Bait and switch corruption

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NHCA & C4RD Express Extreme Disappointment with CPC Admin. Bait-and Switch Tactic…See Their Response Below:

“The NHCA would like to officially express our disappointment and concerns regarding the Administration report for CPC regarding the application for rezoning and redeveloping of the Harvest Hills Golf Course.

The original report by Administration for CPC that was sent on August 11th has been completely changed and modified to support the application by the developer. If you compare the new August 25th version of the report, it isn’t a few words or some grammar that have been cleaned up, but content of this report has been completely changed or omitted making the integrity of this report questionable.

This is not how we expect the City of Calgary to operate as it violates the ethics of this whole process. This raises many questions regarding the City’s decision making abilities and leaves us extremely frustrated.”

Rick Lundy

NHCA President

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Camping with an e-bike

Pedalling a 90 pound e-bike!

That’s the total weight of a 76 pound e-bike, 1 man tent, tools, and minimal camping gear. The bike felt wobbly shaking it side to side with all the gear on the back rack and a handlebar bag stuffed full. But it rode OK on 26X2.125 beach sized tires.

Photo: Rockyford Municipal Campground. Giant 3 speed bike equipped with a Power In Motion e-bike kit (plugged in and recharging)

Heading east out of Calgary on Stoney Trail onto Hwy 564 took me to Delacour and its quaint little store where I stopped to snack and drink. I had been pedalling the 90 pound bike the entire way there.

Fortunately, drivers on the 564 decided to behave themselves and left room when passing so it was a pleasant ride. Except for the last 10km into Rockyford and the odd steep hill, it was all pedalling. I averaged 22 kph over 84 km.

I had not worked out the most efficient speed for maximum range with the e-bike battery so I relied on the motor very little on the outbound trip since there is a gradual loss of altitude going east and my legs were fresh.

I stopped and bought some food/water at the Rockyford general store. Then off to finish the ride to the campground to set up camp. It took 4 hours of waiting for the sun to go down before I could slide into the small tent which had finally cooled down. Being able to keep the tent fly rolled up helped keep the tent cool until nightfall. Then the fly was staked down again to keep the dew off.

It was a toss and turn night, getting up every few hours to find a more comfortable position to sleep on the hard ground with one plugged sinus (probably from bug spray). I missed my 3 pound air mattress but there was no way I dared carry anymore weight for the return trip the next day. Besides, the air mattress took up almost all the room in the small tent all by itself!

By morning the tent was soaked in dew. I wanted to get going before the air heated up. On bike camping trips I carry a small square of a something called a Sham Wow. Its an artificial chamois that soaks up moisture like nobody’s business. It makes a great towel for a shower instead of hauling a huge heavy bath towel. It also makes a very good towel to dry dew off the tent. Then I shook the tent to empty a snowstorm of down out from the sleeping bag and packed up.

The entire way back I had about a 15 kph headwind plus the gradual climb with longer and steeper hills.

When the Delacour store came into sight I was relieved. Cold drink, water, ice cream, and Twizzlers too! I soaked the Sham (which began to stink from yesterday’s shower while taking a long time to dry on the back of the bike that morning). I used it to cool my burning forehead. A damp cloth under a helmet keeps the head cool. By now the air felt like a blast furnace. Probably too much sun so I put my helmet on with the wet chamois underneath. From that point on I used the motor and tried to keep my speed to around 23 kph to conserve battery power.

About this time, truck drivers and the odd car driver started driving like terrorists. After about the 3rd blast of my horn, two dump trucks passed with the second truck tailgating the first. An oncoming pickup was almost forced into the deep ditch. Seconds away from a lethal collision the truck driver kept speeding like he was in a Ferrari. His mental disconnect with reality was pointless and dangerous. Trucks don’t accelerate worth crap.

The large number of bad drivers in trucks increased as did their numbers. A few considerate truck drivers braked and waited to pass when traffic approached. The dump truck drivers however, were far too impatient to live that long.

Once I reached 36 St, I headed down to the Airport Tunnel. With so many idiots on the road that morning it was safer to illegally bike through the Airport Tunnel than continue on the 564. The $495 million dollar dead end tunnel (closed at 36st for construction), serves no purpose except for cyclists anyway.

Years ago, there was a court case where the City of Calgary had tried to block bicycles from using Deerfoot Trail. The Queen’s Bench ruled that the bicycle prohibition was prejudiced against specific road users and over ruled the city, so I’m wondering why the same issue is being raised with the Airport Tunnel and its wide shoulders to bike on. It is, after all, the only safe route through the area!

By now, the e-bike battery had been powering the motor almost constantly since Delacour and over hills most of the way back while I pedal assisted. The battery indicator showed 50% charge remaining. I ran the bike entirely with the motor and finished the remaining miles in the heat.

