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Homeowners ask to be included in Canmore's urban growth boundary

A pair of homeowners whose houses sit just outside Canmore’s Urban Growth Boundary are asking council to include them within.

A pair of homeowners whose houses sit just outside Canmore’s Urban Growth Boundary are asking council to include them within.

Marjorie Bridge, along with Henry and Kim Hwang, each own a lot that used to be a ranger station at the edge of Canmore on the road towards Harvie Heights.

Bridge and the Hwangs have been attempting to get the two parcels included in the growth boundary ever since it was excluded as part of the 1998 Municipal Development Plan.

At a public hearing last week, Bridge questioned why the land was excluded in the first place and asked council to consider changing that situation.

“I felt this was totally unfair to us because we asked (to be included in the 1998 MDP) and were rejected,” she said, pointing towards a recent decision to include lands along Bow Valley Trail in the boundary. “We want what is fair and has been allowed for others.”

While the lot is adjacent to the westbound lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway, it is also 348 feet from the Benchlands Habitat Patch.

“Does it really matter when we are all living in a conservation area?” she asked.

Bridge also argued against a presentation by the planning department that redevelopment of the lots would need to be intensive to pay for infrastructure upgrades that would be required.

Bridge said she and the Hwangs are not considering building anything and the question is not pertinent to the application, which is to amend the MDP.

Bridge said the assertion the application before council is to further an attempt to sell the land is a shameful and deliberate misinterpretation of their position.

“The Town always has the last word on any development,” she said.

At a previous meeting, Mayor Ron Casey said it is never as simple as a single application, because to grant an expansion to the boundary creates another parcel just outside it that could come forward with the same rationale.

Bridge countered the mayor’s statements by laying out every single other parcel of land outside the boundary, which is limited to the Alpine Club of Canada building, the Bow Valley Riding Club, Thunderstone Quarry, Banff Gate Mountain Resort, the Kananaskis Country Gun Club, Spray Village and 23 acres in south Canmore that belong to Jack Langdon.

“There is no other property outside the Urban Growth Boundary where people actually live,” Bridge said. “We are being singled out.

“The Town should not have annexed us (from the MD of Bighorn) if it did not want to include us in the community.”

Rocky Mountain Outlook

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