Infill Housing and You

Dr_Seuss_infill
If only all infill housing paid this kind of attention to scale.

If you spend any time taking notice of your surroundings in this city, you’ve probably remarked on all the infill housing that has cropped up in recent years. In theory, infill is a good way to retain density in neighbourhoods by developing housing in areas otherwise occupied by vacant lots. At its best, it’s well designed and affordable. In practice, however (particularly in Regina, it seems), “infill” is too often used as short hand for “ugly and cheap”, and those who call out its objectionable design are frequently (and unfairly) accused of NIMBYism. But why should this be? We’ve built beautiful, well considered, modest housing in the past, and we can do it again, right?

In any case, the City of Regina is holding two public engagement sessions to address the issue of infill housing and how it works within Design Regina’s Official Community Plan.

The first session, an “Infill and Intensification Kick-Off Meeting and Public Workshop” will be held on Monday June 8, (6 – 9pm). The second session, “Introduction to Laneway and Garden Suites Guidelines” will be on Tuesday June 23 (6-9pm). Both sessions will be held at Knox-Metropolitan Church (2340 Victoria Avenue).
Now you know.

 

Author: Wanda Schmöckel

Wanda Schmockel is just trying to get by without shoving. You may follow her on twitter @vschmo

11 thoughts on “Infill Housing and You”

  1. I often wonder how excited these smaller developers get when they get to send a three-man crew to spend 16 months erecting two 20-foot-wide, three-storey buildings where there used to be just a bungalow on a 50-foot-some-odd lot, redefining the property boundaries to how they were originally drawn in 1945 or so, taken out fences and gardens and driveways of neighbours, making an unholy, muddy, lumpy and stoney mess…ALL in the name “density” and the common good! I guess a backyard the size of a postage stamp is cool, if you’re cool with that.

    Funny we promote “density” and then flood the market with more houses, town homes and condos on the fringes of the city (oh well, no one can say Harbour Landing isn’t densely built, no pun intended).

    As I’ve also said most-annoyingly over the years as all thee new houses have gone up, WHO the hell is buying these things? Regina is not growing that much, and certainly not sustainably. What’s the actual occupancy rate in Harbour Landing?

  2. Like TFjr types… I have only been in HL 3 times in the past 3-4 years.
    Wow those houses are waay too close to each other.

    Its like there isn’t enough ex wheat field to build on.
    Cookie cutter syndrome exists there..

    The rectangle / flat-roofed houses are sort of ok.
    But,yup, many are built without consideration from city council, to what the(any) neighbourhood represents.
    Why the permits were allowed for the rectangle I saw going up in the Cresents ‘hood..
    baffles me.
    That city worker needs to get a handle on reality, not just realty.

    Dieppe is a jumble of house styles.
    The 2 newest homes built out here, actually would fit in the Crescents style. They are tall, but not rectangle.

  3. Why people complain about what other people build for themselves to live in is beyond me. You don’t own the property, you don’t have to live in the property. Let the owners build what they want.

  4. As for houses being very close together, have you been through older areas of town, like Cathedral?

  5. I hate this infill housing invading our neighborhoods…knock down a home on a 50 ft. lot and squeeze in two, or maybe 4 if a back alley home allowed. One on top of another, what is going on in Harbour Landing will be a slum in 10 years. Row housing, ugh. I was raised on Angus Crescent, small lots but the homes had character and breathing room.

  6. My nearest neighbour,is about 4m from exterior wall to wall.
    My other neighbour is approximately 10m away.

  7. As a Harbour Landing resident, I like my home. It’s close to my neighbours, but no closer than they were when I lived in Broders Annex (a very mature neighbourhood, if you’ve never been). Yes, my back yard is small and my front yard is essentially non-existent, but it’s amazing how putting up a fence can make even a small space feel like your own little kindgdom. And we have a lovely front porch my daughter enjoys spending time on as we watch the neighbours walk by. Are the glut of condo units out there dense? Heck yes they are, but I have yet to see the kind traffic issues or disorderly conduct I experienced living in Transition, Cathedral or Broders. There’s a lot of bad parking, but no one is standing outside their house at 2 AM yelling at someone for parking in “their space” on the curb in front of their house, which was a weekly occurrence in Broders.

    From an aesthetic standpoint: does my house look very similar to several of my neighbours? Yes, but I don’t worry a lot about that when I spend most of my time inside it — you can pretty easily identify which is which once you know what to look for (it’s like being an identical twin; members of my family don’t think my brother and I look anything alike, but most others can’t seem to tell the difference).

    Is my backyard small? Sure, it’s probably a quarter or less than the size of my parent’s place in Wascana View and half of my former lot in Cathedral. But I’m also a 30 second walk from an incredibly extensive, green pathway system and 10 minutes from no less than 4-6 parks and playgrounds that my child adores. Can I walk to work? No, but I spend virtually all of my free time walking around my neighbourhood and I’ve had a pretty good experience so far with the express bus route that services HL.

    All I’m saying is there seems to be a pretty big gulf between the experience of people who drove through the area once and those living in it.

  8. Those who don’t know may be interested in the City Hall meeting on the 25th, 5:30 where councillors will decide on whether or not to spot zone a parking lot back into the residentially zoned area presently occupied by a 100 year old house in good condition.This is being requested to enable the construction of an apartment block at a major intersection in Cathedral. The proposed building is at Elphinstone and 13th Ave., will be 4 stories, 29 small units, no set back on 13th , flat roof,highest building between Lewvan and Rae aside from the churches, across from a school,15 balconies in back overlooking adjacent yards and the 31 car parking lot, (approved), Leaving the parking lot requires blocking the sidewalks, at morning rush hour a particular confer as children are then walking to school. I am with Protect Cathedral a group which does support some densification in our area but not to this degree at this corner. We wants it to be done in a planned way and with more community input.

    Pat, Sorry you had that sort of experience living in town. But I know it can happen. I’ve been here 36 years and it’s been very rare to experience any neighbours trouble. On the contrary we generally like each other.

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