Po­si­tion on poles: Ugly

Calgary Up­set cit­i­zens save land­scape from power line eye­sores

StarMetro Calgary - - YOUR ESSENTIAL DAILY NEWS - Helen Pike Metro | Calgary

A community group is ap­plaud­ing the power of pub­lic en­gage­ment after they suc­cess­fully helped sway a power project from putting overhead lines through green space and views many Cal­gar­i­ans en­joy.

In a move to make the down­town power grid more re­li­able, city-owned En­max be­gan pub­lic con­sul­ta­tions on a plan to re­in­force elec­tric­ity trans­mis­sion, which would in­volve large elec­tric­ity poles.

The power lines were go­ing to go be­tween 3120 — 9 Street SE and 903 — 4 Av­enue SW, which is along the Stam­pede, Erl­ton and Lind­say Park ar­eas.

Peter Oliver, Belt­line Neigh­bour­hoods As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent, said the project looked like it was ready to go when he at­tended the open house to learn more about En­max’s plans.

“We were kind of a bit sur­prised this was hap­pen­ing,” said Oliver.

“Par­tic­u­larly be­cause this was a very large trans­mis­sion line, up to 32 me­tre-high polls, we’ve seen them pop­ping up else­where in the city closer to the ring road.”

Oliver said the cor­ri­dor is a gate­way to the city on the south side with a lot of de­vel­op­ment in the works.

“You have the BMO con­ven­tion cen­tre, there’s the ma­jor de­vel­op­ment hap­pen­ing at 25th Av­enue...it also imposes over some ma­jor park space,” said Oliver. “It wouldn’t have been good.”

In an Au­gust news­let­ter, En­max stated new in­for­ma­tion about land use and on­go­ing projects in the area changed their de­ci­sion.

“En­max plans to file the Fa­cil­ity Ap­pli­ca­tion with the Al­berta Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion by the end of Novem­ber 2017 ... con­struc­tion is sched­uled to be­gin by mid-2018 with an ex­pected inser­vice date by early 2021,” the news­let­ter read.

Area res­i­dent Danny Haines went to the open house and was glad to see the en­ergy com­pany was so re­spon­sive in the face of pub­lic feed­back.

“I wrote them a mes­sage to say ‘hey, could you guys not do this,’” said Haines. “It would have been like hav­ing 20 cell phone tow­ers up in Lind­say Pak, which would have been su­per ugly. It feels re­ally good to have them lis­ten to our con­cerns ... res­i­dents re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate that.”

Oliver said he’s hop­ing their pos­i­tive work with res­i­dents, part­ner as­so­ci­a­tions and their coun­cil­lor can help peo­ple see a pos­i­tive ex­am­ple of pub­lic en­gage­ment at work.


The pro­posed trans­mis­sion poles

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