Calgary mayoral candidate and Ward 10 Councillor Andre Chabot says the city would have difficulty delaying the closure of Midfield Mobile Home Park, which is slated to shut down on Sept. 30.
“Municipalities are limited in what they can or can’t do in terms of cancellation of projects,” Chabot said Monday. “Once we’ve entered into a contractual obligation, we cannot reverse that decision.”
WATCH BELOW: Andre Chabot says Calgary city council is out of options as Midfield Mobile Home Park faces closure
Chabot said the best the city could hope for, is to delay the contractor. But he said that would cost extra taxpayer dollars.
“I think we’ve been placed between a rock and a hard place.”
Chabot said Midfield park is untenable in the long term because of aging infrastructure and he suggests “remediation would be virtually impossible.”
“The infrastructure runs directly underneath the trailers, which is why it made it impossible for us to look at a comprehensive redevelopment of that site with regards to infrastructure – the water and the sewage lines,” he said.
He said there is a developer, Pacific Investments and Development Ltd., that has plans to build a mobile home park in Calgary, but that it would be quite some time before the park is able to accept tenants. Chabot said the developer has provided an area structure plan for the site and will be seeking land-use approval in the fall.
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“I don’t know that this new mobile home park will be able to accommodate all of those folks,” he said, referring to restrictions some mobile home parks may place on the age and types of acceptable units.
“It’s too little too late,” he said.
Chabot said he advocated for the East Hills Estates location and had sought to delay the closure of Midfield park until a new facility could be constructed. But he said the plan to develop at East Hills had been met with pushback following the election of Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra.
“This plan that the city had would have been a great solution, not only for those residents, but residents of other mobile home parks that are reaching end of life, and an opportunity for entry-level housing for people who can’t afford anything other than this,” he said.
Chabot said he had pushed for accelerated approval of a shopping hill in the East Hills area that could support a mobile home park and other communities in the area. He argued that would also justify bringing regular transit into the area.
But he said council was concerned about whether the plan would “pencil out,” or that there would be a return on investment. He said he felt there was also some confusion among councillors about what solution residents would be satisfied with.
“I think that when people said, ‘We want to live within our community,’ that the local politicians assumed they wanted to live geographically there, whether it was in a mobile home park or not,” he explained.
Chabot said ultimately, with the only alternative to Midfield park potentially years away from completion, he’s not sure what the solution is for its residents.
“It’s a horrible situation, I have to agree,” he said.
Global News contacted Gian-Carlo Carra but he declined to comment. We also contacted Nenshi and Pacific Investments but did not immediately receive a response.
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