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City aiming to diversify future infill housing options

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The City of Grande Prairie is looking at ways of diversifying future of housing developments in the Residential Transition District. The district encompasses two large sections of housing developments in and around the downtown core, including Avondale and College Park.

Members of city administration are suggesting changes to the land use bylaw which would allow the development of three-row houses or two single-detached homes on lots that currently only allow for three-plexes, two semi-detached dwellings or a single-detached home.

Mayor Bill Given says the changes won’t create smaller lots or change the housing density in the area, but they could free up more opportunities for developers to build more affordable housing.

“Every opportunity we have to increase land utilization means it can be more profitable for somebody to build a house at a lower cost to the end purchaser… and having more diversity of housing is a great opportunity for the community.”

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Given adds, while developers are currently able to build different types of housing blocks under the current land use bylaw, he believes the bylaw change would create better utilization of time.

“It requires a number of steps, and it would require somebody to ask for a variance and there is a process and a cost to that.”

“What administration is proposing is to make that process easier so that somebody can just go and do it rather than having to go through and add extra months and cost to that process,” he adds.

Given says any potential changes to the bylaw will be subject to both public consultation and a full debate by city council.

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