Learn more about the history of the Three Sisters lands, development, and area structure plans.Read More
Submissions on Application for Leave to Appeal Filed
August 31, 2022
The Town has filed its pdf submissions (2.28 MB) on its application for permission to appeal the LPRT Decisions concerning the Smith Creek and Three Sisters Village Area Structure Plans to the Court of Appeal of Alberta. A court hearing has been scheduled for October 5, 2022.
LPRT Permission to Appeal - Intervenor Decisions
August 25, 2022
The Court of Appeal has released it's decision on intervenor status, you can read the decision pdf here (582 KB) . The NRCB and Stoney Nakoda Nations have received intervenor status on the Town’s application for permission to appeal. Bow Valley Engage (BVE) was denied intervenor status at this stage of the litigation.
Applications for Leave to Appeal Filed
June 21, 2022
The pdf Application for Permission to Appeal Decision Number LPRT2002/MG0671 (160 KB) and the pdf Application for Permission to Appeal Decision Number LPRT2002/MG0673 (175 KB) (one for each of the LPRT Decisions on the two ASPs) were filed on June 13, 2022 within the 30-day deadline provided by the Municipal Government Act. This is only an application for permission to appeal to the court. If permission is granted, then further court proceedings will be required to hear the appeal itself.
Applying for a Leave to Appeal
June 7, 2022
Council voted today to apply for leave to appeal the Land and Property Rights Tribunal (LPRT) decisions regarding the Smith Creek and Three Sisters Village Area Structure Plan bylaws to the Alberta Court of Appeal. The Municipal Government Act allows municipalities to seek permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal on questions of law and jurisdiction and the Town of Canmore received legal advice that there are grounds on which it could seek permission to appeal.
“Council is not anti-development,” said Mayor Sean Krausert “but we need development that is aligned with what our community needs. The 1992 NRCB decision recognized the interests of the local community and maintained the discretion of the municipality to decide how land in Canmore would be developed, neither of which was recognized in the LPRT decisions. What we need is affordable, below-market, entry-level housing to a significantly greater extent than proposed in the two bylaws, and which is entirely consistent with the NRCB decision.”
The application for permission to appeal is expected to be filed by June 15, 2022. Once filed, it will be a public document and will provide details on the grounds for appeal. No further comments will be made by the Town of Canmore until the application is filed. The Town of Canmore will be asking for the LPRT decisions to be put on hold until a decision is rendered by the Court of Appeal.
Councillors Hilstad, Marra, and McCallum declared a type of conflict of interest known as a pecuniary interest under the Municipal Government Act due to a current litigation matter; and, therefore, they were not allowed to participate in the decision to appeal.
Upcoming Council Decision on Next Steps
June 2, 2022
At their June 7 meeting, Council will decide whether to direct administration to bring the Smith Creek and Three Sisters Village Area Structure Plan bylaws to Council for approval, as ordered on the Town by the Land and Property Rights Tribunal or to direct administration to apply for permission to appeal Land and Property Rights Tribunal decisions to the Alberta Court of Appeal. The Municipal Government Act allows the municipality to apply for permission to appeal the LPRT’s decision to the Court of Appeal on questions of law and jurisdiction. To read the agenda package containing the analysis of options, visit pdf 2022 06 07 Council Agenda Regular (19.81 MB)
Land and Property Rights Tribunal Decision
May 17, 2022 Update
The Land and Property Rights Tribunal (LPRT) released its decision today regarding the Smith Creek and Three Sisters Village Area Structure Plans in favour of Three Sisters Mountain Village Properties Ltd.
The LPRT determined that the Smith Creek ASP is consistent with the NRCB Approval and ordered the Town of Canmore to adopt the Smith Creek ASP as submitted. You can read the full decision document pdf here (677 KB) .
The LPRT determined that the Three Sisters ASP is broadly consistent with the NRCB Approval, and that the amendments passed at second reading had not been supported by analysis and reports. The LRPT ordered the Town of Canmore to adopt the Three Sisters ASP as submitted. You can read the full decision document pdf here (1.01 MB) .
We are taking the time to review the decision and will provide a further update when it is appropriate to do so.
Land and Property Rights Tribunal Information
Feb. 17, 2022 Update
- The LPRT hearings are being held virtually and are open to members of the public to observe. If you wish to observe the hearings, you can register here.
