Development seems to be the contentious election issue in Rocky View County, a rural community that wraps around northern Calgary.

Twenty candidates are vying for the nine positions on council. Some candidates are looking for a better balance between raising more taxes and keeping the country lifestyle.


Rocky View County is a rural area with many acreages. Council has nine seats. (CBC)

Springbank area candidate Cindy Turner says development is inevitable in a county so close to a big city, but needs to be tailored to each community.

“There are so many diverse areas within Springbank itself. I think we need several smaller size ASPs — actually that's area structure plan — that actually benefit the people that live in those specific areas and what they want,” says Turner.

“There's a group that just simply doesn't want change at all. Unfortunately, the world changes so you have to manage it better than just saying, ‘No, you can't come in my area.'"

Turner says she believes the county council needs a makeover of people who are better able to work together.

Jill Cairns is running in the Cochrane Lake area. She agrees the persistent five-to-four split needs a shake up.

“I can't imagine that they're really all liking each other all the time. I think it's probably fairly contentious in each camp. I think there's two camps — it's kind of pro-pro development and no-no development.”

Rolly Ashdown, who is running for a second term on council, took a lot of heat at public meetings over Bingham Crossing — a retail, office and seniors development off the Trans-Canada Highway.

“Cities are getting larger and people are living longer, they're living different lifestyles. So I guess growth is inevitable, it's just how you cope with it that you have to work with.”