City approves McConachie condo development

City Council approved a new condo development in the McConachie neighbourhood in northeast Edmonton Monday night after residents delivered emotional appeal.

Some residents told city council they don't want another four-storey condo complex in the area

The view from Patricia Hope's home of where the four-story condo complex may be built. (Lisa MacGregor/CBC News)

City Council approved a new condo development in the McConachie neighbourhood in northeast Edmonton Monday night.

Residents in the area showed up at city hall earlier in the day to speak out against the development – which would be the third in the area – saying they didn’t want another four-storey condominium built in the neighbourhood.

Several residents, including Patricia Hope, said they had no idea future development in the area was a possibility.

Before she moved, Hope said she asked the developer what was going to be built in the field behind her home. She said she was told by the Jayman company that the land was agriculturally-zoned.

However, plans to add up to 12 new condos in the area have been in the works for years, said Ed Gibbons, the city councillor for the area.

“This has all been in place since 2006 – before there was a house in McConachie ,” he said. "And now there’s 1,500 houses.”

Gibbons offered residents the following advice: “Don’t ever trust a new house salesperson until you do some more questioning.”

While she called the idea of a third condo “really disheartening,” Hope said she understands council’s hands were tied on the matter.

After hearing council’s decision, she seconded Gibbons’ advice, saying the situation served as a reminder to do your homework before purchasing property.

Residents addressed city council before decision

Earlier in the day, Hope told council she was worried the new building would cause an increase in traffic and crime in the neighbourhood.

“We’re having major traffic issues already and these complexes aren’t even finished yet,” Hope said. “By the time these complexes are finished and all the people move in, it’s going to be a nightmare.”

Neighbour Marianne Butler said she chose to live in the McConachie neighbourhood in northeast Edmonton because of the way the sun fell on her property – something that may change with the new construction.

“I’m concerned about the privacy that my children will have,” said Butler. “A two-storey is one thing but I won’t even be able to have my blinds open during the day.”

Butler was emotional as she spoke to city council Monday afternoon.

“You can’t bond and have long term relationships with people who are in buildings on a month to month basis,” she said. “I’m devastated.”