REGINA — Harbour Landing has unsold lots, but Dream Development is already digging — literally — into its next mega project.
“We’re essentially done in Harbour Landing,” said Dream’s general manager Paul Moroz, who expects the 200 remaining lots to sell in less than a year.
Now, the company has its sights on a Harbour Landing 2.0.
West Harbour Landing is a proposed 587-hectare tract of land that will eventually house more than 25,000 residents. By comparison, Harbour Landing proper is 320 hectares.
The city is in the process of evaluating a neighbourhood plan for the entire area, of which 120 hectares have been approved for development under the city’s 300,000-resident plan for growth.
Located between Harbour Landing and Courtney Street, north of the Trans-Canada Highway and south of the airport, the community will eventually feature parks, neighbourhood hubs, and one or more schools. Moroz said it will be based on a pre-war-style grid system rather than the “loops and lollipops” of cul-de-sacs and crescents that have been popular in new developments of late.
The 120-hectare segment of West Harbour Landing was initially excluded from the Official Community Plan until city council ordered a special study of the area, which demonstrated the neighbourhood could be serviced with little capital investment from the city. Shanie Leugner, acting director of planning with the city, said Dream needs to demonstrate the area can be serviced through Harbour Landing to get the proposal approved.
The developer also has to respond to residents’ concerns and questions raised at an upcoming open house.
“We’re very curious to see what the people in the Harbour Landing area have to say about how things are working there so that we can make sure that whatever’s successful there we can repeat and whatever is not working we can try to do a better job of,” said Leugner.
Harbour Landing has already influenced the city’s approach to plan approvals. The neighbourhood was approved as a whole, which then required many amendments as work progressed.
West Harbour Landing, meanwhile, will be evaluated in chunks, which Leugner said will help to better match housing density with road networks. Moroz added that this process will also help to work toward the feeling of “complete communities” within each portion of the neighbourhood.
Moroz said Dream will have to remain flexible as West Harbour Landing develops over a long time frame. That includes a variety of housing options.
“What we envision is much more diverse types of neighbourhoods: Everything from the big house, to the apartment, to the town home, to the small lot single family, granny suites — anything and everything,” he said.
Although development of the whole 587 hectares could be more than a quarter-century down the road, Leugner said the city likes to consider such high-level plans concurrently with the more detailed vision for one segment of the neighbourhood.
”The city does, however, expect at some point the remainder of the neighbourhood will develop. It’s just a matter of timing,” she said.
Plans for the 120-hectare portion will likely go before council in mid-2015. Moroz hopes to start work the following year, with the area taking six to seven years to develop.
The proposal doesn’t thrill one Regina resident.
“My preference would be that we would be getting into much more of a densification strategy for the city,” said city council regular Jim Elliott. The Official Community Plan calls for 30 per cent of growth be infill.
Elliott expressed concerns over the pressure new areas of development place on city services, like water, sewage and transit, and how these pressures trickle down to taxpayers’ wallets. He would like to see developers be required to back more of the cost associated with extending these services.
The city’s interim phasing and financial plan, adopted this summer, shifted much of the infrastructure cost burden from taxpayers to developers, and staggered development over the next two years.
Residents are invited to offer comments on West Harbour Landing on Oct. 16 from 5-8 p.m. at the South Leisure Centre.
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