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Calgary homeowners lash out at new development over proximity to their backyard

Click to play video '‘Not in my backyard’: Why a group of Calgary homeowners say their neighbours are too close for comfort' ‘Not in my backyard’: Why a group of Calgary homeowners say their neighbours are too close for comfort
WATCH: Some Calgary homeowners say a new development right outside their doors is putting their safety at risk, invading their privacy and devaluing their homes. Tomasia DaSilva reports.

A new multi-family development in the northeast Calgary community of Skyview is coming under fire from neighbours.

The development is right behind Harjeet Jassi’s home.

She told Global News she’s not opposed to the housing development itself; rather the road connected to it, which she said is too high — even higher than their fences.

“It’s just like a flyover — right behind my house!”

Calgary homeowners concerned over new development
Calgary homeowners concerned over new development. Global News

Jassi said she’s worried about the safety of children playing in the backyard, as well as seniors who may not be able to move out of the way quickly enough if a vehicle was to go over the fence.

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Neighbour Chris Fraser is concerned about the lack of privacy.

“I can see the road, right up to my head, standing here,” he said. “There’s no privacy. Headlights will be coming into the windows, we’ll have to shut our blinds.”

Read more: ‘Dangerous’ oversupply of new, single-family homes in Calgary and Edmonton: Moody’s forecast

Homeowners blame at the City of Calgary for approving the project.

“The city did nothing,” Irene Bennett said. “They didn’t come to talk to us. They did nothing.”

City of Calgary officials said it’s important to note what residents are calling a road is in fact a private driveway, which was necessary for the development.

“The driveway is needed to gain site access to all of the new residential buildings on the property,” City of Calgary Community Planning Development coordinator Rick Michalenko said. “And it’s built up like that to deal with storm water and site servicing elements.”

Michalenko also the city followed the proper procedures when it came to announcing and approving the development, and no neighbour came forward with any concerns.

“The application went through a completed review and approvals process,” he added.

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“We are not engineers,” Jassi said. “We don’t know how they are going to build it.”

Calgary homeowners concerned over new development
Calgary homeowners concerned over new development. Global Calgary

Mickalenko said despite all that, the city has been working with the developer to address the concerns brought up now.

“Based on the timing that their concerns were raised — which were well into the construction process — we’ve done everything that we can in working with the developer to try and bring along improvements at this stage,” he added.

Those improvements include a higher fence and additional landscaping to aid in the privacy.

Read more: Home-building materials questioned after massive Calgary storm damage

Developer Partners Homes told Global News it always tries to be a good neighbour.

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Tim Dubiel reiterated the elevation of the driveway was necessary for the proper drainage of water and storm water and that it had to make the changes as per the city’s requests.

“We understand where they’re [residents] are coming from, but our hands are tied to the [municipal] development permit design approval.”

Both the city and the developer told Global News the final product will look much better and appealing than it does now.

Some Skyview residents are angry over a new development in their backyard
Some Skyview residents are angry over a new development in their backyard. Global News

That’s something residents say they aren’t banking on — now or in the future.

“This is going to be hard to live with,” Bennett said. “This is so ridiculous.”

“Who will want to buy a house with this view?” Jassi questioned. “A road right behind your house?”

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