Right now about 585 empty lots sit in Regina, there is also 130 unused surface parking lots, and 37 vacant buildings.
The city of Regina learned this as part of their recent Underutilized Land Study.
While not an uncommon problem in cities, it’s something the city of Regina would like to fix.
Currently 14 per-cent of the city’s overall growth is in these “in-fill areas”, their goal is 30 per-cent.
However achieving that goal might prove difficult.
Shauna Bzdel, the city’s Director of Planning said it’s often difficult to get developers into these areas due to various barriers and red-tape.
“The regulations around developing an infill property are the biggest barrier. So there’s lack of education on the process and what is required when developing these in-fill lots,” Bzdel said. “Then also the change, so changing a vacant lot to develop it into something else constitutes sometimes a significant change in the neighborhood,” she added.
That change could be a re-zoning amendment or even a cultural change to the neighborhood overall.
“It’s important to the city to see the neighborhoods regenerate and stay thriving, of course that’s also a process with the neighborhood itself. We want to make sure that we’re not imposing such a huge change that the area loses its original character,” she added.
Bzdel said the next step for the city will be learning how they can entice developers back into these empty or vacant properties.
“That’s exactly what the next stage of our project is going to be. We’ve done the study to see what the barriers are, and now we’re going to be creating a strategy on how to encourage creating a development on these under utilized sites,” Bzdel said.