Calgary approves sale of land for Glenmore Landing redevelopment

Concerns about the impact to nature, traffic congestion, and more were some of the topics brought up at a hearing at Calgary’s Infrastructure and Planning Committee meeting Wednesday.

Council was voting on the sale of five acres of city-owned land for the Glenmore Landing redevelopment.

Developer Rio-Can is proposing to build nine high-rises capable of housing over 2,500 people.

The issue has been fraught with controversy over an agreement made by the city and the developers as far back as 40 years ago.

Back in 2015, council directed city staff to work with the owners of the Glenmore Landing Shopping Centre to explore the sale of the lands as part of the development.

In August, the city learned that an agreement dating back to the 1980s referred to the land as ‘park land’ and indicated the city should only use it for park purposes.

Ward 11 Coun. Kourtney Penner spoke in support of the sale, saying the land as isn’t currently being used as park land.

Read more: Calgary considers park space sale, local group pushes back

“What I want for parks are places where people can gather in community, meet their neighbours, and find solace from the busyness of our lives,” she said. “These lands are not that and as we choose where to invest our park dollars towards creating better community spaces, there are many spaces across Ward 11 that come to mind way before these lands.”

She said there are also other things to keep in mind in the consideration of these lands.

“But our decision continuously as a council is to decide where to house people: on the outskirts where they have to drive further to amenities and wait years for transit services or near existing services and amenities, including transit,” Penner said.

Over 2,600 responses were received by the public — with many opposed to the sale.

“The Glenmore Reservoir and forest to the north of Glenmore Landing is home to numerous wildlife and plant species that rely on this habitat to call home,” one woman said.

“This a family-friendly environment that doesn’t do any harm to anybody and putting apartment buildings in there — you’re destroying it,” a man added.

But, there was some support.

“We are in both a climate crisis and a housing crisis and dense, transit-oriented developments like the proposed Glenmore Landing development is exactly the kind of development Calgary should be enabling,” a man said.

Ultimately, the sale of the lands to developer Rio-Can passed in an 8-3 vote.

Councillors Andre Chabot, Sean Chu, and Dan McLean voted against.

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