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SMITH CREEK

Where is Smith Creek Located?

The Smith Creek Area Structure Plan (ASP) area is located within the Town of Canmore, is adjacent to Stewart Creek Golf Course and extends to the Dead Man’s Flats interchange at the eastern edge of Canmore. The Smith Creek ASP area includes the areas identified as Sites 7, 8 and 9 in the Town of Canmore Land Use Bylaw 1-98 (DC), the lands currently occupied by Thunderstone Quarries, and Provincial lands along the Trans-Canada Highway.

Why is an Area Structure Plan (ASP) needed?

Before the Smith Creek lands can be developed, an ASP must be approved by Town of Canmore Council. The purpose of an ASP is to provide a policy framework to guide future development of an area. While there is no specific development timeline identified within the ASP, the proposed development of Smith Creek is expected to take place over the next 10 – 20 years. Click here to view the Smith Creek ASP submission documents.

The ASP Process

In 2015, the Town of Canmore (the Town), and QuantumPlace Developments Ltd. (QPD), as representatives of Three Sisters Mountain Village Properties Ltd. (TSMV) embarked on a collaborative process to work through the development of the Smith Creek ASP. The collaborative process was an opportunity for TSMV, the Town and the community to have input into a vision for Smith Creek and the remaining Three Sisters lands more broadly, as well as to address some long-standing issues that required a collaborative effort and understanding to be resolved.

The collaborative ASP process involved working with the Town, the Community Advisory Group (CAG) and the wider community to identify opportunities and concerns from a diverse number of perspectives. Through the collaborative process, the Project Team (QPD and the Town) sought to find outcomes to create an ASP that balances economic, social, environmental and technical considerations. For more information on the Community Advisory Group and community engagement, please refer to the section on Engagement.

The Smith Creek ASP was formally submitted to the Town of Canmore for consideration on March 6, 2017. For more information on the municipal approval process at Council, click here.

Land use concept

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 within a given area. The exact location of parcels, servicing infrastructure and the specific types of uses (i.e. restaurants, retail, medical clinics or light food manufacturing) are defined at future stages of development.

Residential
  • Smith Creek will accommodate a broad spectrum of residents and provide a range of low- and medium-density housing options including single and semi-detached, townhouses, stacked-townhouses and apartments.
  • The Smith Creek ASP provides for a range of units so that builders can adapt to market conditions while also respecting the total unit cap established for Three Sisters lands.
  • The Smith Creek ASP provides for a range of 1,200-1,700 residential units. Based on current household size trends in Canmore, this unit range results in a range of approximately 3,000 to 4,000 residents in Smith Creek. The proposal will not exceed the unit maximum established for development in Three Sisters.
  • Residential development will incorporate traditional and contemporary mountain architecture to maintain Canmore’s community character while taking advantage of opportunities for innovative design.
Mixed Use
  • The mixed-use node in Smith Creek will integrate a mix of uses including commercial, institutional and residential. Specifically, commercial spaces will be located on the ground floor, while additional stories will be residential, office or more commercial development.
  • The Smith Creek ASP envisions the mixed-use area as serving local neighbourhood residents and creating a pedestrian-friendly environment.
Commercial
  • The Smith Creek ASP aims to accommodate a commercial node to provide residents and visitors an area to purchase local goods and services. The commercial area is envisioned as providing for a mix of commercial and retail nodes to include retail, service, restaurant, arts, entertainment and institutional uses.
  • Commercial spaces will be complementary to existing businesses on Canmore’s Main Street and cater to local needs.
Office and Light Industrial Area
  • The Smith Creek ASP will provide for a light industrial, office or institutional node. Potential uses could include light food manufacturing, offices, and a culinary school.

Affordable Housing

During the development of the Smith Creek ASP, the Town, the CAG, stakeholders and the wider community identified the need for affordable housing in the Bow Valley as a key priority. The Smith Creek ASP provides an innovative approach to contribute to a town-wide solution to the affordability issue in Canmore. The ASP identifies four key types of affordable housing possible in Smith Creek.

  • Entry-level Housing

    Entry-level-housing is market-based, middle-range rental and for-purchase units, and is geared towards a median income in the area. There is a minimum of 25% entry-level housing in the Smith Creek ASP. Methods to ensure units qualify as entry-level include the following:

    • Modest amenities, exterior finishing and interior design
    • Shared facilities such as laundry, indoor work spaces and parking
    • Standardized unit constructions
    • Low-maintenance landscaping
  • Employee Housing

    The Smith Creek ASP requires that commercial uses in Smith Creek provide housing for a portion of their employees. Employee housing units are units intended for both full-time and seasonal employees of a commercial use. The amount of employee housing built is based on an employee-generation analysis at the development permit phase.

  • Accessory Suites

    Accessory Suites are private, self-contained units within existing dwellings. A suite-ready unit is a single-family home or duplex that is constructed ready to accommodate an accessory suite, should the owner choose to construct one.

  • Perpetually Affordable Housing

    PAH is housing that through restrictions is removed from the influence of the open market. PAH units are controlled in such a way as to make them perpetually affordable and are administered by the Canmore Community Housing Corporation (CCHC).

RECREATION

Trails and open space are highly valued by the Canmore community and will be integrated throughout Smith Creek and will provide for a range of all-season activities including hiking, snow-shoeing, cross country skiing and mountain biking.

The Smith Creek ASP will provide for an exciting variety of recreational amenities such as:

  • Paved and gravel pathways and trails that include more technical sections that connect to the regional trail system;
  • Centralized, multi-use park areas that could feature playgrounds, off-leash dog-park(s), a trailhead and parking and washroom facilities.
  • Opportunities for smaller outdoor gathering spaces such as viewpoints/vistas and natural areas.

TRANSPORTATION

  • Network

    The Smith Creek ASP will provide for an interconnected and efficient transportation network that promotes walking, cycling, and transit.

  • Responsive

    The hierarchy of streets will be responsive to mountainous terrain and provide ease of use for users of all modes.

  • Pedestrian and Cyclist

    The transportation network in Smith Creek will enhance pedestrian and cyclist connectivity and access between the residential, and commercial areas in Smith Creek.

WILDLIFE MITIGATION

As per the NRCB decision, a key requirement of any new development in the Smith Creek ASP area is a provincially approved wildlife corridor that completes the connection between the approved Along Valley and Across Valley Corridors and the Wind Valley Habitat Patch and Bow Flats Habitat Patch (via the G8 underpass).

An application for a wildlife corridor alignment adjacent to the Smith Creek Plan Area is currently being considered by the Province of Alberta. Click HERE to view the application documents.

The wildlife fence will be phased in prior to development and will surround the developed portions as phases are completed. The fence will be monitored throughout the implementation and build out of Smith Creek to support adaptive management strategies.

Questions? We want to hear from you.