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Resort Centre Area Structure Plan Amendment Scope

The proposed amendments to the Resort Centre ASP focus on setting out overarching policy to enable an alternate form of development on the incomplete golf course. Specifically, the proposed amendments seek to replace golf course lands with a mixture of resort accommodation uses, permanent residences, and comprehensive, public and private recreation and open space amenities. Additionally, the proposed amendments to the Resort Centre ASP incorporate the new findings and recommendations from the 2016 Environmental Impact Statement.

While the proposed amendments remain consistent with the overall intent of the original vision, updates to the vision are being proposed to reflect current market conditions and to align with the Town of Canmore’s goals and objectives outlined in the recently adopted Municipal Development Plan (MDP). 

On October 27, 2016, QuantumPlace Developments Ltd. (QPD); on behalf of Three Sisters Mountain Village Properties Ltd. (TSMVPL) submitted an application to the Town of Canmore to amend the Resort Centre Area Structure Plan.

These maps are from the proposed ASP amendment submitted to the Town of Canmore on October 27, 2016 and are subject to change. For more information please view the boards from our information sessions which can be found on the Resources page.

The Resort Centre ASP area is located on the east side of the Town of Canmore on the westerly portion of the Three Sisters Mountain Village growth area.

The proposed Resort Centre ASP amendment seeks to replace golf course lands with a mixture of resort accommodation uses, permanent residences, and comprehensive, public, and private recreation and open space amenities.

The Resort Core is envisioned as the focal point of the entire Three Sisters Mountain Village area with significant pedestrian connectivity. Uses may include hotels, short-term stay units, health spas, clinics, accommodations, meeting or event facilities, retail spaces and restaurants. The Resort Expansion area is intended to provide additional space for the future growth of the Resort Core. The Resort Accommodation Areas will provide a range of accommodation types including permanent residences, short-term stays and boutique and traditional hotels.

Resort Centre is envisioned as a catalyst for recreation and sports-based tourism. The Resort Centre ASP will accommodate a variety of public and private recreational opportunities including a system of interconnected bike and pedestrian pathways, play fields, multi-use trails and public restroom facilities. Pedestrian and bike access through the wildlife corridor will be directed to designated Provincial trails so full access to Canmore’s favorite designated trails will continue. Gates through the fence on designated trails will provide access through the wildlife corridor to approved Provincial trails above the corridor.

The Resort Centre Plan area is envisioned as being a highly walkable, pedestrian oriented place, especially in the Resort Core. In addition to a road network, transportation in Resort Centre will focus on the promotion of a multi-modal system with an interconnected network of pedestrian and cycling pathways, will be served by transit and will maintain connectivity with the remainder of Three Sisters Mountain Village and Canmore.

As part of the ASP amendments process, Three Sisters Creek underwent risk assessments. The study demonstrated that only small portions of the Resort Centre Plan area are at risk of hazards related to Three Sisters Creek and that this risk can be mitigated. Specifically, the land use concept focuses on these areas for recreational uses with some potential housing development.

When the original Resort Centre ASP was approved in 2004, the wildlife corridors immediately adjacent to the Resort Centre were also finalized and approved by the Province. The Province has confirmed that no changes or alterations to the existing approved wildlife corridors south and west of Resort Centre are required. However, given the increase in wildlife interaction both in areas adjacent to and within the wildlife corridor, a hard edge approach to corridor management was recommended in the Resort Centre Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

For more than a century, Canmore was a coal mining town and many lands, including those owned by TSMVPL, were cleared and mined heavily. While this is an important part of Canmore’s history, the mines also left areas of undermined land which in some cases can complicate development. It is possible to develop on undermined lands using engineering and construction mitigation strategies to ensure that development is safe and secure. Once a mitigation approach has been proposed for a site, engineers draft a technical report that undergoes a third party review and then sent to the Government of Alberta. The Province records receipt of the report and the information in the report is registered on the title of each building or residence constructed in the area.

For more information on the strategies to develop on undermined land, and the regulatory process, check out our online community conversation on undermining.

History

For more than a century, Canmore was a coal mining town; many lands, including those owned by TSMVPL, were cleared and mined heavily. By 1979, however, Canmore Mines Ltd. closed the last active mine and the Town of Canmore slipped into economic recession. To provide economic stimulus to the Town and the Province, in November, 1992, the Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) granted Three Sisters Resorts (owners of Three Sisters lands at the time) approval to develop golf courses, residential neighbourhoods and supporting commercial infrastructure and services in Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV) on the eastern side of Canmore.

In 2004, the Town of Canmore Council approved the Resort Centre ASP. The 2004 ASP envisioned the Resort Centre as the “heart of Three Sisters Mountain Village” with a focus on health, wellness, lifestyle spa facilities, and related resort accommodation uses. A golf course was a component of the Resort Centre ASP. Construction on the golf course commenced in 2006. Only fifteen of eighteen holes were completed when the land went into receivership and efforts to complete the golf course were halted indefinitely. 

The current owners of Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV), Three Sisters Mountain Village Properties Ltd. (TSMVPL), purchased the Three Sisters lands in 2013, and explored options to complete the unfinished golf course. It was determined that the cost to complete construction of the course would be substantial. In addition to the construction of the final three holes, the existing fifteen holes required significant restoration work. Canmore currently has three golf courses, nearby Banff has two and Kananaskis is currently rebuilding their course and with golf demand declining, it was determined that an additional golf course within Three Sisters was no longer economically viable.

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