Community association fails to convince city council to conform to its condominium height rules

Two houses in a row

In an 8-5 vote, Calgary City Council said “no” to a motion that would have prevented the construction of a 38-unit condominium building on 25th Avenue S.W., which violates the Mission community development rules.

The association expressed its resentment toward the plan to convert four adjacent homes into a condominium because the proposal does not conform to the current Mission Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP).

The current Mission ARP limits the height of buildings to 15 metres and the floor-to-area ratio — a measurement that helps determine population density — to 3.5.

The application brought forth to council at the Feb. 10 meeting by lawyer Davis Jensen — representing property owner Rob Prodanovic — proposed changing the rule to a maximum height of 24 metres and a 4.5 floor-to-area ratio.

People that spoke out at the city council meeting against the condominium stated that the smaller buildings play a big role in why Mission has the second highest population density in the entire city.

Four houses in a rowThese are the four homes on 25th Avenue S.W. that will be converted into a 38-unit condominium building as a result of council’s Feb. 10 decision to reject a motion to abandon the plan.

Photo by Quinton Amundson“We have had many people that live in the community say that the smaller buildings give the community character and is a big reason [why] they move to the community in the first place,” said Rick Williams — the director of development and planning of the Cliff Bungalow-Mission Community Association.

As part of council’s public hearing, other members of the Mission community voiced objections to the application. Community-dwellers raised concerns about increased traffic, less parking and less sunshine in the area.

On behalf of the developer, Jensen argued there are other large buildings in the vicinity where the condominium is being built as part of his case to approve the construction of the building.

After completion of the public hearing, Ward 8 Coun. Evan Woolley proposed a motion to abandon the condominium plan. He said the community worked hard with the City to put together its ARP and it would not be right to ignore the rules and regulations listed in that document.

The following four members of Calgary City Council supported Woolley’s motion:

  • Ward 7 Coun. Druh Farrell
  • Ward 6 Coun. Richard Pootmans
  • Ward 1 Coun. Ward Sutherland
  • Mayor Naheed Nenshi

The following eight members of Calgary City Council did not support Woolley’s motion:

  • Ward 3 Coun. Jim Stevenson
  • Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu
  • Ward 5 Coun. Ray Jones
  • Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra
  • Ward 10 Coun. Andre Chabot
  • Ward 12 Coun. Shane Keating
  • Ward 13 Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart
  • Ward 14 Coun. Peter Demong

Councillor Chu said he made his choice because there are already higher buildings in the area.

After the vote was cast, Farrell suggested that more engagement was needed between the applicants and the community association. She recommended the applicants try and work with the association to come to an understanding on the potential benefits to the community that would come with having this condominium built.

After a lengthy discussion, Calgary City Council passed a motion, which instructed the applicants to have discussions with the community about potential benefits in order to come to a solution before construction starts.

However, an understanding was reached between council members that if the applicants failed in their discussions with the community, their proposal would be approved anyway.

This item will be on council’s agenda before the end of June.

Do you agree with Calgary City Council’s decision? Why or why not? 

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