton’s mature neighbourhoods will be keeping some of their aesthetic appeal thanks to these new rules and restrictions, although not all builders are happy. The new rules are still in the planning phase, but they could have a big effect on Edmonton’s look if they pass.

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