8-storey Hillhurst condo project irks community members

A condo development in Hillhurst is facing opposition from area residents who say it is not the right match for the neighbourhood.

Twin residential towers and townhomes will back onto Riley Park in northwest Calgary

An architectural rendering of Ezra on Riley Park that was submitted to the city's planning commission. (City of Calgary )

A condo development in Hillhurst is facing opposition from area residents who say it is not the right match for the neighbourhood.

Hillhurst resident Peter Labastide says a proposed condo development next to Riley Park is too big for its location. (CBC)

The twin eight-storey buildings proposed by Birchwood Properties would back on to Riley Park on Fifth Avenue west of 10th Street northwest.

But Peter Labastide, who has lived in Hillhurst for about 30 years, said he thinks the 100-unit project, Ezra on Riley Park, should be limited to six storeys.

"The rest of this block will be developed at some point and it definitely sets a precedent for the whole south side of Riley Park. So that's a common concern is that there will be that feeling of the park being walled off,” he said.

"It just doesn't fit with the rest of the neighbourhood."

The city's planning commission approved a development permit for the project earlier this month.

Labastide is working with the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association to appeal the commission’s decision.

Thom Mahler, a manager with the city’s planning department, said the project’s planned density and height will be good for the area.

"It provides additional eyes on the park which can provide some additional safety, and that's a common planning principle that most cities use around a lot of parks."

Labastide said he is also concerned that the developer has so far not shared any details about how the streetscape will be designed.

“It’s really disappointing to be here at this point in the process, with the DP approved, and no definition of the public realm,” he said.

Birchwood Properities declined to comment.  


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