- On Dec. 6, 2021 the LPRT notified the Town of Canmore that the hearing will take place on the following dates, commencing with the jurisdictional questions for both files. Read the decision document pdf here (308 KB) :
Feb. 22-24, 2022
Feb. 28-March 3, 2022
March 7-10, 2022
BREAK: March 14-18, 2022
March 21-24, 2022
March 28-31, 2022
- On Oct. 25, 2021 the LPRT issued its order from the hearing of Sept. 30 in which it granted limited intervenor status to the NRCB, Stoney Nakoda Nations, and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative Society. The LPRT further decided that the jurisdictional matters will be considered at the outset of the main hearings and that the appeals of both ASPs will be held sequentially by the same panel. The hearings are anticipated to take up to four weeks in February and March of 2022.
- A second hearing with the Land and Property Rights Tribunal took place on Sept. 30, 2021.
- Three Sisters Mountain Village Properties Ltd. (TSMVPL) has filed two Notices of Appeal – one for each ASP - with the Land and Property Rights Tribunal (LPRT). The first stage in the LPRT hearings occurred on Sept. 3, 2021, you can download a copy of the decision from that meeting pdf here (332 KB) .
- TSMVPL has also filed two applications for Judicial Review – one for each ASP – in the Court of Queen’s Bench. The Judicial Reviews have been adjourned to no set date to allow the LPRT hearings to proceed first.
The LPRT appeals and the Judicial Reviews all allege that Section 619 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA) required council to approve the ASPs due to compliance of the ASPs with the 1992 NRCB Approval and are seeking orders against the Town to require adoption of the ASPs. The Judicial Reviews rely on additional common law grounds and are separate legal proceedings from the LPRT appeals.
Civil Lawsuit Information
Feb. 25, 2022 Update
- You can view the filed Statement of Claim from Three Sisters Mountain Village Properties Ltd. and the Town of Canmore's filed Statement of Defence for the civil lawsuit below. No further documentation related to the civil lawsuit will be posted until a decision is rendered. Those wishing to search further public records can do so at the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta.
- On Dec. 10 Three Sisters Mountain Village Properties Ltd. (TSMVPL) filed a civil lawsuit against the Town of Canmore and all seven members of the previous Council.
Private Property Signage Update - Sept. 3, 2021
Three Sisters Mountain Village Properties Ltd. (TSMVPL) has placed “Private Property, No Trespassing” signage at various locations on its land. Many of these locations have trails running through them without right-of-ways for public access. The Online Property Information Viewer is a helpful tool to see where private property exists.
The Canmore and Area Mountain Bike Association has worked with TSMVPL to put formal agreements in place for public access to the Loki and Guy Lafleur trails.
Submitted Area Structure Plans and Supporting Documents
Area Structure Plans
Supporting reports covering all future development within Three Sisters Mountain Village:
- pdf Three Sisters Mountain Village What We Heard Report (6.73 MB)
- pdf Three Sisters Mountain Village Global Transportation Impact Assessment (8.95 MB)
- pdf Three Sisters Mountain Village Municipal Fiscal Impact Assessment (873 KB)
- pdf Three Sisters Mountain Village Socio Economic Impact Assessment (1.53 MB)
- pdf Three Sisters Mountain Village Executive Summary Commercial Market Needs Assessment (304 KB)
- pdf Three Sisters Mountain Village Wildfire Risk Assessment (5.47 MB)
Reports specific to the Three Sisters Village/Smith Creek ASP:
- pdf Three Sisters Village Servicing Report (9.52 MB)
- pdf Three Sisters Village Master Drainage Plan (12.02 MB)
- pdf Three Sisters Village Area Mining Impact Overview (20.94 MB)
- pdf Three Sisters Village Environmental Impact Statement (110.99 MB)
- pdf Smith Creek Environmental Impact Assessment (83.10 MB)
- pdf Third Party Review Three Sisters Village Environmental Impact Statement (739 KB)
- pdf Third Party Review Smith Creek Environmental Impact Statement (3.59 MB)
Steep Creek Studies for Three Sisters Village:
- pdf Three Sisters Village Three Sisters Creek Hazard Assessment Update (40.08 MB)
- pdf Three Sisters Village Three Sisters Creek Option Analysis (7.66 MB)
- pdf Three Sisters Village Three Sisters Creek Preliminary Mitigation Design (17.06 MB)
Steep Creek Studies for Smith Creek:
- pdf Smith Creek Pigeon Creek Steep Creek Mitigation (17.44 MB)
- pdf Smith Creek Steep Creek Hazard and Risk Assessment (7.25 MB)
- pdf Smith Creek Steep Creek Conceptual Mitigation (3.56 MB)
Frequently Asked Questions - Last Updated September 8, 2021
pdf 2021 06 14 FILED Originating Application for Judicial Review (Smith Creek ASP) (1.03 MB)
pdf 2021 07 07 FILED Originating Application for Judicial Review (Three Sisters Village ASP)
(998 KB) You can find copies of LPRT related applications below:
pdf LPRT September 3, 2021 (332 KB)
Administration’s current role includes:
- Answering questions and providing guidance on policy related matters pertaining to the ASPs
- Ensuring due process is followed
- Following any further direction provided from council
- To achieve phasing that has commercial development complete prior to the majority of the residential development.
