Thank you to everyone who submitted comments on the proposed RioCan Glenmore Landing Redevelopment and shared those comments with the Ward 11 Office.
The feedback received as part of the engagement process will inform ongoing conversations between Kourtney, the developer, RioCan, and City Administration in acknowledging and addressing the project challenges and opportunities of the project.
The officially submitted comments are being compiled and documented by Planning and have not been shared with us yet. We can state that comments we have heard thus far that relate to such matters as building height, intersection safety, and construction staging timelines are of critical importance.
Compiled feedback and further project information should be available in the fall and as we know more, we will share with the community as well as update the project info page on Kourtney’s website where you can find current information to date.
Kourtney will continue to consider community feedback while evaluating the proposal based on its merits and drawbacks, in conjunction with city-wide policies and goals.
Please find Kourtney’s response to each of the summarized common concerns received by the Ward 11 Office. These common concerns have been shared with both RioCan and City Planning for respective comment/response.
Kourtney’s comment on the proposed development by Glenmore Landing
My role at this time is to continue to consider community feedback while evaluating the proposal based on its merits and drawbacks, in conjunction with city-wide policies and goals.
Overall, I welcome residential development at the RioCan site. It has long been identified as a potential residential growth area. The City continues to try and accommodate the need for new homes across the city without sprawling outwards, and this site is well situated to offer new residents access to established services such as transit, schools, shopping, and recreation.
The initial proposal is not without its flaws and there is much still to be determined and agreed upon. City Planning and I continue to encourage RioCan to refine their proposal and as those amendments are completed, to return to the community for further engagement which will likely occur in fall 2023.
Comment: “The proposed building heights are too high.”
I’ve expressed concerns with the shadowing directly to RioCan and will evaluate their changes as they come forward based on comments from the public and my own observations on the project.
The shadows, sun glare, and privacy concerns of the proposed heights, - particularly of the East towers, are well warranted. I will continue to work with RioCan on heights that are contextually sensitive to the existing community and naturalized areas while still allowing for a viable development.
Comment: “There is not a need for (affordable) housing in this area.”
Affordable Housing is needed throughout Calgary.
This including market rentals, below market units, and dedicated seniors housing. The towers to the West, along 90th avenue are continually sought after and full, indicating good market potential in this area.
It is important that we welcome housing in all forms across the city to accommodate incoming and existing Calgarians.
Affordable Housing, as we commonly use the term, in Calgary refers to units that are rented at below market rate, often managed, and provided through a non-profit housing provider though not in all cases.
The application would be what is deemed mixed-market, meaning the units would be of both below and at market rates.
Comment: “There will be a loss of parking.”
The plan does not propose to take away any existing parking from the site. However, this seems to be an issue requiring clarity from RioCan and I have/will ask for them to communicate to the community.
There is an area of currently underused parking which the developer plans to use for construction staging East of Safeway. The parking lot currently does not fill as there are regularly open spots on the east side of the property. Further, housing on the site will need to provide for a ratio of new parking for their residents and guests which aligns with City policy and will be part of the final land-use agreement.
As a private site, parking for uses such as access to the reservoir pathway are not required to be contemplated in the review. The site is under no obligation to provide free parking for pathway users. That said, this is a reality and RioCan is aware of this benefit their site offers to Calgarians.
Comment: “This will create an increase in traffic that creates an unsafe environment.”
More homes and businesses do indeed bring more traffic. Applications of this size require a traffic impact assessment provided by the applicant which reviews the number of units/proposed population, access by emergency vehicles, commercial truck traffic, along with pedestrian and cycling movement. This will all be part of the ongoing conversations and is standard in the development process.
A site such as this is contained service-wise and with proximity to transit, walking, and cycling should alleviate some of these pressures.
The intersections and access points on site will be reviewed for function and this application provides an opportunity to look towards enhancing these intersections to provide better pedestrian and cycling crossings along with traffic pattern improvements.
I am committed to ensuring this work is completed as part of amenity upgrades that coincide with the development.
Comment: “90 Ave and 14th Street need upgrades due to the ring road connection, so this development is not compatible”
At this time 90 Ave continues to be reviewed for vehicle count, speeds, and safety. There have been upgrades such as lights and overhead pedestrian crossing signals in the past 12 months which have been due to advocacy from our office upon hearing residents’ concerns. Our understanding is that no further upgrades to 90 Ave pertaining to the ring road connection are planned. Administration is the lead on traffic and roads and will be able to offer further information in the coming months.
Comment: The area schools cannot handle the population increase.
Schools in the area are not at capacity. The site is within walking distance to multiple elementary schools and two junior high schools.
Comment: Businesses will be lost.
RioCan’s business model relies upon occupancy in their units be it residential or commercial.
I will defer to RioCan to comment on why compromising the relationship with their tenants is not in their best interests and how construction will be mindful of the need for businesses tenants to stay operational during the construction. No businesses are being moved or displaced to accommodate construction. A more populous area better supports commercial activity, in particular grocery stores.
Additionally, residential towers present the opportunity for further businesses to be part of the site to complement other uses.
Comment: “The construction will take too long.”
Project of this scale regardless of location take time. Per above, RioCan will be looking to protect their existing assets to ensure the site is operationally viable. Thus, mitigating construction disruptions will be critical for them.
I am mindful that the construction could impact the multi-use pathway on the South side of the site, and we will be working to ensure the pathway stays open throughout the duration of the build.
Comment: “This will eliminate green space and impact wildlife.”
The wooded green space to the North is not contemplated for redevelopment. We know this area supports wildlife so I will be discussing this further with RioCan and Admin and asking for mitigations to concerns such as light pollution, sun glare, and sound during and after construction.
The grass berms being proposed to use for construction are not significant in terms of ecology. Tree loss will be compensated according to city policy and new greenery can be part of the requirements in any development permit. I will be asking Administration and RioCan to update their communication to clarify these points.
Comment: “This will negatively impact water quality in the reservoir and/or the ecology of the area around the reservoir.”
There are no indicators that this site could or would impact water quality through development.
Water quality of the Glenmore reservoir is primarily affected by rainfall, runoff, pollutants from users, and upstream activity along the Elbow.
The naturalized areas surrounding the site could be affected by shadows hence why I will be discussing this further with RioCan and Administration to minimize impacts to plant and animal life.
Comment: “This development will negatively impact property value of nearby homes and communities.”
Redevelopment alone does not decrease property values. However, I am concerned about impacts of shadowing affecting property values should they not be corrected which I have addressed with the applicant for change.
Comment: “The increase in density will result in an increase in crime in neighbouring communities.”
Density alone does not increase crime rates and the inference that those residing in the buildings would either be the criminals or attract criminals is not rooted in any fact. There are no evident examples in Calgary where housing has increased crime.
Comment: Regarding climate and carbon mindful builds “Will there be solar, electrical charging stations, bird-friendly windows to prevent collisions? Air purification? Heating methods? Etc”
These are NOT land use application considerations and would have to be discussed at the development permit stage.