Parking lot sours proposed soccer dome development: councillor

A proposed soccer dome and surface parking lot is slated to be built at 17 Avenue and 33 St. S.W. John Himpe/ 770 CHQR

A Calgary city councillor is not happy with the location of a proposed soccer dome.

Counc. Evan Wooley said the community hadn’t been expecting such a large surface parking lot to go along with the dome at 17 Ave. S.W. and 33 St. S.W.

“We spent an immense amount of money – well over $100 million – on that station, for transit-oriented development,” he said. “The community was engaged very deeply over a long period of time about their expectations and hopes and dreams.”

According to the city’s website, transit-oriented development is meant to be walkable, mixed-use development near a transit station. Typically, it’s high density to encourage more transit ridership.

The development permit application is for two indoor soccer fields and parking for up to 415 cars on the 12-acre site. Under zoning rules that land use is permitted.

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The application also says it would be temporary for 10 years.

Woolley is upset that more parking is being asked for than necessary.

“What’s frustrating is the requirement for this dome is only 267 stalls and they are bringing a proposal with 415. This drives a lot of neighbourhood traffic and no engagement has been undertaken as a part of this proposal,” he said.

“We talk a lot about transit-oriented development; we haven’t been very good on delivering that,” the Ward 8 councillor added.

“When we invest this kind of public money into LRT and this is Calgary’s only subway station, we need to deliver a return on investment of that money.”

Because the application is for a development permit and not for a land use change, the item will not go to city council and approval will be up to the city’s planning department.

South of the proposed site, there are already plans to build a development that will include condos, office space and retail and community spaces adjacent to 17 Ave. S.W. and 33 St. S.W.

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