Calgary wants to annex a portion of Rocky View County

The two municipalities will be negotiating about the future of 1,676 hectares of land between Glenmore Trail and the Canadian Pacific Railway mainline to the south.

1,676-hectare parcel of land will be used primarily for industrial purposes

(Rob Easton/CBC)

The City of Calgary is looking to annex land from Rocky View County, just east of Shepard.

The two municipalities will be negotiating about the future of 1,676 hectares of land between Glenmore Trail and the Canadian Pacific Railway mainline to the south.

The city's director of growth strategies, Josh White, says Calgary needs the land for future industrial growth.

"There's significant portions of it that are going to be associated with the Canadian Pacific intermodal site," White said.

"And it's anticipated that development around that — in light of Canadian Pacific's activities in terms of acquisition of Kansas City Southern — it's anticipated that development could occur sooner rather than later."

According to a release from the city, the parcel of land is considered an ideal expansion area of the intermodal site — a facility where containers can be moved from trucks to trains and vice-versa. 

It fits with the city industrial growth strategy and fosters economic diversification through the city's role as an inland port, the release said.

White says in addition to negotiating with Rocky View County over the next couple of years on compensation, there will also be a public consultation on the annexation. 

Calgary city council unanimously approved the annexation plan in September, but identified the site for annexation in 2007 as part of its industrial growth strategy.

This week, Calgary submitted a formal letter of initiation to begin the annexation process to Alberta's Land and Property Rights Tribunal, which would have to approve the land acquisition.

Approval is also needed by the minister of municipal affairs and ultimately the provincial cabinet.

(Rob Easton/CBC)

White says the area is currently used primarily as farmland. Negotiations will ensue between the two municipalities and any land owners in the area before any compensation is given.

Rocky View has not determined its position on the urban expansion but plans to engage with Calgary in "good faith," according to a statement on the county website.

"The County will ensure that the voices of our residents are heard throughout the process, and remains committed to the best possible outcomes for our residents and businesses" said Rocky View County Mayor Don Kochan.

Annexation has been the primary mode of expansion of Calgary's borders, happening nearly 60 times since the city's incorporation in 1884.

With files from Scott Dippel


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