September/21 Bearspaw Beat - Upcoming election, public hearings, Damkar, Bearspaw View pumping
Updated: Sep 29, 2021
I hope this update finds you well, that you had an enjoyable summer, and were able to spend some time with friends and loved ones.
There are three council meetings scheduled for September - the 7th, 14th and 21st. After that, Council will break in preparation for the October 18th election. In case you aren’t aware, in the new election, Council will be reduced from seven to nine divisions. You can find your new division by accessing www.rockyview.ca/elections. The existing Bearspaw division is being split between the new Divisions 3 and 4 at Hwy 1A.
With the relaxation of COVID protocols, the County will be returning to the regular public hearing process. For those of you who enjoyed the ability to submit video or audio recordings, unfortunately, this option will no longer be available, at least not with this council. Administration is working on a new procedure bylaw that will be finalized by the new council. Hopefully, it will include audio/video presentations as they really improved public participation, in my opinion.
On the development front, in a 5-4 decision, Council waived the six-month waiting period for the applicant for the Damkar lands’ development proposal. Councillors Hanson, Kissel, the Reeve and I were opposed. The applicant stated that they believe they have addressed concerns raised during the public hearing for their original application. From my perspective, the six-month waiting period is there to not only allow the applicant to rethink their proposal but to help prevent stakeholder engagement fatigue. The revised application replaces four apartment buildings of 300-units with one seniors’ building with 160-units and 40 villa-style duplexes. At time of writing, no date has been set for this hearing.
As you all know, water is a concern to many in the Bearspaw area. The Meadow Drive drainage project is slated to commence later this year and be completed next summer. As well, $36,000 was allocated to assist the Bearspaw View area reduce the high-water levels in their community. This temporary solution will take up to 60,000m3 of water (the equivalent of 250 Olympic sized swimming pools) and redirect it to the Bearspaw Golf Course, which normally gets water for irrigation from the Rocky View Water Co-op. This creates a win for the residents, the County as water frequently threatens County infrastructure, and the region in that the water is not being drawn directly from the Bow River – rather it is being recycled and reused.