Rocky View to consider Wintergreen redevelopment Nov. 28

A proposal to redevelop a former ski hill as a 300-home subdivision is going in front of the Rocky View council on Tuesday, Nov. 28.

Consideration of the proposal is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. and will include a public hearing where residents and stakeholders will be able to present to council.

According to a 2005 draft, The Pines at Bragg Creek would include a 100-room hotel.

The project is proposed on 254 acres that were occupied by the decommissioned Wintergreen ski hill and adjacent to the Wintergreen Golf and Country Club. The residential sector will include single family, semi-detached and some row-style homes on lots sized from 0.09 acre to three acres.

An additional 89-acre parcel would be allocated for public use.

More details will be available on Rocky View County’s agenda for the Nov. 28 council meeting, to be posted Wednesday Nov. 23, around 4:30 p.m.

 

 

Rocky View opposes regional planning

By Enrique Massot
The County News 

As the provincial government announces its implementation, Rocky View remains opposed to regional planning and argues the current system works fine.

“For many years now, Rocky View County has followed the principles of sound regional planning,” notes an official County release. “We’ve worked with our many neighbouring cities, towns, districts, and counties to avoid conflicts.”

In several communications and a position paper submitted to the province, the County has objected to what it calls an “unelected” growth management board.

“At no point did the Alberta Government ask residents and property owners in the Calgary region if they wanted to see autonomy taken away from their elected councils and given to an unelected board,” said County Reeve Greg Boehlke in an Oct. 4 communication.

A Municipal Affairs spokesperson, however, said municipal government boards will in fact be made up of elected officials – such as Boehlke.

“Boards must be composed of elected representatives – usually mayors and reeves unless otherwise chosen by councils,” said Lauren Arscott, press secretary for Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs.

The County is also concerned with lack of appeal mechanism in regard to future MGB rulings.

“The Alberta government seems to feel that removing the right to appeal a decision to an independent body is just fine for these Growth Management Boards,” said Boehlke.

Arscott said GMBs will be required to establish, by bylaw, an appeal or dispute-resolution mechanism or both, to resolve disputes arising from a board’s actions or decisions.

While GMBs decisions will be final, Arscott said, municipalities will retain the ability to appeal any decision to the Court of Queen’s Bench.

Boehlke has also claimed that lack of public consultation has plagued the Growth Management Board process from the start.

Municipalities near Calgary and Edmonton will see their authority and the rights of their landowners eroded, and many people have no idea it is even happening,” he noted.

According to information in the MGA Review provincial website, about 1,500 citizens provided input through 77 community meetings during the first phase of a review of the Municipal Government Act that began in 2012.

More than1,250 written submissions were submitted to the province (from) municipalities, including a 20-page Rocky View position paper as well as industry, the oil and gas sector, builders and developers, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties.

During a second round, the province heard from 2,400 citizens attending 21 public sessions; 2,376 questionnaires and 122 letters were submitted.

Boehlke says a chief concern for the County is the decision-making system that will require two-thirds of the municipality members having two-thirds of the total population.

The Calgary growth management board will be formed by Calgary, Chestermere, Airdrie, Rocky View, Okotoks, Cochrane, M.D. of Foothills, Strathmore, a portion of Wheatland County, and High River.

On Jan. 1, 2018, provisions in the reviewed Municipal Government Act establishing a growth management board (GMB) in the Calgary area will be in force.

The GMB will have three years to prepare a growth plan for the Calgary area.

Municipalities members of a GMB will be required to amend statutory plans and make decisions consistent with the growth plan and the umbrella regional plan, the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan, approved in 2014.

The GMB will also be tasked with preparing, within three years, a Metropolitan Development/Servicing Plan for the Metropolitan Region including services such as water and wastewater, transportation and transit, solid waste, and fire services.

Alternative flood mitigation plan to be presented at Redwood Meadows

Calgary group says the Tri-River Joint Reservoir (TRJR) should be studied as an alternative to the Springbank Dry Dam Off-Stream Reservoir.
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Proponents say the plan would provide upstream management of three rivers (Elbow, Sheep and Highwood), giving better protection for downstream communities including Bragg Creek and Redwood Meadows.
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Watch video about the TRJR proposal.
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To learn more, attend a presentation on the Tri-River Upstream Flood Mitigation Project.
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Friday Nov 10, @ 7:30 pm

Where: Redwood House Community Centre

1 Manyhorses Drive, Redwood Meadows

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Province announces completion of new Municipal Government Act

By Enrique Massot
The County News

After over five years of work, the provincial government has announced the completion of a five-year review of the Municipal Government Act (MGA).

