Calgary

Controversial development in Alberta mountain town moves forward to public hearing

A proposal for development in an important wildlife corridor in an Alberta mountain community has taken a step forward.

Residents concerned homes would add pressure to already busy valley

Canmore, Alta., is pictured in this 2016 file photo. Plans for two large developments in the mountain town have been presented to town council. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

A proposal for development in an important wildlife corridor in an Alberta mountain community has taken a step forward.

Plans for two projects, which would cover about 80 per cent of the remaining developable land in Canmore, have been presented to the town's council.

Council members have given first reading to both plans and set a public hearing for March 9.

Mayor John Borrowman says there could still be changes to the plans once council hears from the public.

Experts and residents have said they are concerned about the latest proposals for development on the eastern edge of Canmore, about 100 kilometres west of Calgary.

They say the plans to provide homes for up to 14,500 additional residents and tourists would add more pressure to an already busy valley.

One main concern is that the development would go through an area used by animals travelling 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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