8-storey complex at 5651 Nose Hill Drive NW - they want a development permit

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Major impacts to wildlife; safety concerns for the community of Silver Springs

As a concerned resident, we ask that the current owners (2245406 Alberta Ltd.), Calgary City Council, and the Councilor for Ward 1, currently Ward Sutherland, work with the Silver Springs Community Association, Scenic Acres Community Association, Bowness Community Association and all affected residents to address and mitigate safety issues and impact to wildlife prior to considering a development permit.  Mitigation may include, among other things:

a) a site swap with the City of Calgary to relocate the development to the east side of the connector between Nose Hill Drive NW and Bearspaw Dam Road NW to reduce the negative impacts to the wildlife corridor; 

failing which,

b) reduce the size of the development;

c) remove the main entrance and pull out from Silver Valley Road NW;

d) require an Environmental Impact Assessment before the current owners can apply for a development permit

e) change the address to reflect actual site access off of an extended 85th Street NW; 

f) implement parking restrictions along Silver Valley Road NW and Silver Valley Boulevard NW to minimize traffic through the community and so that Silver Springs residents and users of Bowmont Park continue to have access to the Park; and

g) address other considerations such as noise, light, bicycles and pedestrians.

What is happening?

Current owners of the 2-acre triangle of green space at 5651 Nose Hill Drive NW are planning to develop an 8-storey, 150,000 square foot luxury residential complex.  The 2-acre parcel of land is adjacent to Bowmont Natural Environmental Park, south of the intersection between Nose Hill Dr. & Silver Valley Road NW and north of the Alberta Forestry site.

More information can also be found at: https://protectbowmontpark.wordpress.com/

Where will this development be located?

A map of the proposed location and development can be found here (also click on the documents tab to find a PDF with a more detailed site plan): https://www.avisonyoung.ca/web/calgary/properties?propertyId=5651-Nosehill-Dr-NW-lease&_ga=2.116288324.312698586.1606152675-2082346496.1606152675

A high density 8-storey complex will seriously impact wildlife and affect safety in the community of Silver Springs.

We need residents to make their concerns known prior to 2245406 Alberta Ltd. applying to the City for a Development Permit:

Issues to bring forward before they apply for a development permit

1. WILDLIFE: The current parcel of land serves as a critical wildlife corridor linking Bowmont Natural Environmental Park to 12 Mile Coulee and the western limits of the City of Calgary.  It bridges the River Valley, Bowmont Park, Baker Park, and the 12 Mile Coulee Natural Environmental Park and is used by large wild animals such as moose, deer, coyotes, bobcats, porcupine, and many native birds, to say nothing of the smaller animals. Putting in a large multi-residential high density complex in this area will be damaging to wildlife.  According to the Bearspaw East Structure Plan, this site was supposed to be designated as open area if Alberta Forestry no longer needed the land. City council approved the land use re-designation despite the land being a major wildlife corridor, a fact that was made known to them prior to approval.

2. INSIST ON AN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT: A senior planner for the City made an arbitrary decision not to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment before allowing the land use redesignation. The land was supposed to be an open area under the Bearspaw East Structure Plan and it is 70 m from the Bowmont Park. Insist on an EIA before the current owners can apply for a development permit.

The Calgary Planning Commission report to Council from September 12, 2016 acknowledged that Bowmont Park has moderate to high environmental sensitivity and needed to be protected and zoned as Special Purpose - Urban Nature (S-UN).  The report can be found here: https://pub-calgary.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=17009

3. HEIGHT OF THE BUILDING: The current owners propose an 8-storey building with 3 levels of underground parking. There are no other buildings of this height situated in the river valley in a location that will obstruct views and drastically increase traffic problems through what is currently a quiet residential community with many children. A building of this size will also increase noise and light levels. 

4. NOT APPROPRIATE TO HAVE ACCESS THAT FORCES TRAFFIC THROUGH SILVER SPRINGS: When City Council approved Marquis' application, the owners represented that the only vehicle access to the complex would be off of 85th street. The owners represented that they would assume the costs of building a traffic circle and other infrastructure to enable appropriate site access between Bearspaw Dam Road and 85th street. The owners' plans were that all parking would be underground. It was specifically discussed and agreed that it was inappropriate to have access to the complex from Silver Valley Road NW because this was a quiet residential area.

5. CONFUSING ADDRESS: In March 2020, Marquis sold the land to 2245406 Alberta Ltd. The complex has a Nose Hill Drive address instead of an 85th street address. Typing in 5651 Nose Hill Drive NW in Google maps drops a pin next to Silver Valley Road NW. There is no  parking access to the complex from Silver Valley Road NW; the only parking access is from 85th Street. However, the current site drawings show that the building's main entrance will face east and that there would be a pull out / drop off area for residents and visitors along Silver Valley Road NW, almost immediately after the sharp exit from Nose Hill Drive NW.  Note that this section of Silver Valley Road is not bi-directional. Traffic exiting from northbound Nose Hill Drive can only turn south onto Silver Valley Road NW. And driving up Silver Valley Road NW, a car can only merge northbound on Nose Hill Drive.

4. MAJOR SAFTEY ISSUES: Having a pull out / drop off area along the west side of Silver Valley Road NW will have a major negative impact on community safety for Silver Springs. The address location in maps is misleading and will cause a constant flow of confused motorists to enter the residential community of Silver Springs. There is a one way, hairpin turn on this section of Silver Valley Road NW. Allowing the owners to create a pull out along Silver Valley Road NW will do the following:

a) increase traffic flow through the community, including through a playground zone used by many children along Silver Valley Drive NW,

b) result in hundreds of motorists making blind u-turns in front of traffic exiting from Nose Hill Drive NW onto Silver Valley Road NW,

c) the major pedestrian/ commuter bike pathway access will be severely impacted by a massive increase in traffic;

d) increase left turns at the intersection of Silver Valley Drive NW and Silver Springs Road NW, which is already flagged as one of the most dangerous intersections in all of Silver Springs, and

e) increase left turns across northbound Nose Hill Drive NW, which is already backed up and a challenging turn to make, especially during peak times.

The issue of traffic safety is further exacerbated by the site address of 5651 Nose Hill Drive NW because there is no parking or direct access to the site for emergency personnel from Nose Hill Drive NW.  For visitors of residents, the address will also lead people to park along the residential streets of Silver Valley Road NW or Silver Valley Boulevard NW, also increasing traffic flow through the community.

Historical land use

The parcel of land was originally part of the community of Scenic Acres, but was cut off from Scenic Acres by the diversion of Nose Hill Drive towards Stoney Trail in 1995.  Unfortunately, the site was never designated as a permanent green space, and, despite remaining vacant for 25-years, City Council approved an application by Marquis Communities Development for land use re-designation on June 11, 2018 to permit a multi-residential high-density building.

In late November, the current owners (2245406 Alberta Ltd.) contracted Avison Young to undertake a pre-sale / pre-lease process for what was contemplated as a mixed use building with medical or office space occupying the first two floors. Since that time, the owner has elected to pursue a residential complex only.

ACTION

If you are concerned about the issues identified in this petition, please add your name and make your voice heard. Now is the time to act, before they apply for a development permit.