“This updated piece of legislation provides municipalities the tools and resources they need to build strong communities,” said Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs.

With over 700 sections, the MGA is Alberta’s second largest piece of legislation and guides how municipalities operate. The final piece was the proclamation of regulations to the new MGA announced Oct. 26.

One of the major additions to the new MGA is the reinstatement of mandatory regional planning in the province’s two major metropolitan areas.

Regional planning existed in Alberta but was eliminated in 1995 during a review of the MGA, leaving intermunicipal collaboration to the will of individual municipalities.

This led to increasing conflicts as land-rich rural municipalities began to compete with urban centres for development.

Lack of regional co-ordination led to duplication of services where regional approaches could reduce costs due to economies of scale, leading to greater efficiencies.

However, the Edmonton Metropolitan Region has succeeded in gathering 24 municipalities that are working together to coordinate growth, servicing and energy corridors.

As a result, the new requirement will mostly impact the Calgary region, where attempts to coordinate growth and services voluntarily failed to retain the rural municipalities.

Another provision of the new MGA will allow municipalities to implement off-site levies to fund the construction of community recreation facilities, fire halls, police stations and libraries.

The MGA in place to date allowed municipalities to create levies only for new or expanded roads, sanitary sewer systems, storm sewers and water systems.

Other additions to the MGA include:

  • Allowing parental leave for municipal councillors
  • Requiring training to be offered to municipal councillors
  • The provincial ombudsman providing oversight of municipalities
  • Mandatory compliance with the Alberta Land Stewardship Act (ALSA) regional plans

Growth Management Boards

To ensure compliance with the ALSA and regional plans, Growth Management Boards will be created in both the Edmonton and Calgary regions.

Municipalities in the region will be required to amend statutory plans and make decisions consistent with the growth plan for the entire region.

The Calgary Regional Partnership was formed as a voluntary organization of municipalities. It prepared and adopted the Calgary Metropolitan Plan for member municipalities within the Calgary region.

However, the rural municipalities surrounding Calgary withdrew from the Partnership without adopting the metropolitan plan.

“That has hindered integrated planning and servicing across the region,” the provincial government has noted.

Upon the proclamation of the new MGA regulations, a Growth Management Board will continue to be mandatory for the City of Edmonton region, and a Growth Management Board will be created in the Calgary region to address:

  • Land-use planning
  • Servicing of growth
  • Regional service delivery
  • Cost sharing
  • Dispute resolution

 Municipal Affairs will work with municipalities in the two metropolitan growth regions to further develop the regulations that define the mandate, membership and governance of their Growth Management Boards.

To read the Alberta government’s full press release, click here.

For more information, go to Alberta’s MGA Review website.

(Editor’s note) This article was updated on Oct. 27, 2017

Rocky View council elects Boehlke as reeve

By Enrique Massot
The County News

The newly elected Rocky View council has chosen Greg Boehlke as reeve for the first year of the 2017-2021 term.

After being nominated by Coun. Al Schule and with no further nominations being made, Boehlke was acclaimed for council’s top position during the Oct. 24 organizational meeting in which the new councillors were sworn-in.

“I thank you very much council for your support,” Boehlke said as he took his seat as reeve. “I appreciate it and (I am) looking forward to this year of a new start here for Rocky View County.”

Boehlke was Rocky View reeve for the last two years of the previous term.

After Schule declined a nomination as deputy reeve, Jerry Gautreau was nominated for the position and declared elected by acclamation when no other nominations were made.

Gautreau represents the eastern Div. 5 encompassing Delacour, Dalroy and Conrich, and was member of the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board for several years.

Div. 2 Springbank Coun. Kim McKylor was elected chair of the Policy and Priorities Committee (PPC) as the only councillor nominated for the position. The PPC is made up of all councillors and makes recommendations to council.

Div. 7 Coun. Daniel Henn was elected chair of the Agricultural Service Board, with Mark Kamachi of Div. 1 and Crystal Kissel of Div. 9 being elected as board’s council members.

Councillors Al Schule and Deputy Reeve Jerry Gautreau were elected as council members of the Family and Community Support Services Board.

Councillors Kevin Hanson of Div. 3 Elbow Valley; Crystal Kissel of Div. 9 and Samanntha Wright of Div. 8 Bearspaw were elected to be council members of the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board / Enforcement Review Committee.

Due to the retirement of four previous councillors and the defeat of three incumbents in the election results, seven out of nine current members of council are first-time councillors.

Boehlke has represented Div. 6 since being first elected in 2004.

Schule is returning to council after being councillor and reeve from the late 1990s until the mid 2000s.

To see the full list of appointments click here.

