News / Edmonton

Edmonton councillors hear complaints about infill construction projects

After opening more areas of the city up to infill, complaints on projects increased, prompting councillors to explore ways of improving builder practices in infill construction.

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Edmonton city councillors got an earful of complaints about infill development Tuesday, on issues including construction noise, grading problems and failing foundations.

After opening more areas of the city up to infill, complaints on projects increased, prompting councillors to explore ways of improving builder practices in infill construction.

Bev Zubot with the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues said the city has to do more inspections of infill projects and proactively inspect properties.

“We really think there needs to be more strict enforcement of the rules we have in place and it need to be more co-ordinated,” she said.

The city is promising to have a team of staff dedicated to resolving issues when they crop up, but Zubot said that won’t work if the city just waits for the complaints to come in.  

“We should not have a system that relies on citizen complaints, because that just pits neighbour against neighbour,” she said.

Scott Mackie, the city’s manager of current planning, said running regular inspections on infill projects would be cumbersome, especially considering only a small handful of projects lead to concerns.

“For us to have a program where we go out to all of these sites could be a very expensive business,” he said.

He explained that in some cases it’s the existing neighbours causing issues, and not the new construction.

“There are difficult neighbours on both sides of these fences.”

Coun. Ben Henderson said the city needs some real teeth to deal with the worst offenders.

“Most of the builders are already behaving, they’re behaving fine we just don’t have a mechanism to step in, in a real way, when people are bad neighbours,” he said.  “The stuff that is being proposed will help, I am just not sure it will be enough.”

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