Civic Affairs

VARSITY CIVIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
APRIL 2023

Enmax Transmission Line – 53 St & Varsity Estates Drive – Request to Maintain Overhead Structures on Permanent Basis

Enmax has submitted an application to maintain on a permanent basis the current overhead transmission lines running through Varsity along 53 Street and Varsity Estates Drive and converging at Enmax #16 substation.  This line extends 410 metres and includes 4 steel monopoles, 3 wooden poles, overhead conductors, and associated equipment.  Nearby residents should have received a 4 page newsletter in November 2022.  If you did not receive this it is available at www.enmax.com/varsitynorthwest.

In 2009 and 2014, Enmax replaced underground cable portions of these lines with temporary overhead structures to restore service after faults occurred.  At the time, Enmax stated these structures would be relocated back to their original location underground.  Enmax has evaluated various options of permanent replacements and concluded that maintaining the current overhead lines is the best solution as it avoids incremental impacts to customers (including financial impacts) associated with new configurations.  A number of neighboring property owners including the Groves of Varsity and Crowchild Square are opposing this proposal.

For more information, please contact Enmax Power Corporation at stakeholderrelations@enmax.com or call 403-514-1471.  Website:  enmax.com/varsitynorthwest.  For questions about the regulatory process, contact the Alberta Utilities Commission at info@auc.ab.ca or 403-310-4282.  Website: auc.ab.ca.

Playground Review

We will be undertaking a review of the playgrounds in Varsity with a view to upgrading those most in need over the next few years.  If you are interested in serving on a playground subcommittee or would like to bring any existing problems with playgrounds to our attention, please email me at joanneatkins@shaw.ca.

South Shaganappi Local Area Plan

Varsity will be part of the South Shaganappi Local Area Plan which is a statutory document intended to guide future development.  The communities that are part of the LAP include Banff Trail, Montgomery, Parkdale, Point McKay, St. Andrew’s Heights, U of C, University District, University Heights, and Varsity.  The LAP will identify areas where increased density can be accommodated.  On April 18 the City will launch the LAP website and recruit volunteers to serve on a working group of approximately 40 people.  From the City’s website: 

“What is a Local Area Plan?

A local area plan identifies and guides where and how future growth and change should happen within a specific area. A local area plan aims to integrate and enhance the existing fabric of communities as redevelopment occurs to ensure the area is vibrant and thriving in the future.
A local area plan includes the following sections, aiming to answer the accompanying question and includes the associated key components: 

  1. Visualizing growth – What is the vision for the area? (vision and core values)
  2. Enabling growth – What type of growth makes sense where and what local/custom direction is needed to realize great development in this area? (future growth concept and development policies)
  3. Supporting growth – If growth occurs, what physical and social investments are needed? (future investment goals and priorities)”

Vecova

The Vecova Centre has submitted plans for City approval for redevelopment of their site.  A new building will be constructed facing 32 Avenue NW with parking behind on the north side of the building.  For those unfamiliar with Vecova, it is a facility that offers health, wellness and fitness programming and services for all ages and abilities, including adapted recreation for children and youth, and aquatics programming in a fully accessible and warm (34.5˚C) saltwater pool.

University Innovation Quarter

The University Innovation Quarter (UIQ), formerly known as University Research Park, will soon undergo a physical transformation to become a dense, mixed-use innovation district, which includes the potential combination of commercial, retail, and residential concepts.  In 2018 the Province transferred ownership of this land to the University of Calgary which granted a 130 year lease to the University Innovation Quarter Trust.

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Innovation Academy, a public charter school, opens this fall in the Alastair Ross Technology Building for grades 10-12.  Work is underway on the Master Plan for the site and the UIQ will hold more public engagement in the spring.  You can sign up for updates directly with UIQ by going to their website: uiqcalgary.com/get-involved/.

For information regarding the Civic Affairs Committee, please contact JoAnne Atkins, Director of Civic Affairs, at joanneatkins@shaw.ca.