Opinion: Lessons from an election

Enrique Massot
The County News

If there were any doubts left about forceful intervention of outside interests to sway the election process in Rocky View County, the last campaign provided sheer evidence of such intervention.

In an unprecedented public relations operation, members of the development industry purchased the coveted page 3 of the Rocky View Weekly, the only newspaper focusing on the County, for the whole length of the election campaign.

In the past, developers had quietly funded the election campaigns of friendly candidates, and the funding and its recipients would only be revealed four months after the election.

However, this time they came out of the closet by publishing seven full-page advertorials on each issue from Sept. 12 to Oct. 10, to boost the candidacies of Kim McKylor in Division 2 Springbank and Eric Lowther in Division 8 Bearspaw.

Advertorials, defined by the Merrian-Webster Dictionary as “an advertisement that imitates editorial format,” are usually clearly identified as such with a “paid advertisement” line on top of the ad. In this opportunity, the Weekly chose not to include such warning.

In the advertorials, Bruce McAllister of Rocky View 2020’s published texts praising council members such as Greg Boehlke, while launching attacks on the “angry, anti-everything candidates.”

“There’s a good chance they voted for Rachel Notley and Justin Trudeau,” noted McAllister, a Chestermere resident who was hired to work as executive director for the RV2020 group when former executive Eric Lowther decided to run for office.

The advertorials featured writers such as real estate agents Gerry Neustaedter and Jason Bamlett, and even outgoing Div. 1 councillor Liz Breakey – singing praises to Lowther’s “decorum” in council.

The advertisers, however, reserved their heavy ammunition for resident-first Springbank incumbent candidate Jerry Arshinoff, by accusing him of…having been a Liberal Party candidate – in the 1980s.

They of course omitted to mention Arshinoff’s “yes” initiatives at the municipal level where party lines don’t count because bad roads or chronic flooding hurt all the same no matter which political party residents support.

They did not mention Arshinoff’s “yes” interventions on behalf of residents to solve flooding issues in Springbank or his intervention before the provincial government that finally allowed a lasting solution to Cochrane Lake’s flooding–paid by the province. The developer-friendly majority in council, including the area councillor had felt comfortable making the residents pay for the solution before Arshinoff succeeded in spreading the cost among the provincial taxpayers.

The advertisement group failed, however, to make their favourite, Eric Lowther, earn a victory in Bearspaw.

Surely Div. 8 residents took some hints from Lowther’s willingness to approve gravel pits in another division.

To read the advertorials, you need to go to the full digital version of the Rocky View Weekly and click on “Archive.”

Sour grapes is patent in this week’s RV Weekly’s letters to the editor.

Who is Rocky View 2020

Rocky View 2020 was formed in 2013 to lobby for changes to the County Plan, Rocky View’s highest-level planning document that designated 17 places for growth that the developers opposed.

The group’s founders, as revealed by the County News, were mostly Calgary developers with large projects in Rocky View.

It included Guy Buchanan with the Gardner project on Highway 8; Andy Crooks, lobbyist for the Glenbow Ranch area structure plan; Garett Wohlberg of Qualico Communities; Ron Renaud and Paul Douglas of Bingham Crossing; and Riaz Choudhry of Edmonton’s VIP Development group of Companies. More recently, the group announced the addition of Louise Locke of Bearspaw as RV2020’s board director.

 

 

Rocky View election night: Follow the results

Rocky View County has released the following information:

Once the polls close on Monday, Oct. 16 at 8 pm, you can follow Rocky View County Municipal Election results in the following ways:

Twitter

Rocky View County will Tweet the results of each polling station count and the advance vote counts for each division as soon as the numbers are known.

This is the most “active” way to follow results.

Rocky View Twitter account is @rockyviewcounty or click here.

Website

Rocky View’s official website, rockyview.ca will feature the same information as Twitter, but there may be slightly fewer updates with more information changes in each.

There will be a link to election results on the home page at www.rockyview.ca.  Remember to refresh your browser pages occasionally to see any updated information.

Facebook

Rocky View will post the final results of each division’s vote count as soon as it is known.  Search for “Rocky View County” on Facebook or click here.

All results are unofficial until Friday, October 20, at Noon.

Opinion: Div. 8 candidate refutes opponent’s allegations

(Note from Janet Ballantyne – Rocky View Gravel Watch): One of the candidates in Division 8, Samanntha Wright, has been attacked in a most misleading manner by her opponent, Eric Lowther.  Her response is pasted below.
By Samanntha Wright
Candidate, Div. 8 Bearspaw
I have been bombarded by emails asking me to respond to my opponent’s recent attack on me. 
As most people know, this election campaign has been very contentious.  Time and again, I have taken the high road and not said anything.  However, this time, I believe a response is in order.

