The city is looking at the approval of two new development areas in East Calgary, originally denied by city council in 2020.
The matter will come before the city’s Priorities and Finance committee Tuesday, with the proposed amendments to the Belvedere Area Structure Plan.
The two business cases were denied along with nine others in November of 2020. Market demand was one of the top reasons for the denial, but other issues such as drainage, transportation and intergovernmental relationships also dogged the developments. Many of those have been addressed in the new plan.
At that time, area Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra suggested that two of the areas could be brought online. To do so, landowners must reallocate their area in the Growth Management Overlay (GMO) to a different location. The new location would be along 17 Avenue SE.
Carra suggested at that time they work with developers move the plan forward.
The result is the movement of three planned areas. One – the Trico parcel – was along 84 Street SE, between Memorial Drive and 8 Avenue, adjacent to Stoney Trail. The others – 2A and 2B from Truman – were along 8 Avenue NE and 100 Street.
These were moved to 17 Avenue SE and between roughly 92 Street and 108 Street.
“It’s a greener way to go, it’s a more equitable way to go and it cost avoids a lot of expensive infrastructure that conventional growth would have precipitated,” Coun. Carra told LiveWire Calgary. A Memorial Drive interchange on Stoney Trail may have been expedited under the prior plan.
Part of the criteria for assessing the business cases included no required operating costs from the current and next budgets. They also couldn’t include capital expense to the City of Calgary.
Building the 17 Avenue SE corridor
Carra said they had to stop the traditional method of building north and south between the city’s major roads. This approach had them develop along transportation corridors where the infrastructure was already in place.
According to the city administration report, the ASP revision aligns with the city’s municipal development plan targets. It’s also aligned with the Calgary Transportation Plan (CTP).
With the Max Purple extension to Chestermere being planned for 2021, it made sense for development along the 17 Avenue corridor, Carra said. It’s an evolution of the city’s planning strategy.
“Here’s an opportunity where we’re providing a model for more thoughtful growth,” he said.
“We’re early days, in terms of thinking about growth on the edge of the city as a thoughtful investment of public dollars. As opposed to just the subsidization of business as usual.”
The Ward 9 councillor also said there’s a gold standard to this plan.
“It’s going to be one of the few places in modern history, where transit service will proceed growth, or will be delivered at the exact same time,” he said.
“From day one, we will be able to serve these new communities with transit. That’s a very good news story from an equitable city, from a cost-effective city and from a green city perspective.”