A city committee voted in favour of a plan to sell two parcels of “surplus” lands near Glenmore Landing in southwest Calgary and the motion will now make its way to council for a final decision.
The eight to three vote came late Wednesday after more than 40 people lined up to have their say on the proposal. Of the councillors at the committee meeting, Andre Chabot, Dan McLean and Sean Chu voted against the motion.
City administration is supporting the sale of the city-owned lands adjacent to the shopping centre at the corner of 14th Street and 90th Avenue S.W.
“The question today is, is this land in its current form… what kind of value is it adding to the community? What kind of value is it adding with respect to climate and ecology and biodiversity? And is it so valuable that it shouldn’t be sold for housing?” asked councillor Kourtney Penner, the representative for the area.
The proposal for possible development, put forth by RioCan Management Inc., is to build six high-rise towers with space for about 2,700 occupants and several other mixed-use buildings.
A map shows the footprint of a proposed redevelopment area in Glenmore Landing.
“The potential traffic congestion, strain on public services and the potential strain on local schools are just a few examples of the practical hurdles we may face,” said one man speaking to council in opposition to the sale and possible development.
“Furthermore, the sense of community and neighbourly interaction that currently flourishes in our neighbourhood will be jeopardized by high-rise living,” he said.
Leslie Levant, a long-time resident of Pump Hill, raised environmental and safety concerns due to possibly adding hundreds more people to the area.
“You’ve got little people crossing ideas with their walkers and their wheelchairs. We don’t have enough schools. They haven’t done any hydrology or geology reports,” she said.
A group of nearby residents launched a campaign to oppose the proposed project and the city said it received 2,698 responses from the public about the sale of the lands. Just six of the responses were in favour of the sales.
“I’m completely in support of (the proposal),” said Dominic Mesenchuk, a resident of Chinook Park and University of Calgary urban studies student.
“It ticks all the boxes for transit-oriented development. It has great transit connectivity, because transit hubs aren’t only CTrains, right? The BRT is right there. It’s used quite heavily,” he said.
The sale of the lands is the first step and will have to be voted on before proceeding to land-use re-designation and the development permit process.