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Condo battle fills city hall

<p>Hundreds of Glenora residents packed city hall yesterday to debate the merits of a controversial building proposal that includes four green, mostly glass, condo towers.</p>

Glenora building project hot button issue for residents


Hundreds of Glenora residents packed city hall yesterday to debate the merits of a controversial building proposal that includes four green, mostly glass, condo towers.



The crowd was so large at the public hearing that city councillors heard their options until late last night and then extended the meeting to continue this afternoon.



Of the residents who signed up to speak on the proposed project, 64 of them argued against it while 41 said the project will help improve pedestrian access — along with providing architectural ingenuity to the community.



"From a broader community perspective, this will raise the bar for other developers in terms of building mixed use developments," said former city councillor Robert Noce, now acting as a lawyer representing the developer. "This is a cutting edge design."



The four towers, with one of them standing at 21 storeys high, will also include 50 townhouse units. The project is planned for the corner of Stony Plain Road and 142 St. adjacent to an already existing 18-storey condo building that was built in the 1960s.



The existing building, called Crescent Place, currently has 297 units.



The planned, four-tower project will include 270 units on a much bigger site than Crescent Place, Noce said. The development will also include opportunities for a grocery store or a coffee shop, he said.



The project has been given the green light by the city administration, but many Glenora residents are upset over the proposal, saying it could be taxing on area traffic since its being built next to a troubled intersection — along with shrinking their property values.



"This is a much, much too large of a development that is planted right next to one of the worst bottlenecks in the city of Edmonton," said Noel Somerville, a member of the Glenora Community League’s planning committee. "I don’t think this makes any sense."



Some residents in Glenora, however, also spoke in favour of the development to councillors.



Coun. Ben Henderson said the issue is a tough one for city leaders who have to figure out innovative ways to increase density in Edmonton’s inner communities.



"We need to do this in a way that will help us sustain healthy neighbourhoods," he said.



"This is the first question that has come up and there will be many more coming."







 
 
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