 There have been underhanded tactics going on throughout the campaign.  When you’re up against the type of machine that is backing our current councillor, that is not surprising.

 Look no further than the amount of money he has spent on previous campaigns. Ask where that money is coming from and why does he need to spend so much? In 2015, he spent over $25,000 and in 2013, he spent $30,000. That’s $55,000 in a span of two years.

 In his attack on me, he has taken tiny sound bites out of a lengthy presentation, eliminated any context for the statements, and presented them as if they were all I had said.

 Throughout this election campaign, I have focused my attention on issues that are important to Bearspaw residents and the County. I find it distasteful that my opponent has not done the same.

 As I have emphasized throughout this campaign, I support sustainable development – that is the right development in the right place. Development that follows policy and considers resident input. Development that passes its costs on to the developer. For the record, Rocky View 2020 is the lobby group that represents the developers who work in Rocky View. It doesn’t take much to figure out that Lowther’s attacks and theirs are the same or why they wouldn’t support me.

 Do I believe Rocky View should be a land bank for Calgary?  No

 My opponent and Rocky View 2020 have accused me of supporting Rocky View being a land bank for Calgary and of supporting high-rise development in Glenbow.  Neither is true and if anyone listens to the complete transcript of what I said at the April 25 GRASP public hearing that will become immediately apparent.

 As I noted above, they base their accusations on tiny sound bites extracted from a lengthy presentation, taken out of context and presented as if that were all I had said.

 What I actually said regarding Rocky View as a land bank for Calgary is – “I do not support the fact.  It is just where else is the city going to get its land from?  I understand that cities grow and they grow outwards.  Nenshi is trying to make it grow upwards so we may be talking a long time. … All I can say is that if the only reason to approve this today is to beat Calgary to the punch, then No.”

 Do I believe there should be high-rise towers in Glenbow?  No

 I used the apartment tower example to illustrate the absurdity of their claim that their proposed footprint was the smallest, specially considering GRASP’s conservation design exaggerates its achievement by including land with unbuildable slopes as land its plan will conserve rather than develop.

 What I actually said was that, ideally, I would like to see it all become a park.  I then went on to say that if anyone was truly interested in conservation design and had that as their main goal, “I would hope that in 20 to 50 years…they would have 20 to 50 years’ better technology and also that maybe the best footprint would be the smallest footprint.  You could put the same number of people in but with a density of what Toronto or Montreal had. … if you’re talking about simply developing to beat Calgary to the punch, then it should stay in the BASP as last to develop.”

 Did you express distaste for living near the dust & smell of agriculture?  No

 Again, my comments were taken out of context. And, again, they were tiny sound bites, presented as if they were all I had said. This is what Lowther does best – reduce municipal politics down to the level of the federal swamp.  This is the type of behaviour one would expect from a career politician.

 The context for my comment was that I was pointing out the difficulties and incompatibilities between high density residential development and adjacent agricultural land, as described in the County’s Agriculture Master Plan.

 In closing, I sincerely hope Bearspaw residents will consider the differences between our approaches when they vote tomorrow for what is right for Bearspaw’s future.

Resident update – October 15

By Jerry Arshinoff
Incumbent, Rocky View Div. 2 Springbank

1) Election is Tomorrow

Jerry Arshinoff

If you are in Division 2, the polling station is at​ the Springbank Heritage Club, 244168 RR 33.

​ It will be open for voting from 10 am – 8 pm tomorrow. The Heritage Club is the only voting location ​for Division 2.
For a map of Division 2 see votejerry.ca and click on Election Information.

2​) Election 

​Campaign Expenses and Funding​
As I have often said, candidates should declare their election expenses and sources of funding before the election. That should​ include any monies from 3rd party sources paid on their behalf for advertising.  I realize the law states disclosure must only be made four months after the election but I would be very suspicious of any candidate who refused to do so before the election.
2a) My election campaign expenses (incl GST) are as follows:
Nomination Fee  $100
Brochures             $1,081.50
Signs                      $682.50
Stakes for Signs   $257.09
Website                 $88.51 CDN or $71 USD
RVW Ad                $1,218.00

3rd Party Ads       $1,000.00

​ (i.e. – reimbursed by ​me to the 3rd party)
Labour                   $0.00 (done by volunteers)
Total:                     $4,427.60
2b) My ​Election Campaign Sources of Funding:
100 per cent self-funded
​3​) Final Thoughts
In the 2013 election campaign I said:
“My First Priority is to Protect Existing Communities and Preserve Their Quality of Life”
That hasn’t changed and​ it​ isn’t​ going to change.
Thanks!