Okotoks lifts population cap

Okotoks has eliminated its population cap, which limited the southern Alberta town to 35,000 people.

Okotoks has eliminated its population cap.  

The southern Alberta town was limited to 35,000 people because of concerns over water supply, but on late Monday afternoon council voted 5-2 in favour of the motion.

Coun. Laurie Hodson called it a sad day for the town.

"What we have achieved today, in my view, is what many people see the City of Calgary to represent — unchecked, unbridled annexation."

But many councillors say the municipal district surrounding Okotoks is approving new projects. Florence Christophers said she voted for growth on the town's terms.

Council discussed the possibility of building a pipeline from Calgary to Okotoks to pump water in from the city. A vote to explore that proposal now was turned down, four votes to three.

Councillors who opposed the decision say allowing the population to grow will kill the town's small-town charm, and invite big city problems such as traffic and crime.

The town is planning to annex more land for an expansion.


  • A previous version of this story stated that a Calgary/Okotoks water pipeline was discussed, but did not say that the idea to explore that idea now was turned down.
    Sep 13, 2013 2:34 AM MT