Inglewood residents protest 16-storey tower they say will overshadow historic community

Dozens of residents in Calgary's oldest community waved homemade signs Saturday in protest of a proposed condo building they say will overshadow the tiny homes in their historic neighbourhood.

"I think, you know, this is the worst thing for the families in our communities to be putting up high rises right next to single family dwellings," said Mike Lang, who lives across the street from the proposed Inglewood development which would be built on the location of the old Husky gas station on 17th Avenue at 19th Street S.E.

"I think it's actually a really big issue for the whole city, not just Inglewood. Because if a developer can push through a high rise right next to single family homes in Inglewood, they can do it anywhere they want in the city."

The project, called The Grid, was originally proposed to have 180 units and 14 townhouses, at 63 metres high — more than triple the neighbourhood's current height limit of 20 metres, which was established by the Inglewood Area Redevelopment Plan in 1993.

After feedback from residents, the developers scaled the proposal in their application to the city down to a 16-storey, 49-metre-high tower with 110 units, beside a second 34-unit, six-storey building, and 18 townhouse units.

It would also have commercial opportunities located along 19th Street.

Helen Pike/CBC

But residents still say that's too big.

"We want something that fits with the historic community of Inglewood, something that that doesn't infringe on the property of the people that live right across the street. Nobody wants to live across the street from a 16-storey tower," said community association president Phil Levson.

Residents also expressed concerns over traffic and pedestrian safety at the already busy intersection.

B&A Planning Group

The complex would be located a short walking distance from the future Blackfoot Trail/9th Avenue S.E. BRT station, and a park that's planned along the Bow River.

The redevelopment of the former gas station, which was in operation from 1962 to 2010, will require cleanup to remove contamination.

A public hearing on the proposed land-use change is set for 9:30 a.m. Monday at city council.

B&A Planning Group