After extensive public and private-sector scrutiny, the city’s Plan-It document passed, but with amendments that left some community groups fuming.
Though numerous amendments were added and debated during yesterday’s city council meeting, it was the change to the intensity thresholds for new communities that surprised many.
In the revised document presented by city administration, the number had been changed from 70 people per gross developable hectare to 70 people or jobs for the same area. The amendment passed by council yesterday was a further compromise.
The plan now sets a minimum threshold of 60 people or jobs per hectare.
“This is a major change and massively waters down the proposal,” said Neheed Nenshi, a volunteer with the Better Calgary Campaign, in an open letter to council yesterday. “Indeed, this change means that new communities under the plan would actually be significantly less dense than neighbourhoods being built today.”
Many neighbourhoods currently under development do already meet the Plan-It threshold but Mayor Dave Bronconnier said the new minimum was a compromise between what developers and community groups wanted.
“I guess that’s what the art of politics is all about, finding that middle ground, that compromise that achieves the over-arching goal,” said Bronconnier, adding the plan is about more than just one number.
“In it’s entirety I believe it responds to where we are going as a city,” Bronconnier said.