Infill Housing Guidelines
Cities are undergoing constant change. Ongoing renewal and redevelopment has prompted many cities, like Regina, to develop guidelines that will ensure that new development has a positive impact on existing neighbourhoods. Like the City of Edmonton, Saskatoon, Ottawa and many others, the City of Regina is developing Infill Housing Guidelines to increase the compatibility of future infill development with its surroundings.
What is Infill Development?
Infill Development refers to the addition of new residential dwellings in established neighbourhoods. Infill Development can include: 1) development of a new residential dwelling on vacant land, 2) additions and structural alterations to existing dwellings, or 3) the replacement of existing dwellings with new ones. Infill Development does not necessarily result in intensification; intensification through Infill Development only occurs when such development results in the introduction of additional residential units.
Why Infill Development?
Infill Development is important because it allows property owners to renew and revitalize the housing stock and redevelop on their properties, while also providing benefits for the wider community. It promotes compact and complete communities and better utilizes existing transportation and servicing infrastructure because new homes will be built within existing neighbourhoods rather than at the edge of the City. When residential intensification occurs as part of infill development, there is an increase in the diversity and affordability of housing options, and more households will live in existing neighbourhoods and support local businesses and amenities.
How, When and Where will Infill Development Occur?
Infill Development is already occurring throughout Regina’s established neighbourhoods. Based on the Infill Housing Guidelines, the City of Regina’s Zoning Bylaw will be amended with new regulations. At such time, new Infill Development applications will be required to conform to these new regulations, and construction will commence incrementally as demand warrants.
Site and Building Design Considerations
Infill Development should balance the need for neighbourhood renewal and flexibility with ensuring a good fit in already established neighbourhoods. Infill developments should be well proportioned and designed, and oriented toward adjacent streets and open spaces. They should contribute to an attractive, animated and safe community. The height and massing of new buildings should not overwhelm the character of neighbouring homes or the street, ensuring that neighbours’ access to sunlight, privacy and views are not affected.
Key considerations include:
- Building location and orientation on the property;
- Building form, height and massing;
- The depth of front, side and rear-yard setbacks;
- Parking and access;
- Landscaping, servicing and drainage;
- Front porches and front entries;
- Internal pathways and lighting; and
- Sustainable design features including permeable pavers and on-site storm-water retention.