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Old 09-21-2023, 11:25 AM   #1681
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So a developer buys up 3 lots in a suburb community.

knocks em down and builds a 12 unit apartment with no parking.

All of those extra vehicles are now accommodated in existing infrastructure.
R-CG requires parking be provided per unit.

By contrast, my neighbour put a suite in their SFH. Apparently their garage/driveway covered the parking requirements. But the garage is full of junk and the owners (upstairs resident) park on the driveway. The basement tenant parks all 3 of his vehicles on the street.

I suspect that's more cars per available space than ripping down 3 houses in a row and putting in a 12 plex with 12 parking stalls, especially since their front drive garage uses up a significant portion of their lots street frontage.
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Old 09-21-2023, 11:26 AM   #1682
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It's created 2 homes owners can live in and rent out a suite(at more affordable rates!). It's 4 new homes on the location of one. And each unit gets a garage, too! The cars even get a place to sleep.
Like I said, it's two $800k duplexes with the bonus of a basement suite as a mortgage helper. Those basement suites probably rent for $1,500, so would help to the tune of about $300k on the mortgage, I think; happy to be corrected with someone in the know on how the rental income is applied to mortgage qualifications.

To be fair, I'm not sure what the end goal of "affordability" looks like... Is there a specific target, say where the average single income can afford an average home? Average rental rates? Or is it simply any improvement? Is $1500 affordable for a basement suite? Is a ~$700k mortgage affordable if you have to rely on renting your basement suite for $1500? Are you ####ed if you're without a tenant for a few months?

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The reason upzoning would make these more affordable is that the builders don't need carrying costs for months and months while they get approvals. This unit could have been built cheaper had they not been forced to wait so long. I remember it being sold, and sitting around for a very long time before construction started.
I don't think carrying costs are a meaningful cost for redevelopment projects like this... Say a generous 6 months of rezoning and permitting on a builder mortgage for that property (pre-redevelopment value of $560) would have been ~$15,000. So not having to rezone saves, what, 4 months? ~$10k?

But bless your heart if you think the reduced carrying costs will be passed on to the buyers...

Last edited by you&me; 09-21-2023 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 09-21-2023, 11:26 AM   #1683
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So take low income people, and put them in locations where they absolutely have to own a car to survive, rather than denser, well serviced areas where they can walk, use transit etc.

Car commuting is a massive financial drag, and makes more sense for the affluent who can afford it as part of their choice to own a single family house with a yard, that is further out from the denser areas of the city.

Putting low income people on the edges of the city just stresses them further financially, or takes people more prone to working shift work or multiple jobs and has them eat several hours a day on transit, with knock on effects to their kids that already have less of their parents time to support their development.
You’ve just described gentrification.

I don’t know where the drywallers who used to hang out at the Trop in the 90s live now. But I’m confident it’s not Garrison Woods.
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Old 09-21-2023, 11:27 AM   #1684
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I don’t see how anyone can deny the basic concept that increasing housing supply increases affordability. That’s quite literally the way the market works now.

Pretending this is just to enrich developers or that turning one house into four has no impact because those specific four might still be expensive is myopic nonsense.

It’s pretty simple:
- if there is a market for these up-zoned homes, up-zoning is good, if there isn’t, up-zoning is not even worth arguing against because it will retain the status quo
- high home prices are caused by high demand and low inventory. To make things more affordable, you need to lower demand or increase inventory, up-zoning can help to increase inventory

Building a 4-plex in an expensive neighbourhood might not make it so that Joe Carpenter can suddenly afford to live there, but it will reduce the competition for where he wants to or can reasonably afford live and possibly open up more options for where he can afford to live.

In terms of parking, I live on a street where the parking is insane and it’s all SFH (because everyone owns multiple cars and nobody seems to park in their garbage… ever). I’ve also lived in an apartment where I had to park a block or two away and walk. If the parking gets busier, trust me, you’ll learn to get over it.
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Old 09-21-2023, 11:44 AM   #1685
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R-CG requires parking be provided per unit.
Currently it does, but administration has proposed removing parking minimums so the parking minimum requirement on R-CG zoning would be removed in the next bylaw update.

In fact the entire R-CG bylaw would be rewritten.
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Old 09-21-2023, 11:46 AM   #1686
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Originally Posted by bizaro86 View Post
R-CG requires parking be provided per unit.
Shhh, no facts allowed.

https://www.calgary.ca/planning/land...?part=5&div=11

Also notice "at grade" requirements. R-CG does not allow apartments.
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Old 09-21-2023, 11:49 AM   #1687
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Instead of looking at how poorly Calgary has done this, look at Kelowna. In our old neighborhood in the North End, on two lots, you can put a 12 unit, 3 bedroom townhouse complex with parking. I know they’re not what you’d consider affordable, but it shows you can achieve a lot better density than simply building duplexes or fourplexes.
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Old 09-21-2023, 11:53 AM   #1688
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Originally Posted by PepsiFree View Post
In terms of parking, I live on a street where the parking is insane and it’s all SFH (because everyone owns multiple cars and nobody seems to park in their garbage… ever). I’ve also lived in an apartment where I had to park a block or two away and walk. If the parking gets busier, trust me, you’ll learn to get over it.
Nothing screams no parking like a suburban cul-de-sac with front drive garages.
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Old 09-21-2023, 12:03 PM   #1689
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No disagreement that increasing supply will reduce costs eventually.

My fear is that without oversight, these zoning changes will just empower developers to buy and develop at will without addressing the low income housing issue at all.

"I can put a multi family building where I want now...without parking requirements..."

