Honouring Area Redevelopment Plans – Contracts with our Communities

All of our Ward 7 Communities are established inner city communities that share both a relatively long history and a current experience of going through quick change with infill redevelopment and an influx of new residents – repopulating our schools, streets and community centres. There has a been a reversal in the flight to the suburbs as people recognize the value of living closer to work, in communities that have beautiful mature trees and are close to shops, amenities and so much more. Our family is one of those families and we love where we live, work, play and go to school – all right here in Ward 7.

And that brings me to community plans, whether Area Redevelopment Plans (ARPs) or the Municipal Development Plan (MDP). The MDP is intended to be the Master Plan on how development is to occur in communities throughout Calgary. ARP’s are local plans that override the MDP and are put in place after significant consultation with the affected communities. Make no mistake, these plans are contracts with the people – contracts that they should be able to rely on and trust will be respected to manage change that everyone has agreed to. And that trust, that contract with our community, has been broken.

Communities have poured their hearts and minds into developing visions for their neighourboods. These have been marathons and not mere sprints. Yet, they are ignored at will at City Hall. Make no mistake that this is the result of our incumbent councillor providing the lead to the rest of council with respect to Ward 7 issues. She rarely even reference the MDP when a favoured developer comes with a project that completely goes against it. And the ARPs are blithely amended to meet the developers needs. Your work is not being honored. City Hall will complain that these plans are old, no longer current or not in keeping with the current vision of the city as a whole. Fine! Then they must do the hard work and reengage with the community instead of carelessly piecemeal breaking it apart. Come up with new plans WITH the community that everyone can buy into. Communities are not against change – but they are against being ignored and dishonoured.

I will honour the work that communities have put in to their local ARP’s and the MDP for the city as a whole. I will ensure that all contracts are kept with our communities. If amendments are needed, they will be done with the input of the community and will be comprehensive in nature to benefit the community as a whole, and not piecemeal to benefit a few developers. We need to rely on each other and respect the communities vision for change.