Calgary Chinatown redevelopment gets icy reception

It was a full house Sunday in Calgary's Chinatown as residents and business owners listened intently to a developer's proposal for a new 27-storey tower.

Dozens show up to information session, many dead against project

Dozens attended a public information session Sunday on a proposed Chinatown redevelopment project. Many were not happy about a 27-storey building in the community. (CBC)

It was a full house Sunday in Calgary's Chinatown as residents and business owners listened intently to a developer's proposal for a new 27-storey tower.

A public information meeting on a Chinatown redevelopment proposal was well attended Sunday in Calgary. (CBC)

The plan was initially approved in 2012 for a smaller building — but the developer is now seeking to amend the current height restriction to build a larger one.

The planned structure would have both residential and commercial space. The parcel of land is currently a parking lot.

Residents worry the building is too large and won't blend with the distinct architecture of the neighbourhood.

The proposed land use amendments will be voted on by council this spring. (CBC)

There is also concern the amendment will affect a new redevelopment plan announced for the community late last year.  

Teresa Woo-Paw spoke against the project at a public information session Sunday afternoon. Woo-Paw is a former Calgary MLA.

Former Calgary MLA Teresa Woo-Paw says the community has not been informed and engaged on the project. (CBC)

"We have not been informed, we have not been properly engaged," Woo-Paw said.

"We need to look at how we're going to correct that to ensure that all the impacted people by these changes and by the future plan of Chinatown include the voices of Calgarians, and also residents and stakeholders of Chinatown."

Russ Mounty, a senior planner with the city, says residents have some outstanding questions.

Russ Mounty, a senior planner with the city, says there are legitimate concerns about the proposal. (CBC)

"It is an increase in density in Chinatown, it will have an impact on the community," he said.

"It would increase shadowing although not on public spaces and I think they are legitimately concerned about the level of change."

The proposed land use amendments will be voted on by council in the coming weeks.

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