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From: Concerned residents of the Town of Canmore

Subject:  Proposal to change the zoning of four acres of land -- three parcels in the Peaks of Grassi

We are residents of Canmore. We are very concerned by the application that will be presented by Quantum Developments on behalf of investors to change the zoning from “UR Urban Reserve District” to “Urban R1B and  R2A” to develop three parcels of undisturbed green land  in the Peaks of Grassi area for urban housing.  Our main reasons to oppose this re-zoning proposal are:

1.  Infringement on Wildlife Habitat and Increased Wildlife/Human Encounters by Quarry Lake/Peaks Area  

The proposed three parcels of land are adjacent to the power lines and very close to the border with Quarry Lake Park.  The trails under the power lines are used by many Canmore residents to walk their dogs, walk and bike.   Between 1998 and 2011, there have been 1,572 reported human/wildlife encounters in Canmore, a significant number of these have taken place in this area. Due to wildlife/human encounters, the area often has temporary closures, sometimes for a week or two at a time.  The Peaks neighbourhood is very densely built.  Adding more homes to the area will make the wildlife that use the power lines trails even more confined than they already are.  This will result in increased human/wildlife interaction and the risk of serious encounters and possible fatalities in the future.

2. Peaks of Grassi has been “built out” --- why would a zoning change be contemplated now, after 18 years? Will re-zoning of UR Reserve Districts become “routine” (per developers) through other Canmore neighbourhoods?

When the development plan for the Peaks was approved over 18 years ago by Town Council, these three parcels of land were designated “Urban Reserve District” and left undisturbed. Town’s Land By-laws state that, UR Reserve is “to provide for a limited range of rural pursuits and recreational uses”.  It was believed by residents from conversations with developers and Town staff that these parcels would not be built on in the future.  The understanding of the spirit of the “UR Reserve” was that these undisturbed parcels would be left as is, and not be developed for housing units.   As residents we are concerned that if in a well-established neighbourhood, development can re-start after eighteen years, other UR Reserves throughout Town will be open to re-zoning and lost green space. 

We know that our Town Council gives very serious thought to all proposals for re-zoning and will review this application with great care.  We believe that Town Council wants to protect our wildlife and that Council has a moral obligation to live up to the spirit of the Peaks residents’ understanding of “UR Reserve”. The character of the Peaks of Grassi would radically change if rezoning is approved. We ask that Council declines approval of this application when it is submitted by the developers for approval.   


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