3.20 Downtown Special Area

2.1. The applicable location and boundaries of the Downtown Special Area are shown in Appendix I .
4.1. The following Use definitions apply to all Downtown Special Area Zones:
Uses Definition
Casino and Other Gaming Establishment Means development providing facilities for patrons to participate in gaming opportunities as the principal Use
Convenience Vehicle Rental Means development used for the rental of new or used automobiles and light trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of 4000 kg or less. This Use includes those establishments which are not strictly office in nature, but include, as an integral part of the operation, minor vehicle servicing, storing, fuelling or car washing facilities.
Cultural Exhibit Means development for the collection, preservation and public exhibition of works or objects of historical, scientific or artistic value. 
Exhibition and Convention Facility Means a development which is owned and managed by a public authority or non-profit agency and provides permanent facilities for meetings, seminars and conventions; product and trade fairs; circuses; and other exhibitions. 
Fleet Service Means development using a fleet of vehicles for the delivery of people, goods or services, where such vehicles are not available for sale or long term lease. This Use includes ambulance services, taxi services, bus lines, messenger and courier services. This Use does not include moving or cartage firms involving trucks with a gross vehicle weight of more than 3000 kg.
Market Means development used for the sale of new or used goods by multiple vendors renting tables or space either in an enclosed building or outdoors. Vendors may vary from day to day, although the general layout of space to be rented remains the same. The goods sold are generally household items, tools, electronic equipment, food products or concessions, plants, clothing and furniture. Common examples include: public markets and farmers markets.
Minor Service Station Means development used for the routine washing, servicing and repair of vehicles within a building containing not more than three service bays; and for the sale of gasoline, petroleum products, and a limited range of automotive parts and accessories.
Natural Science Exhibit Means development for the preservation, confinement, exhibition or viewing of plants, animals and other objects in nature. 
Nightclub Means development where the primary purpose of the facility is the sale of alcoholic beverages to the public, for consumption within the premises or off the Site, in a facility where entertainment facilities take up more than 10% of the Floor Area. This Use typically has a limited menu from a partially equipped kitchen/preparation area and prohibits minors from lawfully utilizing the facility. 
Recycling Depot Means development used for the buying and temporary storage of bottles, cans, newspapers and similar household goods for reuse where all storage is contained within an enclosed building. Such establishments must not have more than four vehicles for the pick-up and delivery of goods.
Spectator Entertainment Establishment Means development providing facilities within an enclosed building specifically intended for live theatrical, musical or dance performances; or the showing of motion pictures. 
Spectator Sports Establishment Means development providing facilities intended for sports and athletic events which are held primarily for public entertainment, where patrons attend on a recurring basis. 
5.1. The following regulations apply to all the Downtown Special Area Zones  
Parking, Loading, Storage and Access
5.2. Vehicle Parking  
5.2.1. Vehicle parking that is part of a building Podium must be screened in a way that does not disrupt the continuity of the Street Wall and the character of the Zone, and must be less than or equal to 12.0 m in Height from Grade. Screens may include, but are not limited to: public art; and Street facing retail Uses.
5.2.2. No portion of a Parkade on the first floor is allowed for a minimum depth of 8.0 m from any front Facade facing a Street. Vehicle access to the Parkade must be from an Abutting Alley.
5.2.3. Surface Parking Lots must: only be located at the rear of a building and be accessed from the Abutting Alley; include a minimum 4.0 m Landscaped Setback from any property line Abutting a Street; locate the storage of materials, including accumulated snow away from the Street to improve safety and visibility; and provide lighting with a minimum of 6 lux for any Standalone Parking Facilities
5.2.4. The maximum number of vehicle parking spaces permitted on a Site must comply with Section 5.80.
5.3. Access  
5.3.1. Vehicle access to parking structures and Sites must be from an Abutting Alley to maintain an uninterrupted Street Facade and enhance the pedestrian experience. Where there is no Alley or where steep slopes inhibit access, access may be from the Street.
5.3.2. Driveway ramps for underground Parkades must be less than a slope of 6% for the first 4.5 m from the property line, or as prescribed by the City Department responsible for transportation services.
5.3.3. For Residential, Hotel, and institutional Uses, passenger drop-off areas on private properties may be allowed within the Front Setback, provided: adequate space is available; and sidewalk continuity is maintained to the satisfaction of the City Department responsible for transportation services.
