Welcome to the home page of Protect Bowmont Natural Environment Park, a resource for area residents of NW Calgary to help advocate for reduced development along the boundaries of sensitive urban natural lands and wildlife corridors. True friends or stewards of the park would not want its biodiversity destroyed as the second largest municipal natural area in the city. The current development at 5651 Nose Hill Drive NW will do just that and more.
Please note that while this website is created by one area resident, it is supported by a few thousand residents including those who signed the petition against the development (see: https://www.change.org/p/8-storey-complex-will-change-the-face-of-the-river-valley-and-pose-safety-risks) currently with 2,327 signatures and climbing.
Encouraging News from the Developer (Oct 14 2021):
On Sep 17 2021, Pali Bedi (owner of 5651 Nose Hill Drive NW, and CEO of Genco Development Corporation, the developer) formally agreed to pause his plans for the development of Affinity luxury living condos, in order for area residents to ask the City planning department to formally explore a land swap with 37 Silver Springs Drive NW (JUCC managed land). See below and Land Swap option button. This would involve the same developer.
The latter lot is about the same size as the former, and the JUCC already agreed to sell it to any developer wishing to build high-density independent seniors housing (allowing local residents to Age in Place in their neighborhood of Silver Springs). This was agreed in April 2019 with the SSCA subcommittee and local seniors’ advocates, but paused due to a lack of a developer and the subsequent COVID-19 pandemic.
The new land swap proposal fixes a few longstanding problems with one elegant solution. Bowmont Park is protected by JUCC park land, seniors may downsize to affordable (not luxury) condos, and this then opens up homes for young families with children who can then use SSCC facilities and schools. It would also attribute the density of the build to Silver Springs, not the current attribution to Scenic Acres not impacted.
Like many established neighbourhoods, Silver Springs is a target for greater densification by the City noting the recent 34 unit infill at 84 Silvercreek Crescent NW. The land swap allows the SSCA to play a pivotal role in creating local area planned development that we need rather than tone deaf development at our boundary and at 37 Silver Springs Drive NW in the near future anyway. Moving the higher density development into Silver Springs delays that risk of more future infills within our community – perhaps next door to your own quiet street.
Over the past three weeks, we have tried to reach out to the City managers and staff to consider the land swap again in good faith. Their current position is to do nothing until given direction by the new Council, specifically the new Ward 1 Councillor. Thus, we reached out to all candidates last week.
The following Ward 1 Councillor Candidates provided written confirmation in agreement to explore the land swap proposal in good faith, and that they would direct or help the City Planning managers and staff to formally review the current proposal with area residents if elected (listed in no particular order):
The following Ward 1 Councillor Candidates have not yet responded to the email request:
To date, there have been no Ward 1 Councillor Candidates who disagreed with the land swap proposal.
Of the four main Mayoral candidates, Brad Field was the first to reply with an emphatic YES to exploring the land swap proposal with City planning and related business units. More recently, the campaign of Jeromy Farkas also strongly supports exploring the land swap option. The campaign manager for Jeff Davison has now indicated that Mayoral candidate would also support exploring the land swap option. Finally this week, Jyoti Gondek‘s campaign team responded also in support of exploring the land swap proposal. Please note that this is a proposal not a done deal.
New Land Swap Proposal (July to election time 2021):
Over the past few months, area residents have identified a win-win-win-win situation for the developer, the City and the Silver Springs Community Association (SSCA), area residents currently threatened by the new proposal, and the Bowmont Natural Environment Park. Hit the land swap button below for more information.
More to discuss in the coming weeks.
Pre-sale posting by developer (June 2021):
The purpose of the flyer and the website is to ensure that area residents are aware of the pending development permit that the owners have planned to submit in 2021.
- Between 2016 and 2017, most area residents were not aware of the proposal to redesignate the land from a fallow state to multi-residential high-density housing.
- As a result, when it came to the City for approval (2018), only two residents were present (waiting 8 hours to present), our community association was unaware of the public hearing.
- Council passed the land redesignation, and the original owners then proceeded to sell it to another group for $2.75 million in early 2020.
- That new group had been in talks with the City since 2019, in Nov 2020 posted signs for a large commercial building that was not consistent with the original land rezoning approval.
- When I contacted the new owners to point this out, they removed the signs and rendered a luxury apartment complex for my sake.
- Unfortunately, the Avison Young real estate site still promotes a large commercial complex, so it is not clear what will be built at 5651 Nose Hill Drive NW.
