Last month I wrote about how important neighbourhood-based planning is in Calgary as we commit, over the next sixty years, to growing up as a City (as opposed to the last sixty year trend of outwards sprawl). This month I’ll offer an overview of the state of planning in Tuxedo Park in terms of where it’s at now. Next month I’ll discuss what’s coming down the pipe. After that, how far along your Community Association is in the important project of establishing itself as a broker of a neighbourhood-based conversation about our best hopes for our future.
In 2003 the North Hill Area Redevelopment Plan was approved by City Council. Written in an era when the planning department was realizing it had bitten off more than it could chew in terms of preparing and maintaining local area plans, the North Hill ARP was an attempt to kill three birds with one stone and covers the communities of Capitol Hill, Mount Pleasant, and Tuxedo Park. The major shortcoming of the document, besides failing to anticipate changes in the transportation planning for 16th Avenue, and now Centre Street/Edmonton Trail, is its obscurity – it’s hard to be guided by a plan that no one knows exists.
In 2007, City Council approved the 16 Avenue North Corridor Area Redevelopment Plan. This document represents a historic convergence of transportation and land use planning in Calgary and the back story is that it started simply as a road widening project but was forced to take a more holistic approach thanks to the advocacy of Councillor Druh Farrell. While there’s a lot to recommend the vision of the 16 Ave ARP, it suffers from overly-restrictive development regulations (hence no action since) and makes the cardinal mistake of not providing for on-street parking for hoped for businesses.
The uneasy dating between land use and transportation in Calgary led to their uneasy marriage in 2009 when Council approved the “combined” Municipal Development Plan and Calgary Transportation Plan. These documents establish the fundamental shift in the way we plan to grow our City over the next sixty years from “out” to “up.” They specifically envision a more intense future for Tuxedo Park through their designation of 16th Avenue, Centre Street, and Edmonton Trail as “Urban Corridors.” But actually delivering on these intentions will only happen through a next generation plan developed through engagement with and support from Tuxedo Parkers.