Calgary

Canmore council rejects one of two proposed developments in Alberta mountain town

The town council in Canmore, Alta., has rejected one of two proposed development projects that together would have almost doubled the population of the popular mountain community in coming decades.

Smith Creek proposal rejected while Three Sisters Village approved to second reading with amendments

The Three Sisters housing development is shown under the mountain peaks from which it takes its name. Council rejected Smith Creek but approved second reading of the Three Sisters Village proposal with amendments to deal with concerns about the wildlife corridor, affordable housing and taxes. (Colette Derworiz/The Canadian Press)

The town council in Canmore, Alta., has rejected one of two proposed development projects that together would have almost doubled the population of the popular mountain community in coming decades.

Plans for the proposed Three Sisters Village and Smith Creek projects in Canmore cover about 80 per cent of the town's developable land.

Council rejected Smith Creek but approved second reading of the Three Sisters Village proposal with amendments to deal with concerns about the wildlife corridor, affordable housing and taxes.

Council delayed third and final reading on the Three Sisters proposal until May 11.

A public hearing on the two developments took seven days and heard from more than 200 people concerned about possible effects on the town and wildlife in the area.

Hundreds of others wrote letters opposed to the projects.

Experts have said the two proposals to provide homes for up to 14,500 added residents and tourists would add more pressure to an already busy valley.

One major concern is that the developments would go through an area used by animals to move around in the Rocky Mountains.

The wildlife corridor — and how wide it needs to be to allow animals such as grizzly bears, elk and wolves to move efficiently — has been debated for decades after a 1992 environmental assessment found it to be an important area.

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