Stop the development? The point of this section was to tell residents that the answer was “no”. The City Council at the land rezoning phase makes a decision that can only be challenged in court and none of us have the money to do that (need lawyers). Moreover, it had to have been done within 3 weeks of the decision. Many of us were not aware of the decision. So, unless the developer wishes to change the land rezoning to natural lands, then we cannot stop the DP process. This does not seem likely.
Land swap? The owners initially expressed interest in this, as were not aware that it would be controversial to area residents. Not sure if this was sincere, but we tried to get City Planning and City Parks to look at the idea. They did review the request and formally said “no” land swap as of March 14, 2021. They feel the land is of no “ecological value” even though there is a hardened deer path on it and lots of deer and other wildlife droppings.
Update (09 Sep 2021): A new proposal based on JUCC land that was set aside for seniors affordable living is described in detail by following the link below:
Alter the development? That appears to be where we are at. We have ensured that an environmental impact assessment must be done during the DP process, but now negotiating what should be included. There appears to be good evidence of a major wildlife corridor there, and EIA has to include Bowmont Natural Environment Park as well as connectivity to 12 Mile Coulee. The development could also increase not decrease car-animal collisions/near collisions. Other residents are pushing for a new safety and traffic study, since the last one was more than 4 years ago.
Appeal the development? This would happen after the City approved development plans later on, and the plans were either unchanged or terribly inappropriate for this green space. This would go to the Calgary Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB or Board), which is a quasi-judicial board (no lawyers required). However, area neighbours tried to appeal the decision on Habitat for Humanity’s 34 unit in-fill, and our Community Association opposed the residents resulting in their appeal being defeated. We have formally asked the SSCA not to oppose our appeal. And that is where signing the on-line petition is helpful.
The petition is a quantitative measure of where area residents stand on this development. The on-line petition also has a feature where the person running the petition (not me) can push out notifications on next steps. There is plan for this shortly. The petition signatures help the SSCA (and other Community Associations) to see that most area residents are opposed. We have delivered close to 1000 flyers in the area, and the 40% of people coming to the door – 95% are opposed, a few need to read the information, and perhaps a handful think development is good in general.
Trying to stop development in Calgary is an uphill battle because the City depends on property taxes and development permit fees for up to 80% of its revenue, which creates a conflict of interest. There will be a strong bias to develop vs conserve. Natural spaces provide no revenue and are considered worthless to the City. It is remarkable that we still have any city parks.
Hopefully this helps. Please sign the petition, express how you feel to your community association, and perhaps also speak your mind on the Guidebook for Great Communities (which will further undermine any local control over unwanted redevelopment in established neighbourhoods).
And it is an election year. The incumbents within City Council appear to be pro-development and densifying everything. You could look for candidates who promise to listen and act on the concerns of impacted residents.
Check out the rest of this site for greater detail on what you can find on the park’s history, the Calgary Planning process, as well as options for dealing with 5651 Nose Hill Drive NW development in 2021-2023. Hit the menu information button below for a description of each section.
Sign the petition:
This is also the place to connect with other local initiatives such as the Petition from Silver Spring residents against the proposed 5651 Nose Hill Drive NW multi-residential high-density housing complex scheduled to be competed by the end of 2023. If you wish to sign the Petition, press the Change.org button to send you there.
Presentation to the SCCA (March 2021):
Three area residents recently presented to the Silver Springs Community Association (SSCA) on the key issues facing the community as well as all area residents of the NW Bow Valley. Press on the presentation to read more.
Article in the Silver Springs Spirit (April 2021):
In mid-March 2021, we submitted an article on the impact of the 5651 Nose Hill Drive NW proposed development on the regional bikeway/pathway system (5A Network) and the main wildlife corridor into and out of Bowmont Natural Environment Park. There are three formats to choose from (same edited version from SSCA board members).
Original door-to-door Flyer (January 2021):
Press on the original PDF flyer button below for an introduction to the proposed development at 5651 Nose Hill Drive NW, which includes a little history on this 2-acre parcel of land and some potential options for area residents to take.
For specific questions about the proposed development, you may contact firstname.lastname@example.org . I will return all inquiries (but cannot guarantee a quick or urgent reply). This is not my day job.
Within the rest of this website, you will find additional details to make you more aware of the overall situation in your NW Community and the natural green spaces around your local neighbourhood.
Please note that this is a voluntary project of a Calgary citizen. As such, I don’t express the views of the Silver Springs Community Association (SSCA), the City of Calgary, or any other organization, business or agency. These are simply observations from a long time resident, who feels that Silver Springs is the best Community in Calgary. In large part, this is due to our unobstructed views up and down the valley, and our unimpeded access to the Bow River through bikeways and pathways within the Bowmont Natural Environment Park.