Administration recommends refusal of Wintergreen redevelopment plan

By Enrique Massot
The County News

Rocky View administrators are advising council to turn down a development proposing about 285 residential units, a village core and a commercial component in the Wintergreen area.

The proposal of Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, which would house about 900 residents in lands where a ski hill used to be, does not conform with the Greater Bragg Creek area structure plan (ASP), wrote Johnson Kwan of the County’s Planning Services.

“The proposed comprehensive community…proposes a higher density than what is allowed for the area under the current policy,” Kwan noted in a report to council.

On Nov. 28, council could decide to amend the Greater Bragg Creek ASP to allow for the development. In addition, council could decide to change the land use designation from business recreation district to direct control district.

A proposal to turn a former ski hill into a residential development has been recommended for refusal. Photo: County News archive.

Kwan noted the developer is proposing to upgrade the 3.2-kilometre Wintergreen Road connecting the development to the Hamlet of Bragg Creek and Highway 22 on a cost-share basis with Rocky View County (RVC).

However, he also noted that there is no agreement in place regarding such cost sharing.

“Costs of…upgrades shall be borne solely by the Developer, as this upgrade is identified as required to support development traffic,” Kwan wrote.

In addition, the developer has not considered any pedestrian access to Bragg Creek along Wintergreen Road or other possible alignments.

“As per the Greater Bragg Creek Area Structure Plan, development of a community trails system is a priority for the community,” Kwan noted.

Rocky View Fire Services noted that there is only one access road planned to the whole subdivision.

“This is not Fire Smart,” the service noted. “Relying on one road to evacuate the entire community may not be wise.”

The report to council notes several additional concerns that include the status of water licences, sewage treatment options and stormwater management.

In addition, north and west Bragg Creek currently rely on a single egress route through the Balsam Avenue bridge over the Elbow River.

“According to the National Fire Protection Association standards, the existing conditions, with approximately 500 residential units, would require a minimum of two access points,” the report noted. “The additional development proposed by the Applicant would lead to the requirement for a third access point in the north and west Bragg Creek area.”

The developer has not proposed how to address the lack of emergency egress in the area.

“Allowing such comprehensive development without adequately addressing the emergency egress situation would exacerbate the existing public safety concern, potentially putting additional population at risk in an emergency event,” Kwan’s report noted.

Six residents submitted letters in opposition to the proposal, while three residents wrote in support.

The council of Rocky View will consider the proposal on Tuesday, Nov. 28, starting 1:30 p.m.

The staff report to council can be found in the Rocky View official website or by clicking here.