While Rocky View County (RVC) may be frustrated by the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board (CMRB) vetoing amendments to the County Plan, the municipality’s apparent surprise over this decision is rather bewildering.
Putting aside the historically challenging relationship between RVC and its neighbours, which alone should have been enough to give council some inkling the proposed changes wouldn’t be approved, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi expressed several credible concerns.
With the County moving ahead with a new Municipal Development Plan, Nenshi questioned why the amendments were proposed in the first place and called the move a “piecemeal approach to planning.” This was echoed by Cochrane Mayor Jeff Genung, who said the changes were “premature.”
Nenshi also highlighted a perceived lack of collaboration from the County.
Reeve Boehlke said the County did collaborate with its neighbours, but “they didn’t like the answers they got,” and stated the CMRB decision was purely political. However, council then unanimously supported a move to challenge a CMRB recommendation to approve a Calgary Area Structure Plan, citing the same issue – a lack of collaboration from the City.
While we have real concerns about the fairness of CMRB, Boehlke’s assertion that RVC won’t be responsible for any “breakdown in the relationship” isn’t entirely fair, either. Though he contends the two issues are like “apples and oranges,” CMRB came back with a similar response in both instances.
It is time these municipalities (and council) recognized the need to work together.