What is an "R4 District"?

The R4 district is one of nine residential districts in Lacombe’s Land Use Bylaw (PDF).

It allows for an extensive array of residential uses from single detached dwellings to multi-unit apartments. On an R4 infill lot, builders typically construct semi-detached dwellings or four-plex, multifamily dwellings. Large undeveloped R4 lots allow for more design flexibility so a builder may strive for the maximum density allowed under the zoning.

The flexibility in the zoning is desirable for real estate investors and developers. More specifically the R4 zoning allows for, but is not limited to:

Permitted           

  • Duplex dwelling 
  • Multi- attached housing up to 30 units/ha. This is approximately 4 units on a typical infill

Discretionary     

  • Detached dwelling
  • Apartment, multi-attached, or multiple housing developments up to 55 units /ha. This is approximately 7-8 units on an infill lot larger than average.

Over time, the variety of permitted and discretionary uses and the range of built form in the R4 district has created uncertainty for neighbours, contributing to concerns of infill development in this district.

This uncertainty also affects potential re-development and investment. The ‘discretionary’ nature of certain uses makes it more challenging to predict the required investment, or return, to re-develop a property.

R4 District Review Consultation

There are over 660 separately titled parcels with R4 zoning in Lacombe. Since properties are spread out across the community, R4 can be considered as a community-wide planning issue impacting many developers, landowners and neighbourhoods.

Broad community participation is valuable in this project and the long-term benefits of reviewing the district are expected to be improved positive relationships with respect to redevelopment, enhanced planning and development decision making, and improved permit processing timelines if fewer variances or community concerns result.

Lacombe City Council is therefore investing $19,000 to support the R4 District Review.

Survey and Focus Groups

Public Consultation will be completed in two phases: the first being a survey to interested stakeholders, and the second being targeted focus groups which will help narrow the focus of issues identified in the survey.

Specifically, the consultation process will involve a targeted survey to interested stakeholders. In addition, stakeholders would be invited to participate in focus group discussions to more fully develop concerns, ideas, and opportunities for R4 zoning improvements.

Following the focus groups sessions; a summary engagement report and proposed Land Use Bylaw amendments will be presented to Council.

The survey will be open on August 12, 2021 and run through September 13, 2021. Focus group sessions, lead by a contracted third party, will follow once interested stakeholders are identified.

The First reading for Land Use Bylaw amendments is targeted by early 2022.

If you are interested in having your say on the future of R4 Districts in Lacombe, please take the first step by completing the survey.

Thank you for your interest.