Calgary council grants city subsidiary approval in principle for Genesis Centre development

Calgary city council has granted Attainable Homes approval in principle for a development project.
Calgary city council has granted Attainable Homes approval in principle for a development project. Global News

After hours of discussing the proposed development of 1.9 hectares of land near the Genesis Centre in northeast Calgary in council Monday, the city has given a plan from Attainable Homes approval in principle.

Attainable Homes is a city subsidiary that helps people own their own homes by paying part of the down payment. It plans on building a 200-unit development on the land.

Council attempted to refer the matter to September, but ended up giving the first reading for the land-use change. The second and third readings are expected when Attainable Homes submits a development permit application for the project.

Attainable Homes members have been meeting with residents over the years, and say the first objections to their plan didn’t come until January of this year.

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John Harrop, president of Attainable Homes, said there has been a lot of misinformation in the community.

“It had a number of concerns over this becoming a den for crime and parking concerns and what have you,” Harrop said. “In addition to that, we also heard rumours about the same time that we were proposing a drop-in homeless shelter for this site.”

More than 200 Calgarians showed up to the council meeting, many complaining about a lack of public consultation over the project. Some said they want the area left as a green space and voiced concerns about the added congestion a new development would bring.

Avinash Sekhon, who lives near the planned project, said the area is already congested. He said adding another 200 units will cause more problems.

“For the last 15 years, we’ve been living in that mess… Enough is enough,” Sekhon said. “We are losing the green space and adding more residential accommodations, which can add another 1,500 (to) 2,000 people.”

As part of the approval in principle, Coun. Ray Jones has asked for the developer to hold another session of public consultation on the project.

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