Two initial design concepts have been prepared for community input during Phase 2 of the reImagining process.  Please review the concepts and the building design options, and then provide your feedback below:

 

 

5 Comments

  1. Andy Stanislav
    January 28, 2014

    Would like to see the traffic / parking density study that accompanies this type of development. Traffic in and out of the neighborhood based on 1600-1900 units doesn’t work out in the math to me.

    What is the amount of houses within the existing Highland Park community ?

    I would hate to be a resident adjacent to that and have that amount of people and traffic parking and accessing my street if this was the case.

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  2. Bruce McLeod
    February 1, 2014

    I think the quantity/density of housing needs to be reduced/rethought. There are still no individual, detached single family houses which is what this neighborhood has always featured until the unfortunate recent activity of infill development. The proposed density also significantly reduces the green space, which the golf course all was and which the community sadly lacks.
    I would hope that overall the development would be done to appeal to people who want to live there, as opposed to even more rental homes that tend to house people that are there temporarily and hence typically not interested or involved with the community. The quality of the development needs to be high as opposed to ugly concrete and sterile structures used to warehouse people until they can find something better. That is the only way to make this a real community rather than a temporary place to live. More rentals and ugly concrete commercial building and apartments is not what this community needs/deserves. The surrounding area is 50-plus years old and any new development should have a quality vintage look to fit in and enhance both the new development and the old community.
    The tall, multi floor structures will not appeal to the elderly people nearby who would consider moving to this new development. Stairs are a barrier and when access is required for emergency services with stretchers and equipment, stairs are equally daunting.
    The opportunity exists to make this new development an enhancement to the current area and a place that people would really want to live by taking time to make the right choices now. When it is done, it is much too late.

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  3. Jeanne
    February 4, 2014

    The lesser density of Concept A is preferred over that of Concept B. A difference of 300 units would somewhat reduce the impact of having additional residential units — and vehicles — travelling along 40th Avenue, Centre Street and 4Street.

    As other commentators have indicated, it is desirable to have the bike path skirt around the outside perimeter (mostly) of the residential area. Regardless, the central roadway also offers an opportunity for relatively safe bicycling, because ideally there would not be any traffic except residents using that roadway. I would prefer to reduce the housing density a bit more and provide a second bike path along the west side of the development. That would help buffer it from the existing houses in that area, and increase the amount of accessible green space from what is currently proposed. It could link to that chunk of green space on the south side of the roadway.

    There is a risk that the central roadway will be used to shortcut between southbound Centre Street and westbound 40th Avenue. This would be appealing because it would allow motorists to avoid the congested intersection at Centre and 40th.

    My preferred building designs are A1, A2 and E1. I think nothing more than 4 stories should be considered. Highland Park is fundamentally a low-rise community, and tall buildings looming out of the valley would have the effect of minimizing the appeal of topographical variation.

    I also note that the multi-use including commercial is concentrated along the east side of Centre Street, in the northeast corner of the development. For residents living in the southern part of Highland Park, including residents in the south part of the development, it would be desirable to have multi-use including commercial in a small portion of the development.

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  4. Deb Heap
    February 5, 2014

    I appreciate the Developer having offered up 2 concepts to comment on and providing us background material.

    I think it is important that the Highland Park residents come out of this process with positive elements to offset the loss of a huge green area in the community.

    In keeping with that, although I have not mapped it out, I would like to propose something different than what has been illustrated.

    I would like to see more mixed use / commercial included on the West side of Centre Street and possibly throughout the development. I would like to see higher density at the Northern edge of the development as this will be bordering on the expanded McNight Boulevard and therefore not negatively impacting adjacent residential. I would like to see higher density along Centre Street, but I agree with Jeanne that it should be designed to support the visual appeal of the valley (need to be creative).

    The residents that border the golf course have all paid a premium for their homes and properties and adjacent development should be attractive and have buffers to ensure the value of their homes is maintained.
    As Jeanne suggested in her comment a path on the South Side would be desirable as a buffer to the residents along that edge. It would also be more accessible to the residents of the community.

    As far as building choices, I think it is important that we have a mix with appropriate building designs for the site situation and to give choices to different demographics (as Bruce has said, we need to consider seniors in the neighbourhood that would like to stay in the area). It should be possible to have areas with different building designs that still give a quality, consistent feel by using similar finishes and facades, it may be that the main floor of a stacked townhouse building has floor plans and amenities designed specifically with Seniors in mind.

    I would like to see some innovative building choices that include green roofs and interesting patio areas to give a more pleasing site lines to the adjacent residents. These are also amenities that would also add value to prospective purchasers of the units.

    I would like to see more green space than either of the concepts offers. I think it should still be possible for the project economics to work and have more green space and amenities.

    I would like to see a community garden in the area where some of the senior’s friendly housing options are located. It may not be feasible to have sports fields given the topography, but I would like to see ponds and picnic areas that are easily accessible by the residents of Highland Park. I would like to see as many trees as possible. (that’s all, for now)

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  5. Sandra Handy
    February 5, 2014

    I concur with most of the above comments. Highland Park is a family oriented community that also has many seniors. Seniors need accommodation that does not involve stairs, even within their own living unit. There is a 4 storey condo building on the west side of the golf course that is mostly occupied by seniors. Those I have spoken to like the building except the elevator only goes to the main floor, leaving people to struggle to the main floor from the underground parking with their parcels to the main floor before reaching the elevator. A building such as this with the elevator going to the parking garage might fit your plans. As Bruce has commented, you must be mindful of ease of access for emergency purposes. The main road through the complex should be such that it does not invite flow through traffic as a shortcut between 4th St or 40th Ave to Centre Street. HIghland Park does not need to be fractured any more than it already is by traffic corridors. Any small children (assuming there are some) would have to escorted to school due to traffic, All of the people who have already commented, Bruce, Jeanne and Deb make very valid comments with which I agree. You have the opportunity to build an addition to our community that is both pleasing to look at and to live in. Please take our suggestions seriously.

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