Case Studies

A curated selection of our projects.

Case Study No. 1: Getting to ‘Yes’ for a Private Institution


kidtoschoolIn this case, we were retained by a small private group who were in need of some assistance. They had spent years searching for an appropriate property to build a small private school for their community’s children. Until a new central school could be built, students were attending a school campus in a neighboring community, with some having to commute up to an hour just to go to school.

Finally, the group found and purchased a property that could fit their school and was central enough for all their students to attend. Giesbrecht & Co. was engaged to begin political feasibility and to test support for the project on the City Council. One of the main issues was that the property was in an area of the municipality that had not had its Neighbourhood Plan updated in several decades, and the existing land-uses in the area were a mismatch of different uses, many of which were grandfathered zones from many, many years before. As well, there was no municipal water available for the students, and fire protection for the building sprinkler system.

The municipality’s Staff and Council were hesitant to approve a school being built in the area as a one-off project because of the lack of community planning. Through close communication with all of the municipality’s Council members, as well as members of Senior Staff, a unique solution was found, which would allow the school to be built, while concurrently updating a local land-use plan for the area.

The Council gave the new school 3 rd reading, on the condition that the local land-use plan would be completed before an occupancy permit would be released. This gave the parents project certainty before they began spending significant monies on the studies required as is typically the case.

The solution entailed our firm managing a land-use study for the neighbourhood so that in the future, development applications would not come forward without adhering to a broader vision for the area. Thanks to our hard work and good working relationship with all the stakeholders involved, our firm was able to deliver an approved application to our initial client as well as a transparent community planning process to the neighbourhood.