Where is the Resort Centre Located?
The Resort Centre Area Structure Plan (ASP) Area is located in the Town of Canmore on the portion of the Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV) and the ASP provides a framework to guide future development in the area. While there is no specific development timeline identified within the ASP, the proposed development of Resort Centre is proposed to take place over the next 10-15 years. The Resort Centre ASP area is envisioned as being the heart of the Three Sisters Mountain Village area, and a model of a health, wellness, fitness and nature-based resort within the Canadian Rockies.
|The original Resort Centre ASP was approved by Town of Canmore Council in 2004. The 2004 ASP envisioned a golf course as a central component of the plan.|
|Between 2004 and 2006, land use approvals were granted by Canmore Council to several sites in the Resort Centre ASP Area including the golf course. Construction of the golf course began in 2006.|
|In 2008, only 15 of 18 holes were completed when previous owners of the land declared bankruptcy and the land was placed in receivership. Efforts to complete the golf course were halted in 2011.|
|The current owners of TSMV (Three Sisters Properties Ltd or TSMVLP), purchased the land out of receivership in 2014 and explored options to complete the golf course. It was determined that completion was not a realistic or viable option because:
|During the early phases of community engagement for the Smith Creek ASP, members of the Canmore community asked TSMVPL to clarify the future of the incomplete golf course and to highlight the connection between the Smith Creek and Resort Centre opportunities.|
|In January 2016, TSMVPL began work to amend the Resort Centre ASP to accommodate alternative forms of development on the land currently identified as golf course.|
The proposed amendments to the Resort Centre ASP focus on setting out overarching policy to enable an alternate form of development on the incomplete golf course. Specifically, the proposed amendments seek to replace golf course lands with a mixture of resort accommodation uses, permanent residences, and comprehensive, public and private recreation and open space amenities. Additionally, the proposed amendments to the Resort Centre ASP incorporate the new findings and recommendations from the 2016 Resort Centre Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Proposed amendments to the approved 2004 Resort Centre ASP include the following:
While the proposed amendments remain consistent with the overall intent of the original vision, updates to the vision are being proposed to reflect current market conditions and to align with the Town of Canmore’s goals and objectives outlined in the recently adopted Municipal Development Plan (MDP). Several engagement activities were conducted with the public around the Resort Centre ASP Amendments. Please refer to the section on ENGAGEMENT.
QuantumPlace Developments Ltd. (QPD); on behalf of Three Sisters Mountain Village Properties Ltd. (TSMV) formally submitted an application to the Town of Canmore to amend the Resort Centre Area Structure Plan. View the complete Resort Centre ASP Amendment Submission. The draft moving forward to Council has been revised with input and direction from Town of Canmore Administration.
An ASP defines a conceptual layout for land uses. This means that at the ASP stage we know roughly what types of land uses will generally be located in a given area. The exact location of parcels and the specific types of uses are defined at future stages of development. For example, in Resort Centre, TSMV is proposing to locate the retail village in the Resort Core Area in the central-northern portion of the development. The exact uses within these areas (i.e. restaurants, retail, medical clinic etc.) will be determined at the land use stage of application.
The Resort Core is envisioned as the focal point of the entire Three Sisters Mountain Village area with uses including hotels, short-term stay units, health spas, clinics, accommodations, meeting or event facilities, retail spaces and restaurants. The Resort Core will be pedestrian-oriented, with a highly walkable retail village as well as strong connections to amenities throughout the Resort Centre, other areas of Canmore and the wider Bow Valley.
The Resort Centre ASP provides for a variety of Resort Accommodation in the area as well as some permanent residential housing. Resort Accommodation includes timeshares, hotels, vacation homes and chalets to offer a mix of sizes and price ranges that appeal to a diverse audience. The small amount of permanent residential uses is intended to maintain viability of the Resort year-round. The different policy areas within the ASP boundary provide for varying levels of low, medium and higher density building forms. For more information, see Unit Density below.
The Resort Centre ASP provides for a premiere hotel and spa and may also offer conference and events spaces. Other health and wellness services may be offered including medical and alternative medical services, as well as and other consultations and therapies.
