Calgary City Council has rejected a proposal to rezone land to allow for two homes to build on a sub-divided 75-foot lot in the southwest community of Elbow Park.
There was a large show of opposition from community members on Monday who mentioned everything from flood fears to concerns of massive redevelopment if the application from the landowner was approved.
The residents fear the change would open the gates to more development that isn’t compatible in the area that was devastated by the 2013 floods.
“It destroys my faith in council in some of the questions you are asking. This is a flood area,” Allan Markin, Calgary Flames co-owner and Elbow Park resident, told council.
“This person is trying to get a flood area re-zoned. To anybody with a sound mind — why would they build on a flood plain, flood fringe? Why would they do that?”
Markin believed no houses should be built until upstream mitigation is built and questions whether the Springbank Dry Dam will be approved.
Councillor Evan Woolley said if council followed what Markin wanted, then none of the existing homeowners in Elbow Park would have been allowed to rebuild their homes that were devastated after the 2013 flood.
“You know the city is built on two riverways,” Woolley said.
“Can you imagine the construction jobs we would lose in this city if we froze development until upstream mitigation was done?”
Landowner and applicant Warren Rylands told members of council there was a lot of misinformation going around the community.
“The fact is, we are not demolishing a character home,” Rylands said. “It is an empty lot and has been since 2013. We are not building three homes, we would like to build two homes.”
In the end, councillors 8-6 against the applicant and decided for the residents.