Editor: The Northview Apartment complex on Palliser trail has been poorly planned and the Town needs to fix it.
The residents (upwards of 400 people) have been screwed by the Town’s lack of foresight.
Their failures include insufficient parking, pedestrian mobility issues and a failed affordable housing initiative.
The project was approved following the Town’s new reduced parking requirements.
As a result, there is currently nowhere for residents (with more than one car), or visitors, to park legally and reasonably.
The problem was made worse when the Town decided to enforce a full parking restriction along Palliser Trail.
The closest available parking is currently across the Trans-Canada Highway on the streets in Teepee Town or (better yet) in Vanmore.
That brings us to the mobility issue.
If I am a highly responsible citizen who wants to visit my friend at their new apartment, I’ll decide to park legally on the street in Teepee Town then I’ll walk 25 minutes (Google maps approved) across the Benchlands Trail bridge to reach my destination.
Or I could proceed with the questionable – possibly illegal? – move of crossing the highway and the same trip would take three minutes.
As a resident, I’ll be asking my friends to park in Vanmore and walk from there.
I’ll pick them up if I’m in a good mood.
Some context for those under the impression that these buildings are a new shining example of our town’s commitment to affordable housing.
The vast majority of these apartments are priced in line with the rental market (roughly $1,500 for one bedroom, $2,000 for two bedrooms).
The small portion of these units that are involved with CCHC are priced 10 per cent below the market rate and some of these units have been vacant for 10 months.
The Northview REIT is a publicly traded company that currently pays a six per cent annual dividend to its investors.
They have no real interest in being a part of our community’s affordable housing initiative.
They collect the greatest amount of rent from the smallest amount of property possible.
The complex is of a size and scale that may be unparalleled in Canmore.
Perhaps this is why the Town has had such difficulty in planning the project – they have never handled this before.
I hope that everyone involved the Town’s planning department learns from this failure and can work quickly on solutions.