Committee approves 8 new communities to be built in Calgary

A city committee approved proposals for eight new communities that will be built in the city in the coming years on Thursday.

All communities be built on Calgary's outskirts

A city committee will discuss Thursday which new communities should be allowed in Calgary. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

A city committee approved proposals for eight new communities that will be built in the city in the coming years on Thursday.

Twelve proposals, representing 17 different communities, were put up for consideration by the priorities and finance committee — all of which would be built on the city's outskirts.

In the end, the committee approved the eight, but left the door open for council to approve more communities on the list, if they can get costs down.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said it was "by far" the most important thing the city is currently working on.

He says limiting sprawl will save taxpayers billions of dollars but not every homebuilder will be happy with the decision.

"We're not used to saying to the development industry in this city, 'you don't win this one,' but in this case, the industry and council have been very good about working together, understanding right from the beginning that there are going to be winners and losers and determining how growth can best serve the city."

Most of the cost of the new communities will be funded by developers through levies, although council did approve a small property tax increase of between .5 and .75 per cent to spread some of the financial risk around.

"Everybody in the city will pay that," Nenshi said, "in order to share some risk and create some growth on the edges of the city."

Stars on this map show where eight new communities are being recommended to be built on Calgary's outskirts. There are six stars as Glacier Ridge and Rangeview will have two communities in each. (City of Calgary)

With files from Scott Dippel