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LETTER: Concerned about safety of developing on former golf course lands

Editor: If you tuned in  on Jan, 13 to Three Sisters Mountain Village's (TSMV) presentation on undermining on the unfinished golf course – you heard this from the developer on the decision to take a different approach for those lands. 

Editor:

If you tuned in  on Jan, 13 to Three Sisters Mountain Village's (TSMV) presentation on undermining on the unfinished golf course – you heard this from the developer on the decision to take a different approach for those lands. 

"It was not designated as a golf course because of undermining. I think that's a misconception. It actually was much much much more related to, and this is how I know the answer, page 44 of the Golder 2002 report, with respect to how you approach wildlife corridors and soft edges."

You can watch a video online that features undermining expert Gerry Stephenson and what he had to say about why it was designated a golf course, even before 2002.

“When Norwest was working on this project in the mid '90s, we strongly recommended to the owner that this area should not be developed for residential housing but for a golf course," he said. 

"Then the work was taken over by Golder Associates and they in a 2002 report agreed with that recommendation and the new owners accepted that advice and they went ahead and built this incomplete golf course, the Three Sisters golf course.

"In 2013, the receiver Price Waterhouse Coopers submitted a new Area Structure Plan and the main feature of theirs was the Three Sisters golf course, which was almost complete, would be abandoned as a golf course and residential pods would be placed on that land. The receiver felt at that time that that would add value to that property; however there were very many negative aspects to the proposal. One of them was the quite dangerous mining conditions on that land which had been mitigatable for a golf course at not an undue cost.

"But mitigations for residential purposes would have been very difficult, very costly and would not have 100 per cent security when it was complete. But another problem was the wildlife corridor that lay adjacent to that golf course. That wildlife corridor is very narrow at that point and the golf course had the effect of improving the operation of the wildlife corridor. Without the golf course and houses substituted that wildlife corridor would be severely compromised. If fact a Golder report written in 2002 said just that. That residences were the last thing that should be built on that land.”

How did we move from everyone agreeing we could not build on these heavily undermined lands to now proposing a village centre, hotel/spa district, innovation district, indoor recreation, and residential housing?

Kay Anderson,

Canmore