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Edmonton city councillors approve controversial affordable housing proposal in Keheewin

Click to play video: 'Controversial affordable housing in Keheewin approved by Edmonton city council' Controversial affordable housing in Keheewin approved by Edmonton city council
Controversial affordable housing in Keheewin approved by Edmonton city council – Jan 23, 2020

A proposal to build 135-unit affordable housing units next to an elementary school in the south Edmonton community of Keheewin was passed by city council by a vote of 11-2 on Wednesday afternoon.

The low-income units are to be built on a vacant lot next to Keheewin School, along 19 Avenue near 105 Street, but the project had faced stiff opposition from some area residents, arguing the project was too large and too close to the school.

Capital Region Housing has submitted a proposal to rezone the 1.46 ha vacant school site to allow for the construction of the housing development in Keheewin. Courtesy: City of Edmonton/CRH

The land was originally slated for a junior high, but became a surplus school site in 2009. It’s one of several surplus school sites that have been redeveloped into housing, or proposed for such a purpose.

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READ MORE: South Edmonton residents voice concerns with affordable housing proposal in Keheewin

Mayor Don Iveson spoke about the concerns expressed by some residents ahead of the vote.

“The test for us is not the consent of the neighbourhood… the unanimous consent of the neighbourhood,” he said. “The test is also not the absence of impact.

“Really, the test is the reasonableness of the proposals and their consistency with policy and their mitigations to impacts.”

Some opponents of Capital Region Housing’s proposal for a mix of low-rise apartment housing and row housing argued having up to 135 residential units built at the site was excessive.

Rendering of the Keheewin affordable housing project in south Edmonton.
Rendering of the Keheewin affordable housing project in south Edmonton. Courtesy: Capital Region Housing

Iveson said residents’ concerns had been listened to throughout various stages of the debate, including on Wednesday.

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Iveson said he believes the project to be “in the civic and public interest.”

No construction date has been set.

Watch below: (From Jan. 21, 2020) Edmonton city councillors heard concerns from Keheewin residents about the proposed complex. Sarah Komadina has more from city hall.

Click to play video: 'South Edmonton residents share concerns about affordable housing project' South Edmonton residents share concerns about affordable housing project
South Edmonton residents share concerns about affordable housing project – Jan 21, 2020

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