January 13, 2019 7:23 pm

Northeast Calgary residents concerned over proposed 24-metre condo on Edmonton Trail

WATCH: Some residents of a northeast Calgary community are raising concerns about the height of proposed condo building on Edmonton Trail. As Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, people who live there say this would be a terrible precedent but the architect says it's all about focusing on Calgary's future growth.

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Some residents of Winston Heights-Mountview in Calgary are opposing a new condo that would be nearly double the height of existing buildings.

The proposed project would be located on Edmonton Trail at 27 Avenue N.E. It would include condos and retail space, and could be up to 24 metres tall — the current maximum for the area is 14 metres.

Resident David Watson said his biggest concern is that this would be precedent-setting for Edmonton Trail.

“The community and I are not against redevelopment but this rezoning is asking for double the height in terms of storeys potentially,” Watson said on Sunday.

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People who attended an open house in August said their parking questions weren’t addressed sufficiently.

“There were a lot of concerns raised at that meeting that seemed to be kind of swept under the rug,” said Cristin Tollefson.

“Parking is going to be a really big challenge, especially with the new development across the street. We already have issues with people speeding down the street. We have issues of people parking across my driveway. You add in hundreds of more people on this quiet residential street and it’s going to cause a problem.”

Some northeast Calgary residents are opposing a new condo project that would be nearly double the height of existing buildings.

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Longtime residents and business owners have questioned if that part of Edmonton Trail needs more retail space.

“I have been born and raised here so I’ve seen lots of growth on Edmonton Trail,” said realtor Tony Nicastro. “I would say coming further north here, we probably don’t need as much growth. I think Edmonton Trail going towards downtown into the Bridgeland area, I would say yes, it’s good. There’s already a lot of challenges in the city with small businesses.”

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The Winston Heights-Mountview Community Association supports the land use redesignation.

“As per our ARP [Area Redevelopment Plan], one of our main visions for Winston Heights-Mountview is to support community interaction by creating opportunities for social inclusion,” stated a letter from the planning and development committee. “We feel that a multi-use building will create these opportunities and will be a positive and welcomed addition to the neighborhood.”

The community association has not formally supported the building plans.

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Kelvin Hamilton, the architect behind the project told Global News there is a need to create more mixed-use developments along main streets like Edmonton Trail to assist in making Calgary more walkable and vibrant.

“Urban planning is very important,” Hamilton said in a statement. “KHA [Kelvin Hamilton Architecture] is aware that growth pains can feel uncomfortable, however, if not embraced, we are in effect not focusing on our future. We must realize that what we are doing is preparing for generations to come to also enjoy a city and community that we love.

“Statistics reveal that Calgary is growing at a rate that within 60 years, will see the population double. We must now plan economically, to ensure Calgary will remain affordable and livable through innovative planning ideas. With foresight, KHA is stepping up to assist in leading the way by challenging inner city communities to partner with the city to embrace change for the betterment of the community now and for years to come.”

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Those opposed said it makes more sense for a project this size to be located closer to the future CTrain line.

“I believe retail needs to be located where it can do the best work and I think that’s more on Centre Street where the Green Line LRT station is going to be,” Watson said.

A public hearing on the land use change goes to council on Jan. 14.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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