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Proposed South Canmore development pushed back to fall

“They are still weighing possible scenarios that would address council’s concerns and need more time to prepare a full response. They intend to return to council later this summer or early in the autumn.”

CANMORE – A decision on the South Canmore lands will have to wait a bit longer.

Canmore council directed staff to return to council no later than Nov. 1 as both the Town and the landowners of the proposed development continue to work together before coming back to council for potential second and third readings.

Council unanimously supported giving staff and the landowner extra time to come to potential resolutions.

At the May 24 meeting, council directed staff and the landowner to work on a series of potential amendments that council brought forward after a seven-hour public hearing.

The suggestions by council had the Town and the applicant look at possibly limiting the height and size of the proposed houses, analyze legal options to have a conservation easement on the non-developed land and the palliative care society study housing options for staff.

Council asked both sides to return to the July 5 meeting, with a staff report highlighting the two groups are continuing to talk.

“They are still weighing possible scenarios that would address council’s concerns and need more time to prepare a full response,” the report stated. “They intend to return to council later this summer or early in the autumn.”

Residents brought forward concerns about the impact on wildlife, moving the growth boundary and the proposal not fitting the community's needs.

At the May 24 meeting, Jan and Bernie McCaffery – the landowners who bought the land in 2018 – expressed openness to working with staff on the suggestions, including the easement that would stop any future development proposals on the land regardless of future owners.

The privately-owned land at 800 3rd Avenue is 8.27 hectares (20.4 acres) and is at the end of 3rd Avenue. The proposal is for six homes and a palliative care facility. The 0.8 hectares of land for the palliative hospice would be donated by the owners, while about 90 per cent of the lands would remain in their natural state.

Previous proposals on the land – which were refused by councils of the day – were between 39- to 100-unit residential applications.

The current proposal includes four sub-districts, with one having a six-bed palliative care facility. The other three sub-districts would be for six residential lots. The six homes would also have accessory dwellings for the rental market.

Public engagement was held by the landowner in the first part of 2022 along with four virtual open houses and a website. The virtual open houses had about 230 participants.