After three years, the review of wildlife corridor and habitat patch guidelines for the Bow Valley have been released.
Bow Corridor Ecosystem Advisory Group (BCEAG) guidelines that were established in 1999 dealt primarily with wildlife corridors, but questions over development of housing in the Palliser area of Canmore led to the review.
Canmore wanted more detailed criteria for development, including recreational trails within habitat patches within the town limits, said planner Steve de Keijzer.
In addition to development of housing in the Palliser area, de Keijzer said there were also concerns about recreational activities occurring in South Canmore, which also has a habitat patch.
What is important for Canmore in the updated draft, said de Keijzer, is a section which allows development in a habitat patch as long as certain procedures are followed.
Administration also recommended changes to wording that would acknowledge the existence and potential expansion of the wastewater treatment plant facility.
“In addition to the recommended changes we have recommended to BCEAG they hold an open house or involve the public on the changes,” de Keijzer said, adding the guidelines are not binding on any of the jurisdictions involved in drafting them.
Mayor Ron Casey, however, took issue with the way corridors were mapped in the $30,000 reviewed document.
He pointed to there being a significant difference between identified wildlife corridors and those that have a legal designation.
“These maps fall short of where we need to be if this is going out to the public,” Casey said.
The mayor also requested a motion be provided by BCEAG for all three town councils to accept the guidelines for use in planning.