A Calgary committee opened the door to greater public participation in city planning after approving the Guide for large communities.
The guide was a project of Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra for much of his three terms on city council, and he calls him “the linchpin of the transformation of our planning system”.
The guide provides direction on developing “great communities” across the city, with Calgary’s population reaching 2 million, as part of the Municipal development plan.
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Rather than being a document just for planners, the Ward 9 councilor said he was changing the planning process to be more citizen-centric.
“When we talk about city planning, we are talking about more than land use. We are literally talking about great communities for everyone.
On Wednesday, the city’s planning and urban development committee heard from citizens and community associations for and against the adoption of the guide.
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One of the problems was the prospect of increased densification of the city center, pre-war neighborhoods and established areas that reach the age of 50, identified as areas A and B in the guide.
Citizens of neighborhoods like Mayfair, Elbow Park and Meadowland Park have expressed concerns about the prospect of having six-story condominiums eclipsing a single-family home.
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The councilor of Ward 9 said that the codification of the zones formalized “the reality on the ground”.
“It’s just recognizing the fact that for the foreseeable future a lot of densification will happen where a lot of densification will happen,” Carra told Global News.
“And the other thing he recognizes is that certain neighborhoods, which also correspond to older neighborhoods, are more designed and adaptable to a greater mix of uses and greater densification over time.”
District 3 Council. Jyoti Gondek said the city was “absolutely not trying” to eliminate single-family homes in established neighborhoods.
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“There is room for all types of housing in all types of communities,” Gondek, chair of the committee, told Global News.
“And the goal of this guide is to make sure that we all remember that every neighborhood in every community is better when we mix housing types in it, because it allows a great diversity of people to live and live there. keep this area alive. ”
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A representative from Calgary Economic Development (DEC) spoke in favor of the guide, saying it aligns with the city’s long-term economic strategy.
Court Ellingson, CED’s vice president of research and strategy, told the committee he reviewed the guide and how it addresses economic vitality, identity, health and wellness, social interactions and the natural environment.
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“There is a very strong alignment between these principles and Calgary’s foundational foundations in the new economy and how we are building a prosperous future,” said Ellingson.
Heritage Calgary also supported the document, saying it balances heritage concerns with the needs of the present and the future.
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“We believe the city has demonstrated that it understands that heritage preservation must be more than just preserving unique buildings by providing broader protections for these areas,” said Asia Walker of Heritage Calgary.
“The city shows that it is actively working to preserve this feeling of belonging.
And a representative from the Calgary Inner City Builders Association said he agreed with the guide “in principle.”
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When the guide is promulgated, it will become a “living document” and a 2009 annex. Municipal development plan. Carra calls him Municipal development plan a “document on everything”, addressing issues such as climate change, economic and sociological concerns.
“(The guide) also enables a new land use planning regulation which, for the first time in the city’s history, will align our aspirations with what we want our city to become and our neighborhoods to become with the law of territory that governs this, ”Carra said.
The committee voted 7-1 in favor of forwarding the guide to council. Only Ward 11 of the county. Jeromy Farkas is opposed to it.
The guide will be presented at the March 22 city council meeting and will include public presentations before a council vote.
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