A Shift in Country Residential “Place Types”
The proposed approach for growth in the Calgary Metro Region is based on a mix of six different “place types”. Each “place type” reflects a variety of buildings, streets, and amenities, and represents a different type of development with different levels of density for residential and employment use.
The traditional Country Residential “place type” is like Springbank in Rocky View County (check out the pictures below for a visual of this). This “place type” is characterized by its larger lot sizes, low density, and single-family detached housing type. This “place type” is located in rural areas. The average density is less than 5 dwelling units per acre.
The proposed approach for managing growth in the Calgary Metro Region would see less traditional Country Residential-type development happening in all parts of the Region. Rather, the proposed approach would encourage more diverse forms of residential development, such as cluster development, infill or rural hubs.
Country cluster developments typically have communal services while retaining open space between clusters of houses. Country Residential infill offers a more efficient use of land in a rural context. Rural hubs concentrate development in a way that supports rural lifestyles and economies (like some hamlets). The specific type of development that would be concentrated in a hub (i.e. commercial, industrial, and/or residential) would be left up to municipalities to determine based on the unique needs and interests of their communities.
We heard in the first phase of public engagement that community members value maintaining a rural way of life while having good access to services and amenities, and maintaining diversity of choice. Shifting the focus from acreage-type development toward more country cluster developments and rural hubs (concentrated development) seeks to maintain the rural character of the region while accommodating growth in a more compact form.
Based on your thoughts and experiences in the Calgary Metro Region, what do you see as the benefits and drawbacks of shifting Country Residential-type development from traditional acreages towards more country cluster or rural hub developments?
If this shift in approach to development happened in your community, how do you think your way of life might be affected, for better or worse?