It is important to make the distinction between similar terms in the development process:
Land sale – is about the sale of the City-owned lands.
Land use – refers to how the City may prohibit, regulate and control the use and development of land and buildings in the municipality.
Important upcoming dates:
January 10 – Land sale at Infrastructure and Planning Committee (IPC) meeting.
Committee will review the terms of the sale (this may be done in closed session which is common for such deliberations) and answer the question of whether this land should be sold for redevelopment. The Committees decision will then be forwarded to Council for consideration and final approval at the January 30th Regular Meeting of Council.
The public will have opportunity to speak to the item on January 10. Note, the matter before Committee is the sale of the land, not the development, and as such, comments must be specific to the land sale and not the proposed land use application. You can register to speak at Public Submission to City Clerks (calgary.ca). The opportunity to speak is open until the public hearing is closed on the item. If you receive an automated message about speaking or having missed a deadline, please know you will be accommodated. I have worked with Councillor Sharp to ensure the item will be the first of the day. Committee starts at 9:30am and is held in Council Chambers.
January 30 – After Committee makes a recommendation about the proposed land sale it will go before Council at a Regular Meeting of Council for final approval.
Since the opportunity for public comments is accommodated at the earlier January 10 committee meeting, there is no public opportunity to speak at Jan 30 Council meeting.
Depending on the outcome of the land sale, the next step would be for the land use application to go before Council at a yet to be determined Public Hearing of Council. The public will have the ability to speak to Council on the proposed land use at this meeting of council, the details of which will be shared once available.
Having heard from many residents, I know there are outstanding questions with respect to a few items. You can review my previous responses to past common concerns here. I am pleased to state that after a lot of discussion with the applicant and City Administration, most of these are known and, having been assessed by the Detail Assessment Review Team (DART), can be shared below. Others will continue to be answered if the application progresses to Council for the land use application and further to Administration for a development permit application.
(Italicized Answers Provided by Administration)
With Respect to Environmental Concerns
Utilities & Water Table
The servicing strategy for the Outline Plan has not yet been provided, however, the site will need to tie into the existing storm system on 14 ST SW, which feeds into the Bow River at outfall B1. It will not feed into one of the existing outfalls into the Glenmore reservoir. The risk of stormwater being directed to the reservoir for this redevelopment is considered to be low.
No overland drainage will be permitted to leave the plan area and discharge to parks and open spaces, except in conformance with an approved Stormwater Management Report (which will provide further details on how the project will contain stormwater run-off from the development site).
In general terms groundwater will need to be managed around any foundations proposed within the site and would be collected as part of the overall onsite stormwater management. Downtown also has a high groundwater table and in those locations the expectation is that buildings are designed to manage groundwater in an appropriate fashion to protect the building and minimize any offsite impact. This would apply to this location too. There was no submission or a requirement for a submission for predictive modelling for groundwater.
The Glenmore Reservoir itself falls geographically within the Key Wildlife Biodiversity Zone (KWBZ), and the proposed development is approximately 230m away from the zone boundary. The KWBZ extends along the entire Elbow River reach that is upstream (west) of the Glenmore Dam, including the Glenmore Reservoir. In the screenshot below, the KWBZ is highlighted in purple.
Reservoir Water Quality
Recreational use on the Glenmore Reservoir needs to be carefully managed to ensure future water quality is maintained. It is expected that with increased development near the Reservoir, there will be a corresponding increase of use. Bylaw regulations remain in place for the Reservoir which includes: no pets in water, on boats or on ice; pets must be on leash at all times in the Glenmore Park and on the shore of the reservoir, no stand-up paddle boards, no swimming in the reservoir, no inflatables, and no power motors.
I am consistently in touch with the water management team to discuss use of the reservoir. As drinking water quality is our first priority, I am confident the team will continue to monitor use. No single application will put pressure on the use of the reservoir, however a naturally growing population may. Those who walk or wheel around the reservoir, both existing and future, need to ensure they’re respecting a healthy park and pathway environment.
There are no indications that building in proximity to the reservoir will affect the water quality.
The TIA is ongoing with further analysis underway to look at various improvements to serve the phased redevelopment and density proposed. Although it may appear the area is constrained, there are several improvements to the network that can provide efficiencies to suit the density. The design treatments and negotiations for those improvements, including relevance under this proposed density, are ongoing along with the overall site design proposal. This work is a critical piece in the process to ensure the future development will integrate cohesively with the existing surrounding residential and commercial area.
Regarding the scope of the TIA, the existing site (as the traffic generator), future density on site, and the surrounding residential areas have been scoped into the traffic modelling within the network. This includes volumes and active mode activity created by the proposed development. Additionally, design review includes what is termed as background traffic for a specific horizon or future that includes 2039, for instance. This allows for the projection of capacity and potential improvements necessary to serve the affected roadways, pedestrian and transit connections, and associated network improvements. Additional link forecasts are included which are beyond the site boundary and a sensitivity analysis (surrounding area redevelopment) to ensure interconnecting development is acknowledged in the forecasted future impact to the network, whether auto based, transit, or pedestrian.
At this time, as the question most immediate before us is should the land be sold yes or no, further comments about traffic will be saved for the land use application stage when final details about population projections will be presented.