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One controversial proposal could determine the future of development in Calgary

A controversial proposal submitted to the city council next week could determine what future development will look like across Calgary, including increased densification in some parts of the city.

The proposal for a guide for large communities includes commercial, industrial and housing developments. There is a final vote on March 22nd.

The City of Calgary says on their website that the Guide is a policy document that brings together existing guidelines, improved guidelines, and new guidelines in one place when it comes to developing and planning the growth of a community.

While the city council voted seven to one for a public hearing and final vote on the guide, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the proposal and how its implementation could look for different parts of Calgary.

Ward 11 alderman Jeromy Farkas, in a campaign flyer, raised concerns about whether the proposal could undermine the unique community character of neighborhoods in the city by creating a unified vision for the lives of all Calgarians.

Farkas noted that the large community guide could also tip the scales against motorists by prioritizing walking and cycling year-round, rather than exclusively single-family homes.

Local councils across Calgary are urging the city council to postpone the public hearing.

These communities believe that more time is needed for consultation and public engagement and have come together to share their message. Calgarians can visit the group’s website to learn more about their concerns.

The City of Calgary states on their website that the guide won’t eliminate single family homes, change the zoning of citizen land, the ability to choose how we move around the city, or the existing land use renaming, or change development permit procedures.

The city outlines that the guide provides the language and options for a community to work with citizens during the local planning processes, ensuring that redevelopment is in the right places, and providing tools for preserving historic buildings and sites.

The proposal also includes choices for single-family houses among the housing options. It provides tools to protect and grow community parks, natural areas, and outdoor recreation, as well as proactive measures to combat climate change at community and development levels.

Those interested in learning more about the guidelines put in place with the approval of this proposal can find the Complete Guide for Large Communities on the City of Calgary website.

Calgarians are asked to speak for or against the proposal electronically or by phone during the public hearing on Monday March 22nd.

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