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TSMV requests two week deferral before third reading

Three Sisters Mountain Village is asking Canmore council for a two week deferral on third reading to continue going over the amendments approved at second reading.
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New homes under construction in Stewart Creek at Three Sisters Mountain Village on Thursday (April 1). EVAN BUHLER RMO PHOTO

CANMORE – Three Sisters Mountain Village is asking Canmore council for a two week deferral on third reading to continue going over the amendments approved at second reading.

The surprise request was included in the council agenda package released Friday by the Town.

“We would strongly request that Council defer further consideration of Third Reading until May 25, 2021, and no later, such that Town Administration and TSMVPL can review the amendments made at Second Reading or others that might be being conceptualized,” the letter stated.

“Then the Town Administration can provide Council with their professional opinion of the anticipated implications and potential outcomes for Council to consider as a part of this important application that has many interconnected aspects within it at Third Reading.”

The request asks for representatives for the developer have further discussions with Town staff to better relate their concerns on the amendments.

The seven-page letter highlights issues and concerns the arose from the amendments, while needing more time to better comprehend how the changes alter the Three Sisters Village area structure plan.

The request could potentially see the final decision on the controversial proposed development wait to be finalized, depending on the decision by council Tuesday morning.

At the April 27 council meeting, the Smith Creek ASP was unanimously defeated and the Three Sisters Village ASP was approved, but not without several amendments.

The amendments brought forward focused on commercial growth, more emphasis on affordable and vital housing, Indigenous consultation and wildlife fencing.

The letter stated “strong disappointment” in the defeat of Smith Creek ASP, especially since following the 2017 denial of TSMV plans council asked any future proposals to include the area.

“In 2017, TSMVPL clearly heard from Canmore Council that they wanted to see resolution on the last outstanding portion of the Provincially approved wildlife corridor system, and that Canmore Council wanted to see "the whole picture comprehensively" for Three Sisters. TSMVPL took Council at their word on their requests in good faith, expended years of effort to deliver on Council's request and brought the result of that work forward to Council as requested.”

The letter noted concerns with the amendment to have development occur in six phases, while the deletion of tourist home or tourist homes to visitor accommodation was also raised. The change in the number of units permitted through the bonus density tool and a minimum of 20 per cent affordable housing was also noted.

TSMV suggest by going through with a phasing plan, it will lead to technical engineering issues, extra maintenance costs to the Town and difficult to achieve sustainable transportation objectives. They also claim the change in tourist home to visitor accommodation could impact hotel and visitor accommodation operations outside the Three Sisters Village area.

The reduction on residential units could also impact the commercial development to be supported by residential development, the letter argues, while also impacting the incentive to reach the density bonus toolkit that stresses net zero building and affordable and vital housing.

The letter noted that some amendments should be fully rescinded, but the majority and alternatives could be discussed to address council’s concerns.

“Unfortunately, it does appear that many of the amendments fundamentally shift the outcomes of the application and at times, would result in the inability for any developer or landowner to deliver the end product.”

CLARIFICATION: A previous version of this story included a reference to "alert natives," which was a typo and the word that was intended to be used was "alternatives."