Calgary city council delays decision on Chinatown development

CALGARY – Protesters rallied in front of City Hall Monday as council debated a controversial change to Chinatown’s Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP).

The proposed amendment would alter existing land-use designation, effectively paving the way for the construction of a 27-storey building which would be almost double current height restrictions.

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    Council delayed any decisions on the amendments for at least eight months so there can be more community engagement meetings related to the proposals. A report with community feedback is set to be completed by early December, and is likely to include recommendations.

    READ MORE: ‘One Love One Chinatown’ Festival in Calgary draws attention to proposed redevelopment

    Community members have spoken out against the potential changes, saying the redevelopment would erode Chinatown’s heritage and history.

    “The bylaw amendments are a concern because they are developer-driven and are potentially not in the best interests of Chinatown,” a statement on the I Love YYC Chinatown website reads. “In addition, these bylaws have been proposed without adequate community engagement or due process.”

    The building would be constructed on a vacant parcel of land on 3 Avenue S.W.

    On Monday, protesters marched from the Far East Shopping Mall to City Hall to raise awareness about community concerns.

    The compromise to delay the decision was brokered by Ward 7 Councillor Druh Farrell, whose ward includes Chinatown. The developer and community have both agreed to this process, and the majority of councillors agreed to the new timeline for a report.

    WATCH: Teresa Woo-Paw from the Chinatown Citizens Advisory Committee speaks with Doug Vaessen about Chinatown development plans

    With files from Doug Vaessen and David Boushy