Learn more about the Smith Creek; some important things to know
The Town of Canmore unanimously approved first reading of Smith Creek’s Area Structure Plan (ASP) on Feb. 9. A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, March 9 to allow residents, businesses and TSMV to share its views about the proposed development plan. To help you prepare for the public hearing, we are providing highlights on the proposed Smith Creek ASP.
Smith Creek’s ASP encompasses 154 hectares of land. It is adjacent to the Stewart Creek Golf course and extends to the Dead Man’s Flats interchange at the eastern edge of Canmore. It is flanked by the provincially approved Smith Creek Wildlife Corridor, which sets aside more than 1,500 hectares of land for animals to travel between Wind Valley and around the southern side of Canmore to other prime habitat areas.
“In my mind there are four primary community benefits to developing Smith Creek,” says David Taylor, President of Three Sisters Mountain Village. “It will provide opportunities to address broader issues such as affordable housing; it will aid Canmore’s ongoing efforts to diversify the economy by adding business park style space for logistics, manufacturing, retail and more because it includes plans for commercial and light industrial districts; it will lead to steep creek mitigation for the TransCanada highway and Dead Mans Flats and a new, additional wildlife underpass.”
This ASP envisions the development of two parcels of land separated by the Stewart Creek Wildlife Corridor, which will allow for the free movement of wildlife under the Trans-Canada Highway. The two parcels of land will be connected by Three Sisters Parkway, which will act as the main artery connecting Smith Creek to the town’s centre as well as the highway. The roadway is a critical component of the ASP because it will act as a conduit for infrastructure, such as sewage and water, as well as an access road during emergencies.
Within the developed areas, the ASP will include a mix of land uses ranging from residential to commercial and light industrial. The residential development will provide low density and medium density housing, including single, semi-detached, townhomes, stacked townhomes and apartments. To increase the population and land use density, single and semi-detached buildings, which will account for 70 per cent of homes, will be required to be “suite ready” and provide a direct exit from the secondary suite to the outdoors. Once fully built, the ASP proposes building 1,000 to 2,150 units and also includes room for a school site.
“Smith Creek can significantly contribute to Canmore’s affordable housing inventory,” Taylor added. “This area includes 2.32 hectares of community land that can be used to build up to 200 affordable housing units.”
The ASP also proposes 200,000 square feet of commercial and light industrial space that will be an important focal point for residents in Smith Creek and the adjacent Hamlet of Dead Man’s Flats. This area will provide the community with access to new commercial services like retail, logistics, light manufacturing and restaurants adding to the commercial tax revenue collected by the Town of Canmore. To decrease congestion in Canmore, and support sustainable transportation initiatives, multi-use pathways and transit will connect this commercial district to other areas of Canmore and beyond.
The commercial and light industrial area will also complement The Gateway at Three Sisters commercial district. The commercial and industrial areas will be developed where Thunderstone Quarries is currently located, which is currently outside of the municipality’s urban growth boundary, but identified as an area of future planning work in the Municipal Development Plan. Although this is currently an industrial mining site, adding the industrial area will require TSMV to seek an amendment to Canmore’s Municipal Development Plan.
“Smith Creek development has incorporated future steep creek protection considerations for Dead Man’s Flats and the TransCanada Highway that are not in place today, a further benefit to the Bow Valley,” says Taylor.
The Smith Creek ASP also sets aside 15 per cent of its land for parks and open space to promote recreational activities like biking and walking. This will improve connectively and mitigate human/wildlife conflict in the adjacent wildlife corridor.
For more information about Smith Creek’s ASP click here. Alternatively, you can also listen to council’s discussion on Feb. 9 by clicking here or reading about both ASPs in the Rocky Mountain Outlook.