‘Build baby build’: Calgary considers new southeast communities post rezoning decision

After approving city-wide rezoning earlier this week, housing continues to be in the spotlight, as Calgary’s Infrastructure and Planning Committee reviewed some builds along the city’s outer edges Wednesday.

New communities and neighbourhoods proposed by developers are being considered by city council, but that hasn’t come without a lot of back and forth, and more questions.

“I don’t understand — if we are truly in an emergency, why we’re not acting like it,” said Ward 14 Coun. Peter Demong. “It just doesn’t seem to connect that we’re willing to wait six months on an item that administration is recommending that we go forward with, but no, we’ll wait six months to talk about the dollars

He questioned why the proposals would take so long, after weeks of rezoning discussions.

“It makes no sense to me whatsoever,” Demong said.

Some neighbourhood building proposals in the southeast areas of Hotchkiss, Belvedere, and Huxley got the go-ahead to the next stage, along with Lewisburg in the northeast.

More proposals were put forward, including one by Ward 13 Coun. Dan McLean, which was rejected.

RELATED: Calgary council approves blanket rezoning in wake of historic public hearing

“This is different, we’re at risk of underestimating the market demand,” he said. “In a housing crisis, people are moving here at an astounding rate and to err on the side of building more homes, not less, this is what we’ve been talking about for weeks.

“Don’t be stingy with supply here — let’s build baby, build.”

If these four proposals are eventually approved by city council, they could contribute to a massive amount of housing — upwards of 19,000 homes.

But, Ward 1 Coun. Sonya Sharp says there is still a lot that needs to be decided.

“We’re going to have to figure out, as a city, how we want to prioritize these, we’ve got to figure this out, otherwise we’re going to be here for two weeks,” she said.

A decision could be put off until as late as November.

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