Major home builder calls Calgary growth plan 'social engineering'
Calgary's biggest home builder spoke out against the city's long-term development plan at City Hall on Thursday, calling it "social engineering."
Jay Westman, the president and CEO of Jayman MasterBUILT, said that council should reject Plan It, a proposal to guide the city's development over the next 60 years. It recommends a greater emphasis on higher density housing and public transportation.
Westman was one of several members of the development industry to speak in opposition to the plan on Thursday after two days of public submissions from individuals and groups who support Plan It. Westman says most first-time homebuyers are under the age of 40, and they want single family detached homes that are affordable.
"If I thought for a second that the majority of homebuyers wanted a multi-family home in the suburbs, I'd be building them, lots of them," he said.
"How in the world would city planners know what people want? One-hundred thousand people go through our show homes every year looking for a single family home in the suburbs. People choose with their cheque book," he told council.
Westman says city planners are trying to force multi-family housing on the market, and he calls that social engineering.
Earlier this week, Civic Camp Calgary, one of the groups in support of Plan It, said it will modify development in the city to benefit Calgary as a whole — economically, socially and environmentally.