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Final readings for proposed South Canmore development pushed back for second time

“The applicant has had discussions with administration in an effort to develop a response to council’s direction. Based on the last meetings, administration had with the applicant, progress has been made on most of council’s concerns.”

CANMORE – Anyone waiting for a decision on the South Canmore lands at 800 3rd Avenue can expect to wait until 2023.

Canmore council directed Town staff to continue to work with the landowners for the proposed development and return no later than June 2023 for potential second and third readings.

“The applicant has had discussions with administration in an effort to develop a response to council’s direction,” a staff report to council stated. “Based on the last meetings administration had with the applicant, progress has been made on most of council’s concerns.”

The amendments being discussed between Town staff and the landowners came out of a May 24 public hearing, which lasted about seven hours.

Among the amendments were possibly limiting the height and size of the proposed homes, looking at the legal possibilities of having a conservation easement on the non-developed area of land, and the palliative care society examining housing options for staff.

A staff report said a legal review and further discussion are needed to establish a legal instrument on certain conditions of the proposed development.

“Administration will continue to make itself available to the applicant to flush out these details in order to respond to council’s concerns,” stated the staff report.

During the lengthy May 24 public hearing, residents raised issues on the impact on wildlife, moving the Town’s growth boundary and whether the proposed development fits the community needs.

The landowners, Jan and Bernie McCaffery, told council at that public hearing they were open to council’s suggestions and willing to work with Town staff.

The McCafferys, who bought the land in 2018, said at the time they were willing to look at the possibility of having an easement that would stop any future development proposals on the remainder of the land regardless of possible future owners.

The proposal for the 8.27-hectare privately-owned land at the end of 3rd Avenue includes six homes and a palliative care facility, which would sit on 0.8 hectares of land donated by the McCafferys and about 90 per cent of the land left in its natural state.

Previous proposals on the land, offering between 39- to 100-unit residential applications, were defeated by past councils.

“I believe it will be coming back to us sooner than June 2023. What this really does is say they’ll come back before then,” said Mayor Sean Krausert.