The board of directors of Bow Valley Builders and Developers Association (BOWDA) would like to express its appreciation to those on Town of Canmore council who chose to support Mayor Sean Krausert's alternative motion to clear up restrictions, conflicting statements, and interpretations to allow the provision of employee housing in industrial districts like the east Elk Run area.
BOWDA appreciates efforts like this aimed at finding housing solutions that benefit the community. The nature of the lands within Elk Run could easily be described as a mixed-use node and includes existing residential uses as well as breweries/distilleries, offices, outdoor/indoor storage, fitness facilities, a gourmet market, bakery, and restaurant; and has convenient access to transit, a future multi-modal path, parks, open green space, and trails. Although employee housing in a light industrial area is not a perfect solution, it takes courage to think outside the box, look at what industrial means in this case and implement new ideas, and we commend you for that.
Council's support of initiatives like this are an essential part of ongoing efforts to develop the best possible outcomes for the community and its residents faced with unique and real challenges. This is a complicated issue, however, we believe that connecting perspectives of industry/affected businesses with decision-makers, and working together to explore and find solutions is the right way forward versus just saying “no.”
Second floor employee housing in light industrial districts is not the only solution but it is a step in the right direction. It will also occur sooner than other initiatives that are potentially several years away. We encourage the dissenting councillors to reconsider their position when this issue returns to council in the fall and work with industry and administration towards a collaborative solution that encourages private sector initiatives to address the ongoing housing challenges within Canmore and clears up municipal regulatory and policy conflicts. This, in combination with the continued pursuit of other private and Town-led projects in other areas of the housing spectrum, demonstrates a commitment to solving housing issues today and into the future.
Bow Valley Builders and Developers Association