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'Sign of the times': Bowness residents watch as rezoning, construction changes community around them

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In the northwest Calgary community of Bowness, single-family homes are making way for multi-family apartments and row houses.

Dee Allen lives on Bowwood Road, where rezoning and construction are visible from blocks away in either direction.

Allen has witnessed the changes from her front porch, observing the demolition of houses across from her on Bowwood Drive to accommodate new developments.

"It's like losing a good friend," Allen said about the loss of her community's original charm.

The redevelopment has sparked mixed reactions among Bowness residents.

Some, like Jesse Murphy, who resides in a new row house, welcome the change, as it provides much-needed housing.

"These big, multi-family units, as soon as it's done, it's full," Murphy said.

"I don't know where all these people were living before, but ... this is necessary."

Others like Allen fear the loss of the community's identity.

"This isn't progress. It's going backwards," Allen said.

"This is going backwards. We're going to lose our community, and it's so precious."

Alkarim Devani, co-founder of Calgary-based Round Square, the developer behind some of the new construction, encourages locals to embrace the evolution.

"The things that make our communities vibrant, that are the communities that we all want to live in, is that change," Devani said.

"It comes with the coffee shop, it comes with the amenities, it comes with the investment and walkability."

Jim Angevine, another resident, sees the redevelopment as inevitable.

"It's a sign of the times. Always, things change. It's one thing in life you can count on," Angevine said.

"I think, in the long run, it'll work. Things usually work out in the long run. That's what I always find."

As Bowness continues to evolve, the debate over the pace and scale of rezoning reflects the broader challenges Calgary faces in balancing growth with community preservation.

Public hearings on a plan to allow so-called "blanket rezoning" will continue at city council throughout the week. 

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