The City of Calgary has assisted in facilitating a good neighbour agreement in the communities of Highland Park and Thorncliffe-Greenview and the Fresh Start Addiction Centre Society, the first of its kind in Calgary.
A good neighbour agreement is an arrangement in which communities and special care facilities pledge to work towards a stronger relationship between the two parties. While these agreements are not legally binding, they are created in the hopes of encouraging a strong working relationship responsive to the needs of each group, resulting in benefits on both sides of the equation.
“We approached the community associations with the hope that we could create a long-term working relationship, where everyone’s concerns could be heard and addressed," said Stacey Petersen, Executive Director for the Fresh Start Recovery Centre.
Both community associations were happy to have an opportunity to voice their concerns and any potential impacts in a collaborative environment. “The open dialog process shows the possibilities of what can happen when everyone is engaged and concerns are resolved," said Leslie Degagne, President of the Thorncliffe-Greenview Community Association. "It was really a win-win for everyone.”
The City’s role in these agreements is to help initiate the discussion between stakeholder groups and The City may facilitate the agreement during the negotiation process. The development of a good neighbour agreement is not part of the development permit process but is encouraged by The City as an informal part of the procedure.
“There was a need for tools that communities and special care facility providers could use to find common ground and help foster good relationships. The signing of this agreement is a shows that it can work very effectively" said Paul Cochrane, Manager of Citywide and Intermunicipal Planning, Land Use Planning & Policy.
More information on Special Care Facilities, including Good Neighbour Agreements and the Planning Principles, is available online.