History of planning for Three Sisters Lands
As a condition of approval, the NRCB requires wildlife corridors to be identified and protected on Three Sisters Lands. The province, in particular Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP), makes the decision on the wildlife corridor, and on March 3, 2020, a delegate from the Government of Alberta, Rick Blackwood, reviewed the process involved in their decision to approve the corridor. Next steps include a legal designation of the corridor, a land exchange to support the corridor, and monitoring of conditions.
Three Sisters WIldlife Corridor Submission 2020
Three Sisters Smith Creek Corridor Provincial Decision 2020
The applicant was proposing to amend the existing Resort Centre ASP to remove the 110 hectare golf course development and allow for the development of additional commercial, resort accommodation, recreation, and residential. Specifically, the proposal is for the potential addition of 15-20 hectares of commercial lands, and up to 475 additional resort accommodation or residential units. The inactive Resort Centre application can be viewed below:
pdf Resort Centre - ASP (36.96 MB)
pdf Resort Centre - ASP Amendment Rationale (1.10 MB)
pdf Resort Centre - Transportation Impact (4.51 MB)
pdf Resort Centre - Fiscal Impact (1.72 MB)
pdf Resort Centre - Stormwater Management (5.40 MB)
pdf Resort Centre - Environmental Impact Statement (99.13 MB)
The Town engaged Fiera Biological to prepare a third party review report of the applicant’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). A copy of the third party review report is here: pdf Resort Centre - Third Party Review (3.74 MB)
In response to the Town of Canmore Third Party Review, Golder provided this Addendum: pdf Resort Centre - Golder Environmental Impact Statement Addendum (951 KB) (updated 4/28/2017)
As a result of the proposed ASP amendments, a concurrent amendment to Maps 2 and 5 of the MDP would have been required and considered concurrently with the application to amend the Resort Centre ASP. pdf