Calgary

Habitat for Humanity project approved in principle despite community opposition

Calgary city council approved a contentious Habitat for Humanity project in principle Monday, but put off second and third readings for the proposal slated for the northwest community of Silver Springs.

32-unit townhouse project slated for northwest community of Silver Springs

Calgary city council has approved in principle this proposed housing project by Habitat for Humanity to be build in Silver Springs. (City of Calgary)

Calgary city council approved a contentious Habitat for Humanity project in principle Monday, but put off second and third readings for the proposal slated for the northwest community of Silver Springs.

Some members of council — and some people living in the community — feel the proposed 32-unit townhouse development is too dense and would be out of context in a neighbourhood that is mostly single detached houses.

Despite misgivings voiced by some area residents and council members, Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he believes the project will go ahead.

"It is in fact a very modest development in an existing neighbourhood that needs the population," he said.

"What council ended up doing is fine if we can make a few little improvements to it, but I'm very pleased council approved it in principal and I suspect that what we'll get built will look similar to what we saw."

The site is on a quiet, dead-end street overlooking Nose Hill Drive N.W.

The organization bought a house on a ¾-acre lot and plans to tear it down to build four eight-unit buildings next to each other, each being three storeys high.

Many of the complaints from neighbours centre on the impact to traffic and parking in the area, as well as density.

Coun. George Chahal raised the possibility of scaling back the project to 22 or 24 units, but Habitat for Humanity's southern Alberta CEO Gerrad Oishi told council that would make it financially unfeasible.

The organization says it will continue to talk to people in the community to try to alleviate their concerns.

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