City of Edmonton: First Place Program

TMCL exists with the power & energy of Community Members

What is the First Place Program?

The City of Edmonton’s First Place Home Ownership Program (formerly known as the First Time Home Buyer Program) gives home buyers who have never before owned property in Alberta the opportunity to purchase their first home. The First Place Home Ownership Program transforms undeveloped building sites into housing options for first-time homebuyers by offering deferred land payments.

For more details about First Place Program:

Where is the Larkspur First Place Program site?

The First Place program site in Larkspur is located adjacent to 30 Street, between 42 and 43 Avenues. The Larkspur site is scheduled to begin design consultation in 2014, with construction and sales scheduled for 2015.

Design engagement process (four stages)

This program attracts new families to established neighbourhoods to keep communities vibrant and sustainable, while also providing a unique opportunity for existing residents to participate in a new home engagement process.

  1.  Public meeting
    Are residents are invited to a public information meeting to learn more about the approved First Place Program and the opportunity to participate in a design engagement process to ensure the fit of new homes in each community. The City of Edmonton, new home builder and participating lenders are on hand to answer questions and describe the program in more detail.
  2. First community design engagement meeting
    Six to eight community residents who volunteer to take part in the design engagement process meet to learn more about the design process. Site zoning information is shared and three to five site layouts, showing a variety of options regarding building massing and orientation, along with site access information are reviewed. A discussion of options occurs and feedback is provided to new home builders for further revisions.
  3. Second community design engagement meeting
    A new home builder presents revised site layouts, incorporating changes suggested at the previous meeting. Participants discuss initial landscaping, architectural features and building design details. Further feedback is provided to the builder.
  4. Third community design engagement meeting
    The new home builder brings back plans showing previously discussed changes. Detailed building elevation and landscape information is presented. Volunteers discuss new home exterior design details, phasing of new home development, creation of a condo board comprised of homeowners, and when development permit application will occur. Volunteers also complete an evaluation of the design engagement process.
  • Click here for more information on the design engagement process
  • Click here for more information about the new home builders

Communication with the City (least to most recent)

Update: July 31, 2015

The following update was received today from the City of Edmonton:

[P]re-construction activities will soon begin in preparation for Larkspur Landing, the new First Place program development on the Larkspur surplus school site.

At the end of July, 2015, the City will begin relocating select trees (approximately 9 trees in total) currently on the school site, to new locations on the outer edges of the site. The tree relocation reflects discussions between volunteer residents, the City and builder during the design engagement process. The tree relocation will help create a visual and sound barrier for existing residents during construction.

Other trees (approximately 12 in total), due to their mature age, cannot be replanted and will be removed from the site, but will later be replaced with 40 new trees. Remaining trees on and surrounding the site will be protected from potential construction damage with fencing.

In total, at the end of construction, Larkspur Landing and the surrounding park site will have approximately 121 trees, including Lodgepole Pine and Colorado Spruce, an increase in 69 trees from the 52 trees on the original school site. After the tree relocation, site servicing will commence in August 2015.

August 19, 2015

The following update was provided to us by the City of Edmonton, in response to our written request for clarification on the “two-stage construction” rumour and site construction hours. (This update is provided verbatim and directly from the First Place team with the City of Edmonton.)

Thank you for sharing community concerns regarding the development of new townhomes in the Larkspur neighbourhood. In order to answer your questions, we have worked with the builder (Rohit Communities) to collect facts on project phasing, work hours and the recent newsletter from the realtor.

The stages refer to the sales plan but not to project construction. The “stage” is chosen in the sales plan to ensure the builder can sell homes that are in close proximity to each other, allowing quicker construction for future homebuyers. This is an industry standard practice, and is dictated by typical financial rules for the project, as financial institutions want a certain percentage of sales to commence construction. Most builders of multi-family projects operate under these standards. “Phase” refers to the legal registration of the land/building, which has no bearing on the construction or sales program.

Rohit Communities’ construction schedule still stands at 34-38 months as communicated in the design engagement (which includes site servicing and building construction).

The builder has requested that all contractors strictly adhere to the noise bylaws for construction activity, which are:

Monday through Saturday: 7am – 10pm
Sunday and Holidays: 9am – 7pm

Builders’ contractors typically work between the hours of 7am – 7pm.

We understand some residents are requesting that the contractors start late and stop early; however, they do need to understand that the construction window is very short in our climate. The builder is open to adjusting the construction timeline to adjust to school requirements and will be coordinating with Velma E. Baker School administration.

The information that was communicated to the community was done so through a newsletter written by a Realtor with Re/Max Realty. The information contained within the article was factually incorrect and was taken out of context from a conversation with the builder’s sales agent.

The builder has indicated that the realtor with Re/Max Realty had contact information for the Vice President and Multi- Family Development Manager of Rohit Communities. Unfortunately, they received no communication or correspondence from the realtor to verify information before the flyer was circulated.

We will continue to post updates as we receive them.

The Meadows Community League Board of Directors

Contact TMCL

Mailing Address

PO Box 92068, RPO Meadowbrook. Edmonton, AB T6T 1N1

Physical Presence

The Meadows Community Recreation Centre, 2nd Floor,
2704 17 St NW, Edmonton

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