New guidebook for Calgary residential planning prompts concern from city’s public

The Guidebook for Great Communities is a planning initiative the city of Calgary is hoping will set the groundwork for development in existing communities.

A report that went to the planning and urban development committee Wednesday says the 147-page document outlines the common planning principles that will guide policy and future area redevelopment plans.

Coun. Gian Carlo Carra said the guidebook will be a significant overhaul in how we regulate, invest in and pay for great neighbourhoods.

“When all of the pieces of it land, we will have the best regulatory environment in North America,” Carra said.

Many members of the public, however, didn’t share his optimism. “In this particular case, people are angry” said Bruce Wells, a member of the Meadowlark Park community association. Many people are concerned that the policy will allow for increased density with approvals of rowhouses or townhouses right in the middle of a stretch of single family homes.

“The city has put too much faith in the belief that simple increases in density will drive new commercial retail growth and school support. But how did it work in Bridgeland, Brentwood, Killarney and Inglewood?” said Wells.

“If they were successful, provide the evidence. We have heard anecdotal evidence that their success was fleeting”

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