On September 10 2012, after three years of work between Arts Habitat Edmonton, the City of Edmonton Sustainable Development, the Edmonton Arts Council and the arts community, The Art of Living Recommendation #2 – Review of Bylaws and City Regulations was unanimously passed by City Council.
The City reports show how arts-related use-class definitions will be modified to reflect the needs of the arts community. Definitions have also been reworded to be future-looking – anticipating as yet unknown disciplines, and replacing outmoded language. Definitions are generally more flexible and inclusive. More definitions will actually name the arts. This is great news! It means that when you go to apply for a development permit, the attending technician won’t tell you your use “doesn’t fit”. (At least not most of the time!)
In addition, most uses have been added to multiple zones. This means that when you finally find your perfect location for a studio or performance space, it is more likely to be “allowed”, or “discretionary”, which in turn means fewer hoops for you to get your space up and running.
We are particularly proud of the new Creation and Production Establishment definition that unequivocally describes studio space for artistic disciplines across the board. Equally, the new Media Studio describes space makes room for new modes of digital design and production. Both of these uses will now be discretionary uses in the coveted industrial zones.
We are no less proud of the changes made to “Live/Work Unit.” Not only will it now be allowed across all commercial zones, it has been simplified and thus stripped of existing obstacles to artist uses.
The work isn’t done but we’ve definitely leapt forward. Still under review are permits and licenses especially as they impact Home Businesses (that’s you folks with studios at home), eating and drinking establishments as they impact the live music community, and of course parking, parking, parking …
The new changes take place immediately. How good is that?
Complete details and reports can be found on the City Arts-Related page