Calgary council delays Highland Park development decision
Matter of golf course redevelopment tabled to next meeting
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After taking up the better part of a two-day meeting, Calgary City Council chose to punt a decision on the Highland Park golf course development ahead to next Monday.
Councillors are wrestling with what went wrong after they sent the applicant – Maple Projects Inc. – back to consult more with residents who are opposed to losing the roughly 50 acres of green space and mature trees.
After spending several hours speaking with the proponent on Monday, council then had to hear from about 25 concerned citizens who complained that the developer really wasn’t ready to budge on much when they were sent back to the table.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he was disturbed to hear from residents who said the developers told them they already had enough votes, and therefore wouldn’t negotiate.
“I don’t think it’s true, to start with,” said Nenshi. “Because I know that my colleagues do approach public hearings with an open mind. And I also know that on this particular issue(…) they’re really grappling with this.”
He said he wasn’t personally convinced the project was the best for the community.
“Frankly, there could have been a better project here that would have made the developer more money, and given the community more amenities,” said Nenshi.
Coun. Shane Keating suggested the process had gone too far and that it might be best to let the developer go forward with the process, rather than write amendments.
“We’re stuck spinning our tires in the mud here, your worship. And the longer we stay here, the deeper we’re going to get and the more time we’ll spend on this,” he said.
With the possibility of a tie vote due to an absence, the matter was tabled to next Monday.