Committee recommends Council to approve 5 new communities on outskirts of Calgary – Calgary

After more than 20 hours of discussion spread over two days, a city committee recommends that the city council advance approval of five proposed communities on the outer edge of Calgary.


Late Thursday, the city’s infrastructure and planning committee narrowly voted 6-5 in favor of an amended recommendation that council should move forward approval of the five proposed wards from November’s budget deliberations to September. These five were recommended in a city plan to meet the needs of Calgary’s projected population growth of 88,000 people by 2026.

Three other communities were also included in the original plan, but the administration said they want an analysis to be carried out to see if risks related to “maintenance, operating cost efficiency and absorption” can be mitigated. This report is due in September instead of at the budget talks in November.

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City officials’ original recommendation was to hold permits for the five proposed communities until November, when city councils will set the next four-year budget.

A map of Calgary showing the eight proposed communities recommended for approval by the Calgary City Council.

Global News

“From a governance perspective, it’s really important that we all collectively make big decisions at the right time after carefully considering everything,” said Ward 9 Coun. and committee chairman Gian-Carlo Carra told reporters.

The change came from Ward 12 Coun. Evan Spencer, after an attempt by Ward 1 Coun. Sonya Sharp is delaying approval of all eight proposed new communities until September.

Sharp told committee members that waiting until November “would create another unnecessary barrier to companies starting operations.”

Meanwhile, district 8 district. Courtney Walcott said it was “bad governance” to change the process by bringing forward approval for all eight proposed communities, adding he wanted to see the process play out through the budget process.

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“We don’t know what our budget is yet, it’s not ready yet… to get this process going it takes two months for our industry partners,” Walcott told the committee. “This is now a conversation about sidestepping this to benefit industry versus governance.”

The cost of the proposed communities would be included in funding for 39 previously approved new communities, which are budgeted at $532 million over the next four years. The money would cover transit, roads, utilities and emergency services.

According to the city, while the five proposed communities do not require additional capital funding, they would require $5 million in annual operating funding in the 2023-2026 budget. ‘

“I support these five business cases for the future. I’ve had conversations with many of you who believe all of this is being done on budget,” Spencer told the committee. “These business cases will have minimal impact on the 2023-2026 budget due to previous investments.”

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Councilors Andre Chabot, Jennifer Wyness, Dan McLean and Sharp also introduced several amendments asking the administration to continue work on another five proposed new neighborhoods to address concerns before future consideration.

Another amendment recommended the city government consult with the development industry over the current process of permitting and building new communities after the committee heard concerns about the process from developers on Monday.

“The difficult thing about this process is that it feels like we’re picking winners and losers,” Sharp said.

The committee also voted to include research into net-zero emissions targets and climate initiatives in the development of these new communities.

City officials raised their own concerns about the ability to get the work done ahead of budget.

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Carra told the committee that he felt the committee’s move dismantled the city’s processes in favor of the development industry.

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“The signal it sends out is that regardless of what we say we’re going to do, they can influence us and make us do whatever they want,” Carra said. “This is a bad, bad place.”

The report also recommends an additional $232 million over four years for transit, roads and utilities in 250 acres of industrial parks in the city.

An additional $83 million over four years is recommended for established areas in the city, which are expected to cover capacity-building projects and “improve the appeal of established areas.”

The spending decisions for both capital and working capital are reflected in the budget. However, the full list of committee recommendations is yet to be finalized by the city council as a whole at a meeting scheduled for late July.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. Committee recommends Council to approve 5 new communities on outskirts of Calgary – Calgary


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