Community concerns over city planning: City council may adopt Guidebook for Great Communites
CALGARY -- Wayne Howse says the neighbours in Banff Trail are getting bigger and closer.
He says more and more large, multi-unit buildings are going up, dwarfing the homes beside them, including a bungalow still inhabited by its original owners who purchased the house in 1955.
It now has two-story, multi-suite buildings on either side.
"There are four back yards butting on to this one yard space," said Howse, who is part of the Banff Trail Community Association "There is a sense that the neighbours are right here all the time."
Howse said the city is moving too quickly with its Guidebook for Great Communities, a document years in the making that will outline future development across Calgary.
He said the plan doesn't give community members enough recourse if they object to a particular development in their neighbourhood and that previous complaints have been more or less ignored.
OPPOSED TO TOWNHOUSES
Sanjeev Kad, who is running for Ward 6 councillor in the upcoming civic election, said neighbours are also opposed to townhouses and other large multi-unit buildings going up
"Privacy has been one of the issues and another major one has been the property values as well - this is a major concern for people," he said.
The city, however, calls its guidebook a recipe card - and says the ingredients always change, depending on what kind of development is being considered in each community.
It also says even if the guidebook is adopted next week, it won't change any existing rules on what is or is not allowed to be built in a community.
Former city councillor Andre Chabot, who is running again this year, said Calgarians haven't been consulted enough
"The city hasn't had a really good opportunity to weigh in on this," he said. "It's all been online and it's been during the pandemic, it'd be nice if they could delay it."
The city said consultations have been ongoing for the past five years, not only online but also at community association meetings. It also said it has frequently reached out to people who may be have objections to developments, offering them the chance to be heard.
The Guidebook for Great Communities will be presented to city council on Monday, March 22.