Public input closed on Wintergreen redevelopment

By Enrique Massot
The County News

Input from Bragg Creek area residents regarding a proposed redevelopment of the former Wintergreen ski hill is no longer accepted, a Rocky View County spokesperson said.

“The time for public input was at the (Nov. 28) initial public hearing,” said Communications Manager Grant Kaiser. “The public hearing is now closed.”

Kaiser said the County received “many presentations and submissions both for and against” the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (RCR) proposal prior to the public hearing.

County administration reported to council that notice of the proposal was circulated to 110 “adjacent landowners.”

Not all Wintergreen residents, however, received the notice. Three residents sent letters in support, two of which contained objections, and one letter of unconditional support was sent by the Bragg Creek and Area Chamber of Commerce.

Six residents sent letters in opposition.

At the public hearing, nine residents spoke in support of the development, while three spoke in opposition.

Residents can still communicate their views to councillors, whose official email addresses can be found here.

RCR proposes to build approximately 300 homes, a 100-room hotel and a commercial component in lands previously occupied by the ski hill, which was decommissioned in 2003. County administration recommended council to turn down the application because several key outstanding items remained unsolved two years and a half after the plan was submitted to Rocky View.

Council, however, passed first and second readings to both a conceptual scheme and land-use redesignation for the proposal but withheld third (final) reading on both applications, directing County administration to negotiate outstanding technical items with RCR.

Such items, outlined in an administrative report to council, include:

  • Incompatibility of the proposal with housing densities permitted by the Greater Bragg Creek area structure plan,
  • Requirement for a second emergency egress for the area,
  • Requirement for a third emergency egress once 600 homes are built in north and west Bragg Creek (there is a total 500 homes in both areas now),
  • RCR’s agreement to finance the widening of Wintergreen Road to 10 metres from eight,
  • Provincial approval of a water licence conversion from snow-making to domestic use,
  • RCR’s agreement to connect the proposed development to Rocky View’s wastewater treatment plant and to finance capacity upgrades,
  • Provision of improved emergency egress from the subdivision for about 100 houses,
  • Provision of improved access to the Hamlet of Bragg Creek from Highway 22,
  • Municipal reserve calculations and specifications clarified to County administration’s satisfaction

The results of the negotiations must be presented to council after the new year.

“A report from Administration on progress will be presented to Council on January 23,” noted Kaiser in a Dec. 7 email to the County News. “At that time, Council will decide whether or not they are prepared to accept third reading, refuse it, or give more time/direction to Administration and then hold the matter off until a later date.”

An audio recording of the Nov. 28 meeting can be found in the County’s website. Council’s consideration of the RCR proposal starts at 2:28 and ends at 5:11.