Calgary condo owners hope to put brakes on west downtown development

A group of Calgary condo owners are trying to stop plans to build a 12-storey apartment tower in the west end of downtown.

City says project meets all regulations and city’s vision of future

A 12-storey apartment complex has been approved for this downtown Calgary parking lot, but nearby condo owners are not happy. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

A group of Calgary condo owners are trying to stop plans to build a 12-storey apartment tower in the west end of downtown, saying it's unattractive and it will block views and damage property values.

Dozens of residents from nearby condo towers, Vista West and Tarjan Place, say they're not against development in the area.

However, they told an appeal board meeting Thursday that a recently approved 12-storey apartment building is a terrible fit and they are hoping the city will reconsider, before making a decision within the next couple of weeks.

The city's development authority says the 66-unit project meets all regulations and the city's vision for future development.

Debbie Stewart has lived in Vista West about six years.

Debbie Stewart has lived in the nearby Vista West condo complex for about 6 years. She said there was virtually no consultation and many owners have questions. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

She says fellow owners are terrified of a huge drop in the value of their properties.

"We have a beautiful view of the river right now," Stewart said.

"We have had estimators in and it's going to drop the value of the property by 25 per cent for each condo in our building."

She says there has been virtually no consultation.

"The fact that we weren't notified, this has all been under the rug," Stewart said. "We can't get answers, we can't get straight answers."

She's not alone. A group of condo owners from both adjacent towers made their case in front of the Calgary Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.

Colin Pollard spoke on the behalf of many of them.

"A 12-storey blank wall cannot match the standards in downtown west and does not provide an acceptable development form going forwards," Pollard told CBC News.

According to the design, the building will be narrow and rectangular and the broadest sides of the building, which face east and west, won't have any windows.

Meanwhile, Stewart says it's not over yet.

"We are going to fight it, that is all we can do.… Towers go up, but can we do that in consultation with the neighbours?" she asked.

The city has already approved a permit to construct the building.

The development authority says the building plan and design meets regulatory standards and the visions laid out by long-term building strategies, like the Municipal Development and Centre City Plans.

The appeals board is expected to render a decision within the next two weeks.


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