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RVC considers four new ASPs

Rocky View County council considered the creation of four new Area Structure Plans during a Dec. 10 meeting. File Photo/Rocky View Publishing

Rocky View County may implement several new ASPs, as council finalized a Terms of Reference (TOR) for one and directed administration to prepare similar documents for two more.

“Every area that we looked at…has experienced pressure of some kind,” Reeve Greg Boehlke said.

Council voted to have administration finalize the TOR to guide a proposed Glenmore Trail Area Structure Plan (ASP) during a regular meeting Dec. 10.

The proposed ASP area, according to planner Oksana Newmen, is located immediately east of the Janet ASP and is bisected by Highway 560 (also known as Glenmore Trail) and Highway 791. It comprises approximately 3,200 acres of land, which includes primarily unsubdivided quarter sections, as well as extensive wetlands.

The estimated cost for the project is $340,000, Newmen said. Council had previously directed administration to provide an option for a developer-funded effort, and she said six landowners in the study area had declared support for the project, with five interested in participating financially.

In crafting the ASP, Newman said, engagement would be necessary with both Calgary and Chestermere – the proposed plan area is in close proximity to the former and shares a boundary with the latter. Public engagement would also be undertaken, she added, and the project would have to be referred to the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board.

“I think it’s really important for that area,” said Deputy Reeve Al Schule, moving to have administration finalize the TOR and return within three months for adoption. “It’s going to grow, sooner or later. Right now, there’s a large area that virtually is froze.”

Council voted 7-1 on Schule’s motion, and then voted 7-1 to have administration return with a budget adjustment for the plan that includes considerations for landowner contributions.

Coun. Samanntha Wright uniformly opposed moving forward with any new ASPs until an ongoing project to craft a new Municipal Development Plan (MDP) is complete. Coun. Kevin Hanson was absent from the meeting.

Council also directed administration to prepare TORs for two additional ASPs. The first, proposed along Highway 1, would comprise approximately 4,480 acres of land immediately west of Wheatland County, east of Chestermere and north of Langdon. According to Newman, the project originated with a June 25 Notice of Motion by Schule and Coun. Jerry Gautreau that directed administration to explore a joint developer-funded ASP between the two municipalities.

“There was no interest received from recognized developers and landowners in terms of funding an ASP, and limited feedback from owners about advancing with comprehensive planning for the study area,” Newmen said.

Gautreau noted he had received expressions of interest from landowners shortly before the meeting.

Pursuing a joint ASP with another municipality added other complexities, Newmen added, as Wheatland County has already adopted an ASP directly adjacent to the study area, which would have to be rescinded prior to the adoption of a joint ASP. Significant intermunicipal engagement would also be required.

Still, council voted 6-2 to have a TOR prepared and brought back within three months, with Wright and Coun. Crystal Kissel opposed.

Following a 7-1 vote by council, administration will also craft a TOR for a Highway 8 ASP. According to planner Andrea Bryden, the plan would apply to approximately 4,196 acres west of Elbow Valley.

Previous planning initiatives have been conducted in the area, Bryden said – a proposed ASP was refused by council in 2008, a community development strategy process was put on hold due to public opposition in 2010, and a 2011 report determined development feasibility to be low. Similar challenges may be faced this time around, she added.

She noted Highway 8 was not included as a growth corridor in the County Plan due to the significant number of planned residential areas.

“The Highway 8 ASP will allow the County to plan and develop economic and commercial service in that particular area…. I think this area is an area that has pressures already,” Gautreau said in a motion for approval that was ultimately carried.

Another proposed ASP, for businesses at the intersection of Highway 22 and Highway 567, was refused by council.

“Several landowners indicated verbally that they have no interest in participating in the preparation of an ASP, as they believed business development in this area would be premature,” said Sean MacLean, supervisor of Planning and Development.

“I’m actually going to ask that council just put a little hold on this, because I think we need to have a conversation in the area,” said Coun. Crystal Kissel, before moving to not proceed with the ASP and instead revisit it after the MDP was completed.

Council voted 6-2 in favour of Kissel’s motion, with Deputy Reeve Al Schule and Coun. Jerry Gautreau opposed.

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