“Chinatown rally planned Sunday”

Apr. 9, 2016 – Calgary Herald

22NOV94---Chinatown---Various pictures show Chinese Cultural Centre, its museum, and shops in the area.   IN CALGARY   (Mike Sturk)  DIGITAL*Calgary Herald Merlin Archive*
22NOV94—Chinatown—Various pictures show Chinese Cultural Centre, its museum, and shops in the area. IN CALGARY (Mike Sturk) DIGITAL*Calgary Herald Merlin Archive* MIKE STURK, CALGARY HERALD /CALGARY HERALD
Community organizers hope a “pre-rally block party” this weekend will reignite interest and involvement in Chinatown’s future before a controversial development proposal heads to city council on Monday.

 

Manu Chungh Architects Ltd. has requested amendments to the Chinatown Area Redevelopment Plan and land-use designation that would pave the way for a 27-storey building on a vacant parcel of land, on 3rd Avenue.


Although the application was supported by city administration and the Calgary Planning Commission, council tabled the application twice in the past four months for further public consultation.

Numerous residents and various lobby groups, such as the Chinatown Community Stakeholders’ Committee, maintain the amendment would double the existing allowable building height cap, increase permitted uses in the area, and set a dangerous precedent and erode Chinatown‘s culture, heritage and community.

“We want to raise awareness about everything that’s going on in Chinatown not just this one application but the fact that there’s going to be a revised Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP) coming soon,” said Patrick Teoh, a volunteer with I Love YYC Chinatown.

“I think a lot of people are excited about it, from every stakeholder group, because that’s the way to get involved in the process.”

The group plans to hold a rally at city hall before Monday’s council meeting.

“We do want to see development,” Teoh said. “When I walk down Centre Street there are all these dilapidated stores that have never recovered (from the 2013 flood).

Coun. Druh Farrell said the application will likely be referred Monday to Dec. 5 allowing stakeholders several months to refine the land-use application based on preliminary work of a new Chinatown Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP).

“This is a way of getting the process started and use that early identification as a way to inform our analysis of this application,” said Farrell, noting all parties have agreed to the referral.

“We didn’t think it was fair or desirable to freeze development in Chinatown until the completion of a new ARP that could be years (away),” she said.

The pre-rally block party is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Chinese Cultural Centre at 197 1st Street S.W.

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