Vision & Emerging Concept
For over two years, the Owners of this land parcel have had a dialogue with the Town over the future of their lands in South Canmore.
The Proposed Concept was created in collaboration with the Town of Canmore planning department. The current Proposed Concept represents the coordinated efforts and work of Registered Professional Biologists, Engineers, Planners, Architects and most importantly, the landowners and the Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley. Conversations also occurred with environmental groups. The Proposed Concept has evolved through these discussions.
The landowners of this private property are not residential land developers.
The Proposed Concept is not motivated by the typical measures of land development such as yield, profit, and density. It is in fact the opposite. The Concept proposes to make a different use of a large, private land holding to benefit the community by way of a philanthropic land gift for a new Palliative Care Hospice, a very modest residential development and an uncommon provision of land left in its natural state. The landowners will build their own home and provide an additional five home sites. This will support the larger infrastructure costs for servicing the entire site including the Hospice. The landowners will underwrite the costs of the infrastructure to service the site.
The Proposed Concept offers to “unplug” any further, repeated development attempts on this private property.
It is an offer to shape a set of land uses that offer the community the exceptional benefit of a new Palliative Care Centre for Canmore. This has been central to the Concept and will reduce the Palliative Care Society’s fund-raising burden and bring an end to their exhaustive search for scarce and expensive land in the Bow Valley. It is a Concept that is guided by an overarching goal of protecting, in large measure, this transitional open space in South Canmore that connects the community to the Nordic Centre Provincial Park, the Bow River, and the natural open spaces beyond. The transitional space in South Canmore is not only used by humans but also wildlife species that have adapted to a high degree of human activity.
The Proposed Concept prioritizes environmental land stewardship over private development.
As a modest, low scale residential development, it has been designed to be aesthetically pleasing and to have minimal visual impact. All built forms have been strategically placed on the northern edges of the property adjacent to existing and future high density housing and trails to ensure that the remaining land serve as an appropriate natural and open space transition from Canmore’s emerging south urban edge to the Provincial parklands and the Bow River.
Structures and roads account for less than 11% of the property leaving 89% in a natural state.
The landowners are offering the areas adjacent to the creeks and shrubby swamp as an Environmental Reserve Easement.
The objective in the Concept was to develop a plan, using principles in environmental management such as avoid, reduce, and restore supplemented with offsets and improvements for any residual impacts. The Concept was directly shaped by the outcomes and findings of the Environmental Impact Statement and iterative changes to the design were completed in collaboration with the Town of Canmore Planning Department and the third-party reviewer of the EIS. The owners began improvement measures upon the purchase of the land in 2018 allowing for the re-growth of trees and native vegetation.
The desire is to create a low carbon footprint and minimize the impact of the built form on the land.
The landowners' objective is to design buildings to achieve the Town of Canmore’s Climate Action Plan stated goals. The design will explore low carbon solutions including photovoltaic solar panels and the use of active and passive heating systems. The landowners are concerned with energy conservation, energy generation and site conditions and will investigate the least environmentally impactful technologies and materials with assistance from SAIT’s Green Building Technologies (GBT) research department.
Proposed Concept Plan
The Proposed Concept Plan is a small community oriented residential development of five dwellings and a hospice care facility contained in the northwest perimeter of the property adjacent to Spring Creek Mountain Village, existing residential dwellings on the 3rd Avenue and the 3rd Avenue berm. Additionally, the Proposed Concept includes a residential dwelling for personal use on the Northeastern perimeter of the property adjacent to and on existing horse grazing areas.
The site is currently surrounded by existing development on three sides. The Proposed Concept is contextually consistent with adjacent developments including the proposed Spring Creek Mountain Village, Rocky Ridge Residential, the Waste Transfer Station, Materials Handling Facility and the Wastewater Treatment Plant all operated by Town of Canmore, a neighbour residence and Canmore Ranch. The site is near existing residential, to the commercial centre and downtown Canmore, to schools, and to Millennium Park.
The Conceptual Plan proposes the 8.64 hectare (21 acres) parcel be divided into four subdistricts (A-D):
(0.91 ha / 2 .0 ac)
will be gifted to the Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley to construct a 15,000 SF hospice for end-of-life care.
(0.62ha / 1.5 ac)
will be divided into a maximum of three lots for low impact residential development.
(1.14 ha / 3.0 ac)
will be divided into a maximum of two lots that will be reserved for low impact residential development.
(5.51 ha / 13.5 ac)
will be held by the landowners for their own home. The majority of this subdistrict will be open, natural space.
The remaining 0.45 ha (1 ac) of the property is within the wetted boundary of Spring Creek and Policeman's Creek and will not be disturbed but it will be improved to enhance wildlife habitat and climate change resilience.
Note: The grade elevation of buildings will be the same as that of the neighbour to the North, which is above the 1:1,000 flood level forecast. This Proposed Concept has avoided wildlife fencing ensuring a wildlife permeable design and avoids the shrubby swamp and creeks.