Learn more about the history of the Three Sisters lands, development, and area structure plans.Read More
May 25 Update - Council Defeats TSMV Application at 3rd Reading
Acknowledging the work that went into the process of bringing this application forward, Council felt the current application did not go far enough. Council heard the concerns of the public as they spoke overwhelmingly in opposition to this proposed development. While the amendments brought the application in closer alignment to Council’s objectives, there were still issues that remain unaddressed. Although this application was not approved, the existing area structure plan approved in 2004 remains in effect on this privately-owned land.
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
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.