Genesis Land Update – Logan Landing

Genesis Land cleared major hurdles at City Hall last fall for two new communities, including a very special one at the southernmost point of the Bow River. Logan Landing is a remarkable piece of land that, under Genesis’s vision, will not only increase the supply of much-needed affordable housing, but will stand as an example of great city-building generations from now.

Part of the Ricardo Ranch area structure plan, the project has been met with great public interest, excitement, and also concern over the environmental sensitivity of the land. Genesis Land is committed to protecting the wetlands of the Bow River, while leaving undisturbed the riparian landscape and wildlife habitat.

Here are the facts, directly from Arnie Stefaniuk, Vice President, Regional Planning.

Q: Can you give us some background on the project?

A: Genesis has owned the land since around 2014 and worked on its vision since that time. We first visited the property on a cold, February day. When we stood on the ridge, we all very quickly saw the picture of this special piece of land and how best to showcase it and preserve it for future generations. While we won’t be here 100 years from now, I believe future Calgarians will still enjoy and appreciate its beauty.

Q: What’s your vision?

A: Like in all of our projects, we want to marry the relationship where people meet land and water. These are special places that need to be cherished.  This project is unique because of the land’s vantage of the Bow River. Logan Landing’s vision is to bring this inaccessible beauty of the Bow not only to residents but to all Calgarians as a destination place, for visitors and locals alike.

Q: How so?

A: We have purposely set aside the most valuable viewpoints for the public to enjoy. These will not be private backyards. You will be able to explore lookouts, pathways, and scenic roads. These views will also be accessible 365-days a year, as our concept drawings imagine an architecturally stunning, publicly accessible indoor space, with seating establishments and sit-down services, large decks and view windows.

Q: Much has been said about protecting the Great Blue Heron colony and bank swallows. Why is the setback only 800 metres rather than the recommended 1,000 -metre guideline?

A: The 1,000-metre distance is a guideline based on a flat, wide-open prairie landscape. Unlike a flat prairie, our land has natural buffers between our setback and the Great Blue Heron Rookery. These include tree stands and the avulsion channel, which act as barriers that will keep people (and especially their dogs) from getting close to the herons.  In addition:

  • We will erect a fence around the rookery with large signage warning people to keep away.
  • We will implement a robust mitigation plan, that includes a five-year monitoring program tracking in real time all movement and impacts, allowing us to curtail or stop construction activity as needed.

One thing to note. There is activity south of the river in Foothills County that is much closer to the rookery than our 800-metre setback. Curtailing this activity is also an important consideration when discussing the protection of the herons.

Q: How much of the development is environmental reserve?

A: About one third of Logan Landing will be classified as environmental reserve, for a total green space of 40 per cent once parks, school yards, pathways and other open space are factored.

Q: Why build on the edges of the city at all?

A: New communities are part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis. We will be adding another 2,000 new homes to Calgary’s housing stock, the majority of which will be middle-class family homes. Logan Landing has gone through rigorous planning and approvals, meeting and even exceeding all environmental and municipal planning regulatory requirements throughout this process.

Q: Are you building in the flood plain?

A: No, we are not. We are outside the boundaries in the city’s most recent flood maps and outside of the city’s 200-year river meander belt.