For once, I was really glad to have a motor and lots of spare charge left in the battery. The battery is rated for 50km but I typically get about 70-100kms. Reducing the speed to around 23 kph significantly improved the e-bike’s range to an estimated 100kms or more.

Is City Hall Broken?

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STOP the redevelopment of Harvest Hills

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Is City Hall Broken?…

by David Hartwick – 1st Vice President, Northern Hills Community Association (NHCA)

As most people know, Cedarglen Homes bought the Harvest Hills Golf Course about 18 months ago with the intent to redevelop it into a residential area, increasing the population of Harvest Hills significantly. The Northern Hills Community Association believes this development will have an impact on the quality of life for all residents of the Northern Hills, and has taken steps to oppose the proposed land use changes. But our volunteers have invested over a thousand hours into the process, and we are now wondering if City Hall is broken? Why has Calgary turned into a city that requires individuals and community associations to question policy, procedure and actions of City Hall? Don’t we elect people to take on that role? Is it time for election reform preventing developers from donating to campaigns and requiring that candidates must live where they will represent? In the past 18 months, the NHCA has had to learn about acronyms like ASP, ARP, MDP, HOA, RA, and DTR, and terms like Main Streets, Urban Forest GoPlan and PLAN Calgary. We have had to delve into City development policies, meet with politicians and connect with other communities that are struggling with the same issues, including the Hamptons, Highland Park, and Thorncliffe/Greenview; so we have all been sharing information and learning from each other rather than from our elected Councillors. One of the biggest struggles we will face is convincing Calgary City Council that this development is a bad idea, and there is no precedent in how to do so. As our Councillor Jim Stevenson said to the Calgary Sun a few months ago, “A private land owner has the right to apply to change the use of their land, and if city council wants to deny that, they have to have a good reason.” If this is the case, why are community associations and the public given an opportunity to provide feedback on development permits including basement suites, home based businesses, and new retail space? It is also important to note, that this is not simply a development permit request, but a request to change land use designation AND the Area Structure Plan approved by a previous City Council. Why does the City have policies pushing to preserve our urban forest and increase transit oriented development, but not have policies to prevent developments that destroy urban forests and increase road traffic? Oh wait, it all falls into the Municipal Development Plan, and that same plan is what is pushing the Harvest Hills redevelopment through. One frustration is that people within the City of Calgary cannot even agree on their own policies. The MDP policy states: “A dispersed population creates some social, economic and environmental challenges.” We agree, as our community already faces many of these challenges, so how is the addition of more people going to address it? The City has suggested tennis courts. That we will all drive to. And greenspace that we can all use, but only those living in the new area will pay for it. Could you imagine if the Panorama E-Centre was open to all of us but only residents in some parts of Panorama Hills paid for its maintenance? I wonder how long that will last? The City is also forcing secondary suites in the Harvest Hills proposal, something the developer did not propose. Why? Because some bureaucrats consider this to be new development rather than a redevelopment, and therefore it’s a requirement of city policy. Harvest Hills was built as a Master Planned Community (as part of the Calgary North ASP, Phase 1) featuring a golf course and lake, and the purchase and redevelopment of golf courses could just be the beginning. Through our research, we are questioning if Calgary City Council approved increased density in Coventry Hills to compensate for reduced capacity in Harvest Hills. The area Alderman at the time, John Schmal, stated that City Council and its Administration at the time wanted Genstar to “provide for the innovative and unique development when they promoted the “North Calgary” MasterPlan.” That same Master Plan defined actual population of the structure plan to be a maximum of 20,000 without upgrades to the Deerfoot and Memorial interchange. Population of the communities in Phase 1currently sits at 31,665 and doesn’t factor in all the other growth in the north. What is to prevent a company from buying Lake Bonavista, promising to continue running it as it is, but then selling it a year later to a developer? Or a school? Or a recreation centre? Or the Harvest Hills lake? The nearby community of Sage Meadows is promoting 60% green space to homebuyers. We buy our homes based on our needs including amenities and our homes are priced based on those amenities. Do we want a city where anyone can pay a price to change that? The City of Calgary scheduled an information session for July 20th, and the Calgary Planning Commission meeting is August 11th. Is the City trying to push this through while people are on holidays? Our community has 8,480 kids between5-14 years old, so this is the time of year the residents take holidays. The Highland Park Redevelopment has been tabled until January 2017, so why is the Harvest Hills process going forward?

This is OUR CITY. HAVE A VOICE. We are one year from an election so now is the time to speak up.

Article taken from the Northern Edge News… in case you didn’t receive it.

We need your help! Please make sure you support our fight on everyone’s behalf.

Sincerely,

The Calgarians For Responsible Development

www.calgarians4rd.com

Click here for our Webpage