I am disappointed, but not surprised about the upcoming appeal by Three Sisters Mountain Village Properties Limited on the defeated Smith Creek area structure plan, and, despite what their PR says, not listening to the community.
What I can’t figure out is how their latest arguments will hold any water.
For starters, a third of their defeated Smith Creek proposal – and a big reason why it was rejected – called for extensive residential development on the Thunderstone lands, which fall outside Canmore’s municipal growth boundary and beyond the geographic scope of the 1992 Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) decision. In fact, these lands were zoned for wildlife conservation in response to the 1992 NRCB decision.
Secondly, the vision for the area the NRCB did approve for development was for a mixed resort and residential project with 50 per cent of residences “being relatively low-cost apartments, condominiums, multi-family and single-family units on lots less than 50 feet in width.”
The rejected Smith Creek proposal does not represent this vision. Had it been approved, we would have ended up with more high-end, unaffordable, and predominantly empty second homes, none of which our community needs.
Finally, for TSMV to suggest the Town should not take wildlife movement or undermining risk into account is like telling a parent not to worry about their child’s education because it is all a provincial government responsibility.
Human-wildlife coexistence is a municipal safety and sustainability issue our Town grapples with every day, and as the current remediation work that has reduced traffic to a single lane on the road to Quarry Lake shows us, old mining shafts do slump and fail beneath our roads and pathways, requiring costly, taxpayer-funded mitigation.