A downtown property owner is looking at developing a 10-lane bowling alley and family entertainment centre.
Leagh Kendal is proposing a land use change to pave the way for the proposal and as a result was in front of council last week with a Sustainability Screening Report.
Council accepted the report with only Councillor Ed Russell voting against it.
Mayor Ron Casey said the project would contribute to the social fabric of the community and add vibrancy to the downtown area.
“I think it would be a great idea if it goes ahead from a social perspective,” Casey said, adding it would add the same level of activity to the commercial district at night as a movie theatre. “The health of the downtown core is an indicator of a healthy community.”
Kendal said he had the idea for a bowling alley because he wants to see more people downtown and provide additional recreational opportunities in the winter.
“I think it would be a benefit to the town of Canmore and something I would like to see happen,” he said.
The proposal would see a second level added to 714 Main Street, which is the current location for Hi Jinx, Santa Lucia, The Phone Store and the Jason Leo Bantle Gallery.
Kendal said in owning the building next door, the new location for Good Earth Café, he would be able to provide access for a second storey.
With an accepted SSR, Kendal can now apply for a proposed Land Use Bylaw amendment to create a direct control district for the single property to allow the specific use.
It is also proposed to have waived the requirements for 42 parking stalls at an estimated cost of $1.26 million.
The SSR detailed that parking costs, on top of building costs, make the project unfeasible, dubbing it an “economic impossibility” in the report.
“We believe that by removing the need for parking and replacing it with bicycle access it would make the bowling centre an economically viable proposition,” states the report.
Development planner Patrick Sorfleet said there were different ways for the applicant to approach the issue of parking, but a direct control district makes council the development authority and does not make a massive variance to parking requirements necessary.
Sorfleet added another benefit of the proposal is council’s development decision is not subject to appeal.