Council approves 14 new Calgary communities, sparks concerns about urban sprawl

Is Calgary living too large?

City council voted 12 to 2 to move forward on the development of 14 new communities Monday.

It’s sparked a debate about urban sprawl, and the potential for a 0.75 per cent increase in property tax over the next four years.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Counc. Druh Farrell voted against the move, citing the costs of adding essential services like fire stations or libraries.

But, Counc. Ward Sutherland defended the approval of the developments.

He said he wants to support business and encourage people to live in the city and pay taxes there, rather than commuting in from bedroom communities.

“The new developments will create choice for all Calgarians, across the city. Some of the problems that we had before is that when we restricted any developments — was the fact that you have to live in a certain area and it created hyperinflation,” Sutherland said.

However, some taxpayers are tweeting their confusion:

The new developments are scattered across the city, but the majority are in Calgary’s north.

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