Due to high housing costs, Canmore has one of the highest costs of living in Alberta (Canmore Community Monitoring Report, 2014). While the Town of Canmore is working to address affordable housing, TSMV is committed to contributing to these initiatives. The Resort Centre ASP amendments provide for a range of employee housing units, which may be provided in Stewart Creek or Smith Creek, within “reasonable” distance from the Resort Centre. The ASP amendments recognize that an employee generation analysis will be required for all commercial development proposals in the Resort Centre area.
The Resort Centre is envisioned as being a basecamp for all of the recreational offerings both in TSMV and the broader Bow Valley. As such, the recreation concept outlined as part of the ASP amendments is a key component of TSMV’s proposal. The proposed Resort Centre ASP amendments provide for an interconnected network of public and private recreation spaces and services appealing to a wide variety of visitors and residents.
Recreational uses include multi-user and mountain bike trails, sports fields, events spaces and off-leash dog parks. New trail connections will connect TSMV with the Town’s Main Street and within the Resort Centre, Stewart Creek, Smith Creek and the regional trail network beyond.
The Resort Centre transportation concept will generally remain consistent with the original 2004 Resort Centre ASP. The transportation concept included:
The proposed Resort Centre ASP provides for varying levels of density, ranging from a denser retail village to more secluded micro-cabins. The highest density areas continue to be focused in the Resort Core and transition to lower densities and recreational uses moving away from the core.
The original Resort Centre ASP provided for a range of 1,330 to 2,525 units, while the proposed amendments provide for between 1,600 and 3,000 units or an increase of approximately 20 %. The increase in units is primarily related to the increase in developable area in lieu of a golf course.
Based on current household trends in Canmore, the Resort Centre is proposed to accommodate a population of approximately 3,800 and 7,200 visitors and residents.
Given the proximity to the wildlife corridor and the importance of wildlife in the Bow Valley, coexisting with wildlife is a key objective of the Resort Centre ASP amendments. The proposed ASP amendments include a comprehensive wildlife mitigation strategy that incorporates a series of initiatives that work together to ensure that development and the humans within Resort Centre coexist with wildlife. Mitigation initiatives include:
The wildlife fence will surround the Resort Centre Plan Area and will be phased in prior to development. As build out progresses through a staged approach, the fence will be monitored by the developer, the Town and the Province, to support adaptive management strategies.
For more than a century, Canmore was one of the largest coal mining towns in Southern Alberta. At least ten mines operated in the immediate town area. The final mine closed in the late 1970s. The mining legacy serves as the foundation of the current community, but it also left areas of undermined land. It may be perceived that undermining is an obstacle to development, but with careful engineering, technology advancements and study during development, these lands can now have new use for future generations.
Over 1000 homes and a school have all been safely developed on undermined land. On the Resort Centre lands, updated borehole data has indicated that the unfinished golf course lands show far fewer areas of concern than were identified in 2003/2004 when the land was previously assessed. There is less area of vertical mine workings than previously thought, and the undermining impact is similar to areas that have already been developed in the Three Sisters Ridge and Stewart Creek areas.
There are several mitigation techniques that can be applied to undermined land; prior to development, all undermined land must be assessed to determine the appropriate mitigation. Watch our video to learn more.
Three regulations were enacted by the Province in 1998 relating to undermining. They are available for viewing below:
Under the undermining regulations, the Province grants indemnity to third parties and private land owners provided that mitigation strategies have been implemented in accordance with the undermining report registered on title for the property. Furthermore, as per Alberta Regulation 113/97, the Town of Canmore is not liable for any loss or damage relating to undermining on the land designated in Alberta Regulation 114/97.
Section 3.7 of the Town of Canmore MDP states that “development on undermined lands within the Three Sisters Resorts NRCB decision area … is covered by the Canmore Undermining Review Regulation 114/1997” (2016, p. 18). The existing and the proposed Resort Centre ASP amendments are consistent with the NRCB, the MDP and Alberta Regulation 114/97 enacted under the Municipal Government Act (MGA) by stating that “any area that is proposed for development that is affected by undermining will be mitigated in accordance with Provincial Regulations.”