North Hill Area Plan heads to council mired in controversy and 'misinformation'
CALGARY -- It's a plan that would shape redevelopment in nine inner-city communities, and it's drawing up support and opposition from across Calgary.
The North Hill Communities Local Area Plan will go to council for consideration on Monday.
The document is part of city administration's attempt to streamline planning and redevelopment.
It would, according to ward 9 councillor Gian-Carlo Carra, be sort of a blueprint to help shape building decisions in the future.
Carra believes Monday's vote is long overdue: just like the document.
"I'm supporting a plan that drives generational reinvestment and balances preservation with change over time," Carra told CTV News.
But there's plenty of opposition.
Some Calgarians are convinced the proposal could put single family detached homes and older neighbourhoods in jeopardy. Renfrew Resident Megan Waldie believes, if passed, the plan could open the door to developers and density in areas that aren't suited to it.
She's also concerned a yes on Monday could lead to a blanket yes when it comes to future plans.
"While it doesn't rezone anything right now, it is taking away some of the power and potential community members have in terms of killing any kind of land re-designation," Waldie said.
He says a lot of the opposition talking points surrounding density are "a result of misinformation."
"When individual propositions come forward, we're still going to have conversations about them," he said. "But now, out conversations will be informed by this larger and more thoughtful process."
The plan won't guarantee development.
The president of the Highland Park Community Association says she thinks it'll only help with order.
"Our community has been without any kind of overarching guidance or vision to guide the redevelopment," Jeanne Kimber said. "I've lived in this community since 1985, and it has been changing regardless. The North Hill Communities Local Area Plan does not mean suddenly everything is going to be bulldozed down, because the change will just keep on happening incrementally. At least the plan will help direct where some of that redevelopment pressure goes and where the higher density goes."
The LAP has been in the planning stages since 2018. There's been a public hearing and public engagement.
Council also made amendments to the plan in April.
But some opponents say the time between the revisions being made public and Monday's vote isn't enough. They want another chance to be heard.
"People who have invested a lot of money in character and community in the space want a say," council candidate Terry Wong said. "And that's all we're asking for."
Councillors believe Monday's decision will be a tight one. Some are even predicting a 7-7 tie.