Opinion: Glenmore Touchdown isn't suited to redevelopment plan

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David Jacobs

When is protected parkland not protected?

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Richard White’s column within the Oct. 7 Herald uncared for to say that the town is promoting 5 acres of Glenmore Reservoir parkland to RioCan for this growth. Metropolis Corridor uncared for to share this data with Calgarians when this parkland was declared surplus in 2015 and it’s now topic to a rezoning software benefiting each developer and metropolis coffers. 

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White appears to have forgotten that from the Nineteen Seventies to mid-Eighties, metropolis corridor fought all the way in which to the Supreme Courtroom with the unique developer to maximise the parkland and guarantee Glenmore Touchdown wouldn’t be a blight on the adjoining communities of Heritage Park and Glenmore Reservoir. That nice legacy and imaginative and prescient, protected by caveat, have to be upheld and continued.

The RioCan land-use software states that within the “first section” there’ll solely be 1,248 residential items (six 36-storey towers), plus intensified business growth leading to an extra 3,000 residents and staff dwelling and dealing on web site. Moreover, RioCan proposes two extra residential towers and three extra multi-use buildings of 9 to 17 storeys: mainly, a business pedestal with residential and workplace buildings above with underground parking. 

White additional speaks of “fewer and taller buildings (that) will permit extra mild into the inside of the positioning, in addition to extra properties with spectacular reservoir, mountain and downtown views.” Six towers to the east and south of the prevailing plaza and extra to the north and west will create concrete canyons exceeding downtown densities. On this well-calculated scheme, there shall be some spectacular views, however this shall be neither inexpensive nor household housing.

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White beforehand famous in his Might 5 column that “Calgary should cease lacking alternatives for brand spanking new inexpensive housing.” He acknowledged there have been many LRT stations and different websites effectively suited to inexpensive housing — this web site was not on his checklist. Excessive-density rental and mixed-use growth wants entry to high-speed, high-capacity LRT and a number of bus routes feeding the station. White notes there are solely two bus routes serving this web site.

Glenmore Touchdown, as envisioned, is not going to be “inexpensive.” It’s also not shut to varsities, nor a full vary of inexpensive shops, providers, playgrounds and ball fields. Glenmore Reservoir doesn’t accommodate all these household leisure wants.

With solely two driveways serving the positioning and no extra attainable in an already congested space, it’s unrealistic so as to add site visitors from doubtlessly 5,000 residents and count on ninetieth Avenue to operate safely. What does the obligatory site visitors influence evaluation predict?

Whereas White notes “the brand new ring street with interchanges at Southland and ninetieth Avenue S.W. ought to take a number of the site visitors off 14th Avenue S.W. and its hyperlink to Glenmore Path,” he fails to say the infrastructure results on transportation, water and sewer, and the leisure influence on the Weaselhead, South Glenmore Park, Fish Creek and the Glenmore Reservoir. Can infrastructure help this and different proposed neighbouring growth? However the above, a community-requested Space Redevelopment Plan is required to eradicate any perceived irregularities.

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The redevelopment proposal is inappropriate for this distinctive and particular parkland-protected space. It’s unacceptable planning and doesn’t meet regular human scale wants. A flawed course of is underway. All Calgarians ought to demand a proof as to why these explicit lands have to be opened as much as growth. Was nothing else out there? A warning for all of us: If they’ll do it right here, they’ll and can do it anyplace.

Conceptually, respectful, applicable and accountable densification of our metropolis is helpful, nonetheless, densification just isn’t inherently ‘location’ applicable. There was good cause these lands have been protected within the first place.

Areas the place redevelopment is acceptable do exist. Glenmore Touchdown just isn’t one in all them.

David Jacobs is an city planner with 40 years of private and non-private expertise.

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