ab-holycrossmanor

The owners of the Holy Cross Centre are restricted to operating medical offices and facilities, but plan to build three mixed residential and commercial towers over the next 20 years. ((CBC News))

The City of Calgary's planning commission gave its approval to a concept plan for the old Holy Cross Hospital site Thursday, yet the project is still nowhere near getting the go-ahead that would allow construction to begin.

The owners of the site, next to the Elbow River, are restricted to operating medical offices and facilities, but plan to build three mixed residential and commercial towers over the next 20 years.

Area residents want the site redeveloped and are satisfied with a number of provisions attached to the concept plan, but are concerned about the shadow that will be cast by the buildings.

"This development would allow 22 storeys to go up right beside a five- or six- storey building," said Peter Atkinson, who is with the Cliff Bungalow-Mission Community Association.

Atkinson said a building that high would block out the sun for four blocks to the west and north of the site. He wants the towers restricted to 10 to 12 storeys.

Ron Poon, who attended the planning commission meeting on behalf of the owners of the site, said common ground can be achieved.

"We certainly have differences of opinion, but we have worked through most of them, so I think I'm confident we will be able to work with them and come up with a win-win for everybody."

The next stage in the approval process is public hearings before city council in April.