3 items to watch at city council today

Land use matters will take up a fair chunk of city council's time on Monday, but here are three items that Calgarians should pay attention to.

Tuscany tussle, Eau Claire closure and city walkways expected to be hot topics

Land use matters will take up a fair chunk of city council's time on Monday.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi will be in the chair, fresh off his trip to London for an international conference last week.

Tuscany tussle

The Foothills Lutheran Church is seeking a rezoning for land near the corner of Crowchild Trail and Twelve Mile Coulee Road N.W.

It wants to sell part of the land to a developer who wants to build 85 multi-family townhomes and use the proceeds to build a new 300-seat church and pre-school.

However, being at the end of a dead end road (Tuscany Summit Heath N.W.), there are concerns about how much traffic the development will bring to the quiet cul-de-sac.

The Tuscany Community Association is against the rezoning. It says the narrow street doesn't get any snow clearing now and relying on that street for emergency access could be a life-threatening situation for first responders, local residents and anyone at the end of road needing help.

Both the planning commission and administration are recommending this rezoning proceed.

Eau Claire closure

A company (BCIMC Corporation) has some big plans for some long-standing surface parking lots in Eau Claire.

It's planning a mixed use residential, commercial, retail development on the blocks bounded by Eau Claire Avenue and Second Avenue, between Sixth Street and Fourth Street S.W.

So the application is to close Fifth Street, between Eau Claire Ave and Second Avenue, and integrate the street space into its development. Delivery vehicles will still use what will become plaza space to make stops but it wants the road to create a "high quality public realm" and improved pedestrian mobility.

However, some of the condo dwellers in the area are hoping council rejects the road closure.

They're concerned about their vehicle access once the project is complete — and even more vehicles are squeezing down fewer streets in a more densely populated area.

City walkways 

There are 2,000 walkways located between houses in residential communities across the city. Although it's city land, it's unclear who's supposed to clear the snow and ice off of them.

Some councillors think the neighbouring homeowners should be good citizens and pitch in.

But other councillors think it's city property and it should look after its own land if it expects Calgarians to shovel their sidewalks.

This prompted a lengthy discussion in committee.

Essentially the committee directed administration to develop a plan for maintaining them and bring a cost estimate into the budget talks this November.

We'll find out today what the full city council thinks of that idea.