Skip to content

Springbank land use plans discussed at open house

Rocky View County renews the public consultations on future development in Springbank with open house

If the first round of the reinvigorated public consultation on land use plans in Springbank is any indication, the debate will centre around who drives the process – politicians, planners, or people.

After consultations on draft plans concluded last year, Rocky View County (RVC) admitted online that some Springbank residents did not feel heard when presenting their comments, which the County apologized for.

The North and South Springbank Area Structure Plans (ASPs) were refused at the regional level in July 2021. Last December, RVC council gave direction to revisit the draft plans and to undertake further community engagement to help inform revisions to the plans.

The decision meant it was back to the drawing board, and RVC launched the public engagement process with an open house at the Springbank Heritage Club April 28.

Following all the input received on the ASPs over the past four years, the County’s vision for future growth in Springbank was ultimately rejected by the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board (CMRB) on July 23, 2021.

The CMRB is a government corporation comprised of elected officials from the Calgary Metropolitan Region’s eight-member municipalities, whose approval is required in future developments surrounding Calgary. The CMRB's members include the towns of Cochrane, Okotoks, and High River, the cities of Calgary, Chestermere, and Airdrie, as well as Rocky View County and Foothills County. Strathmore and Wheatland County were previous members of the CMRB but both were recently removed after requesting dismissal, citing a lack of relevance.

At the open house Thursday night, RVC planning manager Dominic Kazmierczak said even though the CMRB administration recommended approval of the Springbank ASPs last July, the politicians on the board ultimately overruled them.

“There was some concern – what was the issue? It got very political at that point,” Kazmierczak said.

Springbank resident Ena Spalding was clear on what RVC council needs to do this time around.

“The contents of the plan need to be resident-driven, not developer-driven,” she said. “And the previous council that approved these ASPs were developer-driven.”

RVC Mayor Don Kochan said he felt the previous council did not respect the process, and made some last-minute changes to the plan that deviated from their own planners’ advice. Kochan said there always will be compromises in land use discussions, and agreed with one of the attendees at the open house who said the people need to be heard.

“Absolutely. That’s why I’m here,” he said.

Refinements under discussion include combining the two previous plans into one, and ensuring the draft plans better align with community opinion and regional planning policy.

The new Springbank Area Structure Plan (ASP) will outline the vision for the future development of Springbank and provide council with an overall strategy when considering land use changes, subdivision, and development.

The discussion includes matters such as water management, community identity, conservation, land use, housing options, economic development, local services, amenities, and infrastructure.

RVC is looking for more public input over the next month via virtual coffee chats, a survey, and written comments.

Residents can share feedback with the County through a survey currently available on their website – rockyview.ca – or by emailing comments to planning_policy@rockyview.ca by May 13.

All of this feedback will form an Engagement Summary Report to help refine the current draft plans prior to a public hearing slated for later this year.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks