Residents of northwest Calgary ask for delay in council decision on North Hill Area Plan

Some residents of northwest Calgary are asking the city to delay a decision on a document that would shape the future of development in nine inner-city communities.

Signs are popping up in northwest inner-city neighbourhoods, warning people about what could happen if the North Hill Communities Local Area Plan is approved by council next week.

Read more: City of Calgary committee hands Guide for Local Area Planning back to administration

The North Hill Communities Local Area Plan is the first in a new approach to local area plans where several communities are covered under a single document.

“I think most of us bought into this particular neighbourhood assuming it was largely historically R2,” said Mount Pleasant resident Al Barber.

“So if you happen to have an older property next to you, you would expect that if that was re-developed someday, it would be one or two new houses, not four or not eight.”

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Barber has been closely following the Area Plan as it’s been developed and has raised concerns about it being “incomplete.” He set up signs on the weekend that warn “blanket densification is coming to your street.”

Some changes were made to the plan in April, like reducing the height of buildings in some areas.

Read more: City of Calgary community guidebook enters second day of public hearing

Councillor Druh Farrell says there’s been misinformation circulating about the North Hill plan.

“It doesn’t blanket rezone the whole area.

“You still need to go through similar processes as today, where applicants have to apply for rezoning and communities would have the same input as they have today,” Farrell said.

Farrell said multi-family units are already being built on sites that that used to contain one home. She said the North Hill Plan allows for more comprehensive planning.

“In some areas, it’s putting in protections that they don’t have.

“We are seeing change in these communities now but it’s not done with any particular direction. So it’s ad hoc and this will provide some thoughtful analysis to where change makes sense.”

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Click to play video: 'Calgarians give input on North Hill area projects' Calgarians give input on North Hill area projects

Calgarians give input on North Hill area projects – Mar 2, 2019

Barber said he’s not against row housing, he just wants to see multi-family units in the right locations and he says the proposed plan leaves many unaddressed concerns.

“It’s random in nature — the proposed developments and where they could go. I would like to see like-housing with like-housing types much like you would see in a new suburban development,” Barber said.

Residents opposed the to North Hill Plan sent a letter to the city requesting a delay in the June 21 date that council is scheduled to make a decision.

Read more: Calgarians have their say on North Hill projects

The North Hill Communities Local Area Plan is a pilot for future local area plans.

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Council made amendments to the plan in April, which included incorporating the Guide for Local Area Planning (formally known as the Guidebook for Great Communities) policies as well as specific local area plan amendments.

In addition to the North Hill Plan, the Heritage Communities and Westbrook Communities Local Area Planning Processes are also underway.

In 2019, there were approximately 40,100 people living in the North Hill Communities area.

The communities involved in the North Hill Plan are: Tuxedo Park, Mount Pleasant, Highland Park, Winston Heights – Mountainview, Crescent Heights, Renfrew, Rosedale, Thorncliffe Greenview and Rosedale.

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