- To ensure that the Village ASP meets the MDP requirement of being a primary commercial development with a significant commercial tax base.
- To reduce the Three Sisters Village residential unit and density projections by approximately 1/3 (of the original proposal).
- To achieve a minimum of 20% of all residential units being provided as affordable housing units.
Council has determined that it will be helpful for them to hear how the amendments made to date may impact the deliverability of the ASP from the applicant’s perspective. TSMVPL and their consultants have spent several years preparing the ASP’s and associated technical reports and are most intimately familiar with the project plans.
To allow for the type of development proposed in the ASP’s on the lands that would be the subject of a growth boundary amendment, a land use bylaw amendment would also be required to redistrict the lands from CW (Conservation of Wildlands District) to another land use district.
If the ASP’s are approved as proposed, it is anticipated that both the MDP and Land Use Bylaw amendments would come forward concurrently, immediately following ASP approval.
The ASP process occurs first because it is not guaranteed that the ASPs will be approved by Council. As well, if the ASPs are approved by Council, it is not guaranteed that they will be approved as submitted by the applicant. Council has the ability to make amending motions to the documents, in response to feedback received during the public hearing process. Therefore, the MDP process follows the ASP process, so that there is a clear picture and understanding of what needs to be amended based on what Council has approved. To amend the growth boundary prior to a decision on the ASPs would be premature.
Moving the growth boundary, although tied to the Smith Creek ASP proposal, would undertake its own separate MDP amendment process with Council. The four conditions outlined in the MDP (s.2.1.5) are subjective, therefore Council has some latitude to determine if/how the four conditions have been sufficiently met.
The 1992 NRCB decision provided approval in concept for development upon Three Sisters lands, but made clear that detailed planning would be required to go through the municipal approval process. Therefore, Council has the ability to influence the scale and scope of development on these lands through the applicable municipal review processes.
The NRCB decision removed the Wind Valley from the development and did not stipulate how much of, and where, the various land uses (commercial square footage and number of residential units, for example), could go. Additionally, not all of the area contained in the ASPs – including Thunderstone Quarry - was subject to the NRCB decision. Lack of clear, commonly accepted definitions of the various uses included in the NRCB decisions further complicates efforts to provide such an analysis.
The long history of workshops, proposals, agreements, etc. between the landowners, Town and Province were meant in part to sort this out and provide more detail for implementation. However, these efforts were really negotiated agreements with the landowners at the time. As a result of this, and as a result of changing circumstances and strategic objectives from the Town over the past 30 years, it has been determined that such a comparative analysis would have little value and will not be produced.
Although it is occasionally amended, the 1-98DC District was written over 20 years ago and was responding to the vision for development at that time. There are some elements of the proposed ASPs that could be seen as being more in line with the Town's current vision as outlined in the Municipal Development Plan.
In the event that damage occurs to private property that has been developed under these guidelines, property owners will hold the liability for such risks on their property. This has been the case in other subdivisions that have been developed on the old Canmore Mines lands, such as Rundleview, the Homesteads, the Peaks of Grassi, and in the Stewart Creek area. Undermining reports that describe this risk are registered on land title, so that property owners are aware of their liability.
