The Bankview Community Association is in opposition to RNDSQR‘s The Village project soon going to Calgary Planning Commission. Our February letter outlining our concerns about the development continues to represent how we feel about this project. We hope Calgary Planning Commission and Calgary City Council will oppose the project and refuse the issuance of a development permit. You can submit your own feedback here: https://www.engagethevillage.com/
Dear Ms. Jenna Dutton,
We feel that this development is over density, over height & mass and lacks sufficient parking. We have reiterated this to the architects, developer and planning consultant throughout this entire process including five in-person meetings, countless phone calls and emails.
We don’t feel that the community voice of Bankview was listened to when we hosted the developer and architects to engage with our community. There was absolutely zero changes made from the initial plans that were presented to us from the beginning. It is concerning that even though we have made a huge effort to communicate our issues with the applicant nothing has been changed.
The existing zoning of M-C2 and R-C2 allows for approximate twelve units. We feel that the 78 is a huge jump, crowding a huge number of units into an area that does not respect the adjacent context and the look and feel of the community.
The shadowing will affect the units to the north with some units below to be in eternal darkness. Balconies overlook the townhouse and condos to the north will impact the privacy of existing neighbours. We feel that the east side of the building should be setback further and reduced in height to respect the adjacent heritage properties. The west side has a cantilevered second storey that has zero setback on very narrow street. The street context of three meter setback should be respected.
We are concerned about the materials used for the balconies overlooking the properties to the north. The transparent glazing impacts privacy, as do the floor length windows.
There is no breakdown on the number of different sized units. MoDA and RND SQR have said that they are committed to providing some kind of family housing. We would like to better understand how many “family sized” units are proposed. We have concerns about the potential for windowless bedrooms as they are not adequate for anyone to live in. Bankview has a lot of small single bedroom and bachelor units already and we would like to see the existing family housing replaced with units that can accommodate different family sizes.
We are concerned about traffic and it’s vital for us to see the results of the traffic study before we can provide comments about what impacts that will have on our community. 14 A St going north is problematic because its steep, narrow, in the winter it gets very icy and traffic on 17 Ave often gets backed up significantly impeding a left hand turn from 14 A St to 17 Ave. Traffic accessing the light on 21 Ave and 14 St must travel south down 14 A St, 15 St or 16 St, impacting family oriented streets with many children. This is a core conservation district and the residents have voiced many concerns about traffic safety.
There is really no amenity space of value for the building. There is no outdoor public space and the indoor amenity space is extremely small for such a large building with so many units.
In regards to surrounding context, we know our ARP is older (1981, one of Calgary’s first which was a community led initiative) but we don’t that this development respects the context of the neighbourhood both new and older buildings. When the ARP is one of our only “measuring sticks” that we have to use, it is frustrating to be told that this document is “out of date” and “doesn’t count anymore.” Our ARP is a statutory document and we feel that until the city is willing to update it, that it stands as is and that it should be respected, particularly because it was a developed using the vision of our residents. We don’t feel that this development does so.
The project is grossly over mass, height and density. Has severe undo negative impacts on the properties to the north and the core conservation area to the south. The 6m setback for 10m height rule is encroached and we would like to see sections that are over 10 meters in height stepped back to respect that rule and the adjacent properties. We feel the north setback should be at least 3 meters to respect the existing developments. Note that the condos adjacent to the NE corner sit a full storey lower and will be unduly shadowed by 6 storeys immediately south.
Bankview has a severe shortage of on-street parking throughout the community and this is a major source of complaints. We do not support the relaxation of already minimal parking requirements.
What we do like is that there is a 4 meter setback along 19 Ave making it more street oriented and we hope that the developer will use the contextual 3m setback adjacent to 14 A St, thereby removing the ungainly cantilever. We do like the building articulation and varied roof lines.
In summary, we maintain that the project is grossly out of scale and context with the Bankview community and poses unacceptable impacts on the neighbouring properties. Traffic safety and parking are also of major concern. We are therefore opposed to the project and urge refusal of the development permit.
Bankview Development Committee
Bankview Community Association