5.4. Bicycle Parking and Facilities  
5.4.1. For non-Residential Uses with a gross Floor Area greater than 5,000 m2, change rooms, showers, and covered secured Parking Areas must be provided to the satisfaction of the Development Planner. LEED™ standards must be used to calculate the required areas.
5.5. Garbage and Services  
5.5.1. Any waste collection area or storage area, must be located adjacent to the Alley and must be within the principal building.
5.5.2. The gates and doors of a garbage enclosure must not open or encroach into the Abutting Street.
Sign Uses
5.6. Signage  
5.6.1. Prior to issuing a Development Permit for a Sign, the Development Planner must consider visual harmony and the compatibility of the Sign with surrounding development, including: the architectural theme of the area; any historic designations; the requirements and policies of the Capital City Downtown Plan, as amended; any public realm and streetscape improvements; proximity to residential development; the interaction and placement of pedestrian oriented Signs; driver decision points; traffic conflict points; traffic control devices; and the design, location and appearance of other Signs on the Site.
5.6.2. The Development Planner must refuse any Sign application that may negatively impact the amenities or character of the Zone, or that does not comply with the Capital City Downtown Plan.
5.6.3. A Comprehensive Sign Design Plan in compliance with Section 6.90 may be required at the discretion of the Development Planner.
5.6.4. At the discretion of the Development Planner, applications for Digital Signs may require review by the Edmonton Design Committee in accordance with Section 7.140. The Development Planner in exercising their discretion must have consideration for visual harmony and the compatibility with surrounding development and the policies of the Capital City Downtown Plan as indicated in Subsection 5.6.1.
General Design Regulations
5.7. Weather and Environmental Influences  
5.7.1. Buildings and public spaces must be designed with materials and forms to increase pedestrian comfort and the use of Streets and open spaces using design initiatives outlined in the policies on Winter City Design and Urban Design within the Capital City Downtown Plan.
5.7.2. Developments must incorporate weather protection features designed to fit the character of the block or building, such as, but not limited to: canopies; awnings; sunshades; overhangs; or colonnades. 
5.8. Transparency  
5.8.1. The Ground Floor portion of the Facade Abutting a Street, must consist of transparent, non-reflective, non-tinted, non-obscured glazing.
5.8.2. Blank walls or non-transparent surfaces must be less than or equal to: 20% of the linear building Frontage at ground level, where fronting onto a Street; and 6.0 m in width on buildings containing non-Residential Uses.
5.8.3. Despite, if the surface is designed to accommodate public art, the blank wall must be less than or equal to 10.0 m in width.






Other Regulations
5.9. Exterior Lighting  
5.9.1. Decorative and security lighting must be designed and finished in a manner consistent with the architectural theme of the development. Lighting must be provided to ensure a well-lit environment for pedestrians, and to accentuate Architectural Elements, rooftops, and public art.
5.9.2. Detailed exterior lighting plans may be required for major developments at the discretion of the Development Planner.
Building Conversions to Residential
5.10. Despite other regulations in this Bylaw, the following regulations do not apply where the Use of an existing building is completely or partially changed to Residential, for portions of development that do not result in additional Floor Area: a
5.10.1. Height, Floor Area Ratio, Setback, Stepback, Street Wall Height, Podium Height, Ground Floor Height, building Facade length, and Site area regulations;
5.10.2. regulations that limit the Residential component of a development's Floor Area Ratio or total Floor Area;
5.10.3. Ground Floor elevation from ground level regulations;
5.10.4. regulations that require residential entrances or accesses to be separated from commercial or institutional entrances or accesses;
5.10.5. Tower Setback, articulation, Floor Plate, Stepback, and separation regulations;
5.10.6. regulations that require a building to be in a Tower and Podium configuration; and
5.10.7. regulations that require pedestrian mid-block breaks or access.
5.11. Despite other regulations in this Bylaw, where the Use of an existing building is completely or partially changed to Residential, the Development Planner may consider less than the required: a
5.11.1. number of loading spaces;
5.11.2. total area of outdoor Common Amenity Areas, open spaces, and Yards; and
5.11.3. quantity, size, placement, and ratio of trees and shrubs;
  for portions of development that do not result in additional Floor Area, where the applicable regulation cannot physically be accommodated due to site constraints.  
Appendix I - Downtown Special Area
Downtown Special Area boundary map