In regards to risks to the municipality, the Town of Canmore is liable for any damage to municipally-owned infrastructure such as roadways, bridges, and underground lines – as is the case in all areas of town. However, the 1999 Indemnity Agreement with the province assures that the Government of Alberta will assume liability for any third-party claims made against the municipality for damages resulting from undermining issues.
For more information on undermining click here.
The proposal also offers recreational opportunities provided within the developments as a means to help alleviate human use pressure on the corridors and provide an alternative to recreating within areas designed for wildlife movement. Recreational amenities, such as off-leash dog parks, mountain bike trails, and more, are intended to provide a positive alternative to inappropriate human use in the wildlife corridor.
Due to the proposed development in Smith Creek being 60-75% low-density units (which would not be available for density bonusing), this area could not reach a near net-zero condition for buildings and would also increase impacts from transportation and waste.
According to a Municipal Fiscal Impact assessment, this project represents an opportunity for the Town to grow in a fiscally sustainable manner. It provides an opportunity to increase the amount of available commercial land in Canmore. The project aims to shift non-residential values from 18 per cent to 28 per cent of Canmore’s total assessment. It plans to create areas for economic development and diversification for Canmore’s business community to operate within and serve the broader community.
Currently WorldMark Canmore is the only visitor accommodation (hotel) on TSMV lands. They have 112 rooms.
The last municipal census was completed in 2014, so recent and accurate tracking of population outside of Stats Canada data is unavailable.
Intercept Parking is proposed to be established within the Three Sisters area and would serve existing needs for events, carpooling and park and ride, as well as future growth and a shuttle service proposed for the Resort Centre.
Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV) is currently pursuing two separate Area Structure Plans (ASPs).
Three Sisters Village
To learn more about Three Sisters Village, visit TSMV's website by clicking here.
To learn more about Smith Creek, visit TSMV's website by clicking here.
Area Structure Plan Process
If you want to learn more about the process behind an Area Structure Plan click here.
- Council voted to defeat third reading of Bylaw 2021-05 Three Sisters Village Area Structure Plan on May 25, 2021.
- Council voted to postpone third reading of Bylaw 2021-05 to Tuesday, May 25, and directed Administration to meet with TSMVPL in order to review and evaluate their identified concerns and how best to achieve the stated objectives of Council as approved through amendments to the ASP at second reading.
- Council approved second reading of Bylaw 2021-05 Three Sisters Village Area Structure Plan with amendments on April 27, 2021. A full list of amendments made at second reading can be found in the May 11, 2021 agenda package here.
- Council defeated Bylaw 2021-06 Smith Creek Area Structure Plan at second reading on April 27, 2021.
- A multi-day virtual public was held, concluding on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. A summary of written submissions can be found here.
- Council gave first reading to Bylaw 2021-05 Three Sisters Village Area Structure Plan and Bylaw 2021-06 Smith Creek Area Structure Plan on February 9, 2021.
- TSMV held two virtual open houses on October 1 & 2, 2020 to seek community feedback on their draft ASPs and supporting studies. They also collected feedback via their website on the draft ASPs until October 14, 2020.
- TSMV had conversations with active community groups in July/August 2020 to raise awareness of the ASPs and supporting studies, and listen to understand where the community had further input or questions. They plan to seek broader community input in August/September raise awareness of development benefits, impacts and community considerations; seek broad community input including use of virtual tools; and then revise ASP submissions based on administration and community feedback.
- On June 16, 2020 TSMV provided an update to Council on their next steps. A copy of their presentation is pdf here (1002 KB) .
- On March 3, 2020, a delegate from the Government of Alberta, Rick Blackwood, reviewed the process involved in their pdf decision to approve the wildlife corridor (1.42 MB) in Smith Creek. pdf Proposed Corridor map (708 KB) pdf Final Three Sisters decision presentation (822 KB) pdf Wildlife Corridors Cursory Literature Review March 10 2020 Final (506 KB) pdf 20200128 Wildlife Corridor Golder Evaluation (8.10 MB) pdf 20200128 FINAL TSVMPL Smith Creek Corridor Application L (1.71 MB)
- On January 22, 2019, TSMV presented Council with the results of their “ pdf What We Heard (1.66 MB) ” report. The community outreach took place throughout Canmore in October and November 2018.
- On Oct. 2, 2018 Council approved a pdf Terms of Reference (319 KB) that maps out the process and scope of both ASP's.