cgy-brentwood-stationplan

A model shows the proposed Brentwood Station plan, looking south. ((City of Calgary))

City council is considering a controversial plan to build an "urban village" around a northwest C-Train stop.

About a dozen people, roughly split on the issue, planned to speak on the proposed Brentwood Station Area Redevelopment during Monday's council meeting. Aldermen have also received more than 60 letters submitted from both sides, and a petition against the plan with more than 800 signatures.

Opponents say adding 6,000 new condo and apartment residents in the 1960s-era residential suburb of mostly single-family homes will mean too many people crowded into a small area.

"It's really all about the scale. We have issues related to that. There is traffic, infrastructure, crime," said longtime Brentwood resident Craig Moxie in an interview with CBC News.

Filomena Gomez, who also lives in Brentwood, is among those who say the plan is a good alternative to urban sprawl and will get people out of their cars by making the area around the C-Train stop more pedestrian friendly.

"I think it will be healthier as citizens, but I also think it's better as a community because we'll see each other more, we'll run into each other more," Gomez told CBC News.

From parking lots to highrises

Currently near the Brentwood C-Train station are strip malls, a few low-rise apartments, a park and the residential neighbourhood of Brentwood. On the other side of Crowchild Trail is the University of Calgary and the residential neighbourhood of Varsity.

The city's 30-year vision would see another 6,000 people living in the dozen or so square blocks around the Brentwood C-Train station in low-, medium- and highrise apartment buildings, mostly connected with pathways and green spaces to encourage walking. The plan also calls for smaller shops and maybe even a farmers market in the area.

The city is also looking at high-density development, also called "transit oriented development" around Banff Trail, Lions Park, and the future station of Canyon Meadows. A plan for Chinook station was approved in June.

City planners said the goal is to plan for changes, rather than recreate another Heritage Park C-Train station where the London condo development happened without proper planning in place.