I have concerns is all...
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Old 09-21-2023, 12:10 PM   #1690
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Instead of looking at how poorly Calgary has done this, look at Kelowna. In our old neighborhood in the North End, on two lots, you can put a 12 unit, 3 bedroom townhouse complex with parking. I know they’re not what you’d consider affordable, but it shows you can achieve a lot better density than simply building duplexes or fourplexes.
This one is going up:
https://maps.app.goo.gl/rFRDnyMD6Xanp2y6A

https://www.urbanavas.com/projects/mount-pleasant

They took down 2 houses and are replacing it with 10 townhouses, each with a basement unit, so 20 housing units on a lot that held 2. Directly on a busy transit route, too. I don't know how you can look at these examples and argue it isn't helping.
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Old 09-21-2023, 12:14 PM   #1691
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LOL, and this is the type of snarky response from the community association that came out of the required land use change:


https://pub-calgary.escribemeetings....umentId=230384
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Old 09-21-2023, 12:20 PM   #1692
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Originally Posted by Fuzz View Post
This one is going up:
https://maps.app.goo.gl/rFRDnyMD6Xanp2y6A

https://www.urbanavas.com/projects/mount-pleasant

They took down 2 houses and are replacing it with 10 townhouses, each with a basement unit, so 20 housing units on a lot that held 2. Directly on a busy transit route, too. I don't know how you can look at these examples and argue it isn't helping.
Is that one under the new H-GO zoning?
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Old 09-21-2023, 12:21 PM   #1693
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Originally Posted by Nufy View Post
No disagreement that increasing supply will reduce costs eventually.

My fear is that without oversight, these zoning changes will just empower developers to buy and develop at will without addressing the low income housing issue at all.

"I can put a multi family building where I want now...without parking requirements..."

I have concerns is all...
Ok, but (and I feel like I'm beating a dead horse here), doing so will increase supply which will decrease the demand (price) for other houses.
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Old 09-21-2023, 12:22 PM   #1694
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It looks like it, ya.(50:52 in the video)


https://pub-calgary.escribemeetings....ab=attachments
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Old 09-21-2023, 12:24 PM   #1695
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Ok, but (and I feel like I'm beating a dead horse here), doing so will increase supply which will decrease the demand (price) for other houses.
I think the only valid counter to that is an induced demand response, where Calgary gets so much better than the rest of the country in housing costs that demand is basically infinite.
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Old 09-21-2023, 12:27 PM   #1696
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I think the only valid counter to that is an induced demand response, where Calgary gets so much better than the rest of the country in housing costs that demand is basically infinite.
This is a certainty, if not already, aside from maybe Victoria. Lots of factors in play though.
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Old 09-21-2023, 12:59 PM   #1697
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True, but also, the problem needs to be shared. Having one massive drop in centre and one massive safe injection site is taking the problems of the entire city and dumping them in one specific neighbourhood.

I'd rather a bunch of smaller facilities distributed throughout the city, and really doubt that people would notice them much if that was the case. It would also make it harder for the parasite drug dealers to catch fish in a barrel.
It's also only part of a complete solution, and the problem is that the other part of that solution is under provincial jurisdiction. The catch-and-release approach isn't working. But I digress, we have Sliver's crackhead thread for that conversation.
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Old 09-21-2023, 03:07 PM   #1698
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I don't think carrying costs are a meaningful cost for redevelopment projects like this... Say a generous 6 months of rezoning and permitting on a builder mortgage for that property (pre-redevelopment value of $560) would have been ~$15,000. So not having to rezone saves, what, 4 months? ~$10k?
I think your math is a bit aggressive. Assuming $560k pre-development costs and $15k in interest over 6 months, that implies a 5.36% cost of capital. I'd suggest that number should be higher. I also think it's likely the city will probably still want to collect property taxes during that time.

Finally, to the extent developers are capital-constrained (and many/most are, imo) the longer they have their borrowing capacity tied up in a project the longer it takes for them to be able to start the next project.
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Old 09-21-2023, 03:36 PM   #1699
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I think your math is a bit aggressive. Assuming $560k pre-development costs and $15k in interest over 6 months, that implies a 5.36% cost of capital. I'd suggest that number should be higher. I also think it's likely the city will probably still want to collect property taxes during that time.

Finally, to the extent developers are capital-constrained (and many/most are, imo) the longer they have their borrowing capacity tied up in a project the longer it takes for them to be able to start the next project.
Apologies, it was 'napkin' math, without the napkin, while on a call (aka, off the top of my unfocussed head)... But I was thinking that a bank wouldn't be happy loaning full freight on what's soon to be a vacant lot (sale price $560 in 2019), so assumed something like $300k mortgaged. And you're right, surely the city would still want their property taxes, and that will be to the tune of about $300 a month...

So double the property tax due (just 'cause) and triple the monthly financing costs (also 'cause) and you still end up with pre-groundbreaking carrying costs of ~$50k... But since the rezoning will speed up that process, hopefully cutting the time in half, the developer now has pre-groundbreaking costs of $25k, instead of $50k.

I guess my point is two fold; for one, a $25k cost savings isn't going to move the needle for any developers looking at a project like this, i.e. this will not result in a bunch of new projects that otherwise wouldn't be going ahead based on that cost saving alone.

Secondly, the cost savings are again immaterial in the scheme of the end value of these projects, so the thought that streamlining the approval process and the resultant reduction in costs will somehow have any affect on affordability is silly... And that's (a big, fat) if anything is passed on to the purchasers in the first place...

Last edited by you&me; 09-21-2023 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 09-21-2023, 03:41 PM   #1700
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a bank wouldn't be happy loaning full freight on what's soon to be a vacant lot, so assumed something like $300k mortgaged.
The less the mortgage the more expensive the holding period is. Equity capital for real estate development is very expensive (double digit expected returns easily).
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