The owners of an unfinished golf course in Canmore will no longer pursue completing the development and are instead looking for community input on how the lands should be used instead.
The Three Sisters Golf Course forms part of the Three Sisters Mountain Village lands and has sat in a partially developed state since the overall development went into receivership in 2007.
Since coming out of receivership in 2013, the new owners committed to re-evaluate whether the land should be developed into a golf course or not.
Now, QuantumPlace Developments, the company tasked by the landowners with continuing Three Sisters development, has announced the golf course plan will take a mulligan and they are looking for community input into how it should be transformed.
QuantumPlace principal of planning Jessica Karpat said all options for the lands, which is subject to a 2004 area structure plan, were considered and the conclusion reached was the viability of a golf course in the area was no longer feasible due to the diminishing demand for the sport, among other factors.
“We have examined every option on the golf course and exhausted the possibilities,” Karpat said. “All of our findings show us we need to explore a different path than the one that would see us resurrect the golf course. We are now looking at those alternatives.”
In order to pursue a new development plan, QuantumPlace will request to amend its 2004 resort centre area structure plan, which includes the 18-hole golf course. Managing principal Chris Ollenberger said the resort centre area sill has a viable concept of having a recreation-oriented, village-style design.
“As a result, QuantumPlace will present an amendment to the area structure plan on behalf of TSMV covering the golf course and resort centre land to the west at the same time we present an initial plan for Smith Creek that is based largely on public feedback and ideas,” Ollenberger said.
The golf course and resort area lands form part of the undeveloped portion of TSMV’s lands. Currently, QuantumPlace and Canmore’s planning department are working collaboratively on an area structure plan for the remaining lands – called Smith Creek – that does not have an area structure plan. Ollenberger said he hopes the new Smith Creek ASP will be presented to council in June.
While that process was undertaken, including establishing a community advisory group, many questions came up regarding the unfinished golf course.
Ollenberger said he hopes to have an application for a changed use on the golf course lands in front of council this fall, but first the developer is looking to the community for input.
QuantumPlace expects to launch a similar public engagement process with a new subcommittee of existing community advisory group members to examine the golf course area and look at new options.
Karpat said that conversation will keep the importance of adjacency to wildlife corridors as the top priority, as well as looking at undermining issues.
“The good news is that we already know that we have a great opportunity to solve this together,” she said. “We have seen that incorporating community input, and hearing out all concerns, has resulted in the creation of a better plan for Smith Creek.
“We heard from the community that if a golf course was not going to move forward, they would like to have input and be involved in the resolution on the unfinished golf course lands.”
The public can access documents and information about both plans online at smithcreekcanmore.ca. Additional meetings and open houses will provide a forum for the public to ask questions and learn about or propose solutions.