Friday, 25 January 2008

Sawback Ridge

The area structure plan passed 2nd reading this week at council. The plan was sent back to administration for some minor amendments regarding road grades widths, and garbage collection. As stated in an earlier post this development will provide 200 units of housing. It will be a combination of single family residential and higher density multi family residential.

There is still opposition to this development from area residents. Many of their concerns (water drainage etc.) will be addressed at the subdivision and development agreement phases of the develoment process. Most arguments however are strictly zoning issues (density). The land was zoned grouped country residential. The owners could well have applied for subdivision and would likely have been granted it based on that zoning. Meaning this land would of only provided a maximum of 12 homes compared to the 200 homes with the new zoning. Again should we allow our Crowsnest Pass to be developed in that fashion we will quickly lose its most precious and scarce resource. Our land. Land that is also needed to sustain healthy large ungulate habitat and to insure good large wildlife corridors for the free movement of elk herds and grizzly bears. Two hundred homes on country residential acreages would require over a section of prime wildlife habitat to accommodate them. Most everyone speaking in opposition to this development seemingly have no objections to growth in Crowsnest Pass. Which then is better? Do we allow the wasteful sprawl of country residential or is it better to concentrate development through higher density?

This debate brings me back to the first post of this blog. "The Pass has suffered with a stagnant economy for the past two decades. Now the municipality is on the verge of seeing some significant growth. Growth, based on the natural beauty, lifestyle, and amenities our community and surrounding area provides. Our challenge, as a community, will be how to accommodate and allow that growth while maintaining and protecting our ecological, historical, and cultural integrity."

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