Infill Housing Options in the Residential Transition District

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The City of Grande Prairie is considering changes to encourage more variety in the form of infill housing in the Residential Transition District (RT District).

The changes allow for different types of housing to be built, but would not change the allowable number of units. In short, the changes would allow someone to build three row houses or two narrow houses where they can currently build up to a threeplex.


The RT District is a zoning category applied to mature neighbourhoods to support infill development. The intent of the changes is to allow for a greater variety of infill housing. Narrow houses and row houses may provide more options for families as well as opportunities for homeownership.

Row houses are currently allowed in these areas but require the approval of a variance to the minimum lot size to be constructed on the typical lot. The proposed changes would make the standards for row houses similar to those for threeplexes so that variances would not be required. Narrow houses are a new concept for Grande Prairie. They have been successfully accommodated in other cities such as Edmonton and Calgary.

The proposed options will only be allowed if parking is provided off of a rear-lane. This will help to preserve on-street parking and space for boulevard landscaping. The changes also include an increase to the required number of parking stalls for row housing when shared visitor parking is not provided.

The RT District is most commonly applied in neighbourhoods with Area Redevelopment Plans (ARP). Infill development needs to meet the standards in an ARP in addition to the zoning regulations. The Hillside Area Revitalization Plan overlay imposes a larger sideyard setback for some development. To accommodate row housing the proposed changes include an exception to this enlarged sideyard so that row houses would only need to meet the setback required by the RT District.

Public Hearing

The proposed amendments will be considered by City Council at a public hearing on Monday, May 3, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers located at 10205 - 98 Street, Grande Prairie.

Due to COVID-19, the City of Grande Prairie has moved all public meetings of Council to an online, livestream platform. They can be viewed publicly by visiting: https://www.cityofgp.com/city-government/council-meetings/meeting-webcast

Anyone wishing to attend to speak as a delegate must contact Legislative Services at AgendaAdmin@cityofgp.com to submit their presentations via email, or receive access to attend remotely via Zoom.

A copy of the proposed bylaws will be available at www.cityofgp.com/publichearings starting April 16th. They may also be viewed at the Planning and Development Department located in the City Service Centre. Our address is 9505 – 112 Street and hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Any person claiming to be affected, or any interested person wishing to make a presentation may do so at this public hearing. If you have any questions regarding the public hearing process, please contact the Legislative Services office at (780) 357-8716.

Any personal information submitted in any written comments in response to this notification are collected for the purpose of assessing the comments and processing the application, including but not limited to the verification that you are an adjacent landowner, and such personal information may be disclosed to the applicant of the amendment application and in administrative reports to and/or public agendas for Council or Council Committee. The City is authorized to collect personal information submitted in any written comments in response to this notification pursuant to Sections 33(a) and 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the “FOIP Act”).

The City of Grande Prairie is considering changes to encourage more variety in the form of infill housing in the Residential Transition District (RT District).

The changes allow for different types of housing to be built, but would not change the allowable number of units. In short, the changes would allow someone to build three row houses or two narrow houses where they can currently build up to a threeplex.


The RT District is a zoning category applied to mature neighbourhoods to support infill development. The intent of the changes is to allow for a greater variety of infill housing. Narrow houses and row houses may provide more options for families as well as opportunities for homeownership.

Row houses are currently allowed in these areas but require the approval of a variance to the minimum lot size to be constructed on the typical lot. The proposed changes would make the standards for row houses similar to those for threeplexes so that variances would not be required. Narrow houses are a new concept for Grande Prairie. They have been successfully accommodated in other cities such as Edmonton and Calgary.

The proposed options will only be allowed if parking is provided off of a rear-lane. This will help to preserve on-street parking and space for boulevard landscaping. The changes also include an increase to the required number of parking stalls for row housing when shared visitor parking is not provided.

The RT District is most commonly applied in neighbourhoods with Area Redevelopment Plans (ARP). Infill development needs to meet the standards in an ARP in addition to the zoning regulations. The Hillside Area Revitalization Plan overlay imposes a larger sideyard setback for some development. To accommodate row housing the proposed changes include an exception to this enlarged sideyard so that row houses would only need to meet the setback required by the RT District.

