The development of a small 22-home island community in Calgary’s largest fresh-water lake has recently made news for the silliest of reasons: it will be gated.
For a backgrounder, you can read the following articles:
- First gated enclave in 13 years approved for southeast Calgary island
- Will Mahogany’s gated island manor be the private sign of things to come?
And this nonsense article that, frankly, I don’t even want to link to:
The 120+ comments left by readers at the end of the first linked article surprised me. So much vitriol and misinformation.
First and foremost, the island community will be a bareland condominium which means that the residents living there will be paying for maintenance, landscaping, snowplowing or what have you. The island is not public.
It’s one reason why this editorial condemning the gated community wasn’t sensible.
“It keeps people out, including innocent citizens who might just enjoy going for a walk on the island,” argues the editorial. “It says that this island is the exclusive domain of the rich, and if you can’t afford to live here, you’re not welcome…how very sad that there are some Calgarians who feel they need to live shielded from their fellow citizens.”
I picture some poor Calgarian waif on his knees at the gate, hands outstretched in supplication: “Please sir, I want…to walk on the island.” All kidding aside, arguing that citizens should have access to private property is absurdly entitled.
To illustrate: if you lived in a condominium high-rise and paid your monthly fees for the upkeep and maintenance of the building, would you want anyone to come in off the street and use the pool or fitness room? How about having strangers parking in your assigned stall? Or non-residents wandering up and down the halls? What prevents all that from happening? The entrance is locked and only those with a key or swipe-card can enter. It’s not only common sense but expected if you live in a condo.
So why all the ridiculous controversy about the island condo having gates? It’s such a simple concept to grasp.
The editorial goes on: “Let’s hope it is a one-time occurrence and not the forerunner of a trend that will be allowed to spread to other Calgary neighbourhoods.”
A cursory search on MLS® reveals gated communities in Bonavista, Oakridge, Rocky Ridge, Midnapore, Coral Springs, Hamptons, Windsor Park, McKenzie Lake, Patterson Heights, Discovery Ridge and Springbank Hill.
Where’s the indignation surrounding all the current gated communities in Calgary? Where’s the controversy? It’s likely most aren’t even aware these types of communities exist because they don’t interfere or impact our lives. The gated communities don’t impede traffic or cause any interference to the rest of the neighbourhood.
Lastly, the thought that gates create some sort of class distinction is just opposers projecting their own social insecurities.
The gated Mahogany community is as innocuous as any high-rise apartment. There are far more important issues facing Calgary to be wasting time on this.