12/05/2013 03:25 EST | Updated 02/04/2014 05:59 EST

Gays, tattooed people don't 'fit in' in suburbs: developers

An organization representing Calgary developers is apologizing over an article it posted online that suggested gay couples, visible minorities and people with tattoos might not feel comfortable living in the suburbs.

The article appeared Wednesday on a website run by the Urban Development Institute and was taken down on Thursday.

The institute's chief executive, Guy Huntingford, said Wednesday that Calgarians live where they're comfortable, not where they feel different.

"People go to specific areas, not just because of the actual built form but also because they feel comfortable. So the intent of that letter was to say it doesn't matter who you are, what you look like, who you are — you feel comfortable where you live."

In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, Huntingford apologized to anyone offended by the article. 

"The article was intended to celebrate diversity rather than to offend. It was to encourage discussion about choices and why people choose a place to live based on a wide range of factors, one of which is because they feel comfortable there," he wrote. 

"The article used examples in a goodwill effort to illustrate how some Calgarians might view themselves within the context of their neighbourhoods."

Mayor calls article 'bizarre'

Several members of city council have criticized the letter. Mayor NaheedNenshi called it "very, very bizarre."

He added: "So what they're suggesting is we should have homelands within the city for different people and certain kinds of people should stick with their own. If that's really what they're suggesting, I don't have much time for that argument."

Nenshi wants to know if the institute's members agree with the article.

Full article

On mobile click here for the full document.