Public Hearing

The proposed amendments will be considered by City Council at a public hearing on Monday, May 3, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers located at 10205 - 98 Street, Grande Prairie.

Due to COVID-19, the City of Grande Prairie has moved all public meetings of Council to an online, livestream platform. They can be viewed publicly by visiting: https://www.cityofgp.com/city-government/council-meetings/meeting-webcast

Anyone wishing to attend to speak as a delegate must contact Legislative Services at AgendaAdmin@cityofgp.com to submit their presentations via email, or receive access to attend remotely via Zoom.

A copy of the proposed bylaws will be available at www.cityofgp.com/publichearings starting April 16th. They may also be viewed at the Planning and Development Department located in the City Service Centre. Our address is 9505 – 112 Street and hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Any person claiming to be affected, or any interested person wishing to make a presentation may do so at this public hearing. If you have any questions regarding the public hearing process, please contact the Legislative Services office at (780) 357-8716.

Any personal information submitted in any written comments in response to this notification are collected for the purpose of assessing the comments and processing the application, including but not limited to the verification that you are an adjacent landowner, and such personal information may be disclosed to the applicant of the amendment application and in administrative reports to and/or public agendas for Council or Council Committee. The City is authorized to collect personal information submitted in any written comments in response to this notification pursuant to Sections 33(a) and 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the “FOIP Act”).

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Q & A

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    How is it possible that opening the door for row housing (with a variance, which is an unregulated process) doesn't increase the density? Isn't the point of this "infill housing" to increase population density?

    Aleph11 asked 9 days ago

    Row housing is currently a permitted use in the RT district (referred to in the bylaw as Multi-Attached Row/Street Oriented). On a typical lot size, they require a variance. Variances are a regulated part of the Development Permit process. The change does not increase the allowable density, as someone could develop a threeplex without a variance on the site. Infill housing is residential redevelopment of a previously developed lot, it does not necessarily increase density. The proposed changes do not increase the allowable density. 

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    Doesn't this directly contravene the Hillside Area Redevelopment Plan?

    Aleph11 asked 9 days ago

    The proposed changes are intended to encourage a variety of housing options. The first Guiding Principle of the Hillside Area Revitalization Plan is "Create a wide range of housing choices such as townhouses, row-houses, and apartment buildings that are thoughtfully integrated into the neighborhood through site and architectural design ." The impacted area in Hillside is currently zoned RT and is designated as low/medium density residential in the plan. Both the bylaw and the HARP indicate single-detached, as well as row-housing in these areas. The proposed changes include an amendment to the HARP, so that row-houses would not require a variance to the sideyard setback. Development would continue to be regulated by the design standards in the plan. 

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    What is the Residential Transition District?

    about 1 year ago

    The Residential Transition District is a land use zoning. It establishes the standards for what can be built in the areas where it applies. It is used in mature neighbourhoods where there are opportunities for infill development.

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    What is infill development?

    about 1 year ago

    Infill development is constructing something new in a previously built-up area. In the case of the proposed changes this is when new housing is constructed where there was housing before.

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    How will these changes impact infill development?

    about 1 year ago

    The proposed changes will allow for different types of homes to be constructed. It will make it possible to build narrow houses and will make it easier to develop row houses. It will not change the allowed densities.

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    What areas will these changes affect?

    about 1 year ago

    These changes will only apply to properties that are zoned Residential Transition and that have rear-lane access. 

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    How will this impact parking?

    about 1 year ago

    The proposed changes do not increase the allowable density so they will not have more of a parking impact than what is currently allowed. These proposed changes are only allowed where parking is provided off of a rear-lane. This will create more on-street parking. The only proposed change to parking standards is increasing the number of stalls required for row housing when shared visitor parking is not provided.

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    How will this affect landscaping?

    about 1 year ago

    The proposed changes require that parking be provided off of a rear-lane. This will preserve more space in the front yard and boulevard for landscaping.