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Saskatoon declines to accelerate Solair project

JOC News Service
Saskatoon declines to accelerate Solair project

Saskatoon, Sask. – The city of Saskatoon announced it will not accelerate the Solair Neighbourhood project into the Holmwood Suburban Development Area.

The city explained that the proposed development site is mostly outside the city limits and not in the development stream for any immediate city development.

Angela Gardiner, general manager of transportation and construction, said in a press release that the Civic Administration works hard to support developers and to create a business-friendly community.

“We completely respect and appreciate the goals of such a business and these companies need to make money on their developments; however, that cannot be done on the backs of taxpayers, or at the expense of other developers,” Gardiner said.  “We have an obligation to ensure Saskatoon develops in a fair and predictable manner for all developers.

“We also need to make sure the multi-million-dollar underground services – water, sewer, storm water, power, and communications – work properly and are constructed in a cost-effective way.”

The project, which would create a future neighbourhood southeast of the city, is being developed by Arbutus Properties.

The city added that the proposal has concepts that support many of the city’s environmental and development goals, but the civic Administration suggested Arbutus implement some of the “eco-friendly” concepts it has proposed within the extensive undeveloped lands it owns in Rosewood.

According to Arbutus’ website, its vision for the Solair development is to build the largest “green” sustainable community in Canada.

“Solair will provide unparalleled opportunity for innovation and development of solar technology, ground water management and home building innovation,” reads the project description. “We strive to showcase how development practices can be geared towards ecological and quality of life goals while remaining economically viable.”

According to Arbutus, the community will consist of over 2,000 homes and approximately 7,000 residents living in condos, townhomes and single-family homes at a variety of price points.

Gardiner added that there are multiple billion-dollar private developments already underway in Saskatoon.

“Adding another development will not attract additional housing demand in the City: it will simply take away demand from areas where City Council has already made significant investments,” she said.

Council has also asked the Administration to report back on any possible ways to expand oversight or regulation around environmental features of new neighbourhood development.

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