Calgary City Council Faces Massive Public Hearing on Citywide Rowhouse and Townhome Proposal

Calgary council faces backlash over proposal to permit rowhouses citywide, risking federal housing funds if rejected. Residents concerned about neighborhood impact, council considers tweaks to address public concerns.

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Sakchi Khandelwal
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Calgary City Council Faces Massive Public Hearing on Citywide Rowhouse and Townhome Proposal

Calgary City Council Faces Massive Public Hearing on Citywide Rowhouse and Townhome Proposal

Calgary city council is preparing for the largest public hearing in its history on a proposal to permit rowhouses and townhomes citywide. The rezoning measure aims to increase housing supply but has faced significant opposition, with over 650 speakers and 5,515 written submissions, mostly in opposition.

The proposal could risk losing federal funding if rejected by the council. Calgary has already received the first tranche of the $ 228 million grant from the Housing Accelerator Fund, but if rezoning is off the table, it will have to rely more heavily on other measures.

The public hearing is a critical step in the decision-making process, as the city council considers the potential benefits of increased housing supply against the concerns raised by the public. The rezoning debate has become a fierce political fight with national implications, as Alberta Premier Danielle Smith introduced a bill to stop municipalities and the federal government from striking direct funding deals.

The city argues the change would give property owners more control and neighbors more input, but residents are concerned about the impact on their neighborhoods. Mayor Jyoti Gondek has acknowledged a communication breakdown regarding the proposal.

Why this matters: The outcome of this public hearing could have significant implications for housing affordability and supply in Calgary. It also highlights the complex interplay between municipal zoning decisions and federal funding for housing initiatives.

Faced with widespread backlash, the city council is considering slowing down the process and making tweaks to the proposal to address comments. "We are looking at making some changes," said Gondek. "We want to ensure we are listening to the public and addressing their concerns while still working towards our goal of increasing housing options for Calgarians."

Key Takeaways

  • Calgary to hold largest public hearing on citywide rowhouse/townhome rezoning
  • Rezoning aims to increase housing supply, but faces significant public opposition
  • Rejection could risk federal housing funding, as Calgary received $228M grant
  • Rezoning debate has become a fierce political fight with national implications
  • City considering slowing process and making changes to address public concerns