SELECTIONS OF CALGARY Mayor before Rocky View Council
Mayor Nenshi’s top three priorities – 1. STOP – 2 do it our way – or 3 Threat – We Go to the Province :
Councillor Solberg cuts through Mayors Spin :
Mayors “engineers” and County engineers – do not agree:
Mayor “we will fight you for it”
Mayor sees no option of transition zone choice in the Market he wants control of:
HEAT IS ON -THE MOTHER OF ALL ANNEXATIONS Mayor say Calgary Plan is a Must:
STILL HOT – COUNTY NOT ROLLING OVER:
Many were saying they had never seen anything like it. By the end it was clear we had all just witnessed regional bullying led primarily by the Mayor of Calgary in person.
During the Tuesday, May 12th, Rocky View Council meeting county staff presented the Conrich Area Structure Plan. Conrich is the location of the new CN Intermodal Distribution Center in Rocky View. The Area Structure Plan has been developing in the public process for close to 2 years. A number of local residents and business people spoke in support of the County’s plan for the area.
Then Mayor Naheed Nenshi of Calgary, supported by some Calgary Aldermen, came up to address the Rocky View Council. He began to tear down the plan. He made several statements about what he felt were failures of the plan. Then he held it up as an example of his definition of “failed regional planning”.
Although it was apparent Rocky View had consulted extensively with the planning department of Calgary it seemed Mayor Nenshi was frustrated that Rocky View had not conformed to Calgary’s view of how everything should be done. The Rocky View Council consistently looked for an open door to address the Mayor’s concerns and tried to find conciliatory options. But he would have none of it.
The Mayor clearly stated that his first priority was for Rocky View to stop.
The Mayor clearly stated that his first priority was for Rocky View to stop. Stop planning. Stop supporting even early stage approval of the Conrich Area Structure Plan without first conforming to Calgary’s priorities.
Rocky View Councillors were respectful and patiently asked questions about what the city’s motivations were. What did the city want? The Mayor’s smooth replies were couched in the usual rhetoric about sustainability, regional planning and the need for us all to protect agriculture. Yet, primarily through careful questioning of Rocky View Councillors Earl Solberg and Greg Boehlke, it became obvious to all that this was far more about power and control and perhaps competition for industrial and commercial revenues.
When it came to residential options, only high density residential development conforming to the city’s model was potentially allowable by the Mayor of Calgary. The Mayor would hear of no other options. At one point in a raised tone he clearly pronounced it’s either agricultural or it must be a (high density) urban city model. “There is no such thing as a transition zone”, pronounced Mayor Nenshi.
There is no such thing as a transition zone
Increasingly, the Mayor’s agenda and that of Calgary Metropolitan Plan advocate Alderman Jim Stevenson was that only Calgary has a sustainable model. Rocky View Councillors and staff explained they consistently drive for sustainability and will see $500,000 a year in increased tax revenue in the near term and up to $1,000,000 dollars when fully build out in Conrich.
The Mayor began shouting when County Councillor Greg Boehlke challenged him and asked him to confirm that in previous conversations the Mayor had threatened that Rocky View will conform to Calgary’s way of doing things or you will see the “mother of all annexations”.
Rocky View will conform to Calgary’s way of doing things or you will see the “mother of all annexations”.
It was clear to many of us that the Mayor of Calgary and the Calgary Regional Partnership team are not really interested in collaborative voluntary regional planning or agriculture. It seems they do not like the competitive option that Rocky View is presenting to the development community particularly the high value industrial and commercial portion. On Tuesday the Mayor of Calgary was shouting at the Rocky View Councillors in order to get his way. This is Regional Bullying. Like I said it was shocking. Many said afterwards they had never seen anything like it.
Many said afterwards they had never seen anything like it.
We support a collaborative process but if one party refuses to be reasonable it’s hard to collaborate.