Airdrie United Church hopes to present development plans to council

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“There has been misinformation, and there is some fear that the church will demolish this historic building and replace it with a large-scale building,” DenHaan said. “We don’t anticipate this. I think clarifying some of this misinformation will also be helpful.

Nine months after celebrating the 100th anniversary of its first service, the Airdrie United Church (AUC) will hold its final open house on September 7, before taking discussions on the historic building’s future to the city council in the fall. next.

“The existing heritage building (100 years old) has fundamental issues with its foundation and structure that are more than can reasonably be expected for the congregation to bear the cost of repairs,” explained Joel DenHaan, coordinating consultant for real estate advice. of the Airdrie United Church on this issue.

The same is true for the existing hall, DenHaan confirmed, which will lead to tough choices about how best to use the site while allowing a sustainable congregation to move forward.

“We have not yet decided on a particular form or construction model by which we will move forward,” DenHaan pointed out. “We see opportunities there and we want to engage in dialogue with the city and work with the city on the planning for this because we recognize that this is a unique and historic property and therefore will require another type of conversation about what to do on the site.

Land use regulations that currently govern the First Avenue NE site would ultimately need to be amended by City Council to make substantial changes to the current church site and secondary properties. These discussions have already begun with the city at the administrative level, DenHaan confirmed, but the church congregation also felt it was important to include the community as a whole in a discussion about how the building site can be modified to continue to meet the needs of Airdronians in the future.

The church has already held a series of open houses this summer, in person and online, to ask the public what it thinks of its proposed development plans.

“We had two focus groups with interested parties from the area and groups that showed some interest in talking to us,” DenHaan said. “We had an ongoing dialogue with the planners and then we have this other open day on (September 7).”

The City of Airdrie confirmed in a statement to the Airdrie city view that he was very interested in the results of the church’s public consultation process.

“The planning department is currently reviewing an application for redevelopment/development of the Airdrie United Church (AUC) grounds,” the statement read.

“As part of the planning process, AUC consultants are hosting a public engagement event (September 7) to gather public feedback on the app. Information gathered during public engagement will form part of the staff review of the application.

The City has confirmed that its planning staff will prepare to take the issue to the Municipal Planning Commission once the AUC completes its public consultations and resolves some of the “outstanding issues” with its application.

Once the AUC and its consultants resolve the outstanding issues, the application will then be forwarded to the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) for a recommendation to City Council, the statement confirmed.

“After MPC, the application will be presented to council in a public hearing,” the city said. “At the public hearing, members of the public will be able to provide direct feedback to council. The application is being tracked for MPC and the Board of [the fourth quarter] of this year.

DenHaan hoped the open house this summer would dispel any misconceptions members of the public may have had about the site’s future.

“There will be no low-cost housing or high-rise buildings,” DenHaan said. “That’s not what we have in mind. We see housing as one of the possible options, but we must also work with the City in a way that adapts to the context around us.

“There has been misinformation, and there is some fear that the church will demolish this historic building and replace it with a large-scale building. We don’t anticipate that. I think clarifying some of this misinformation will also be helpful.

Although the complete replacement of the church with apartment buildings is not on the table, DenHaan noted that there is no getting around the fact that there will have to be major construction and alterations. on the existing site if the church and congregation are to have a future in the village. piece

“The church will change because it changes on its own,” he said. “But the historical elements of it, things like the bell tower, we pay a lot of attention to that… It can’t (just) be adaptive reuse, because we have structural issues under the building that mean a a good chunk of it is going to have to come down.

“But in doing so, you can take things like some of the (heritage) features of the building and find ways to preserve or replicate them.”

Those who want to learn more and have a say in any potential changes at Airdrie United Church can attend a final open day at the church on September 7. The event starts at 3 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m.

Airdrie United Church is located at 212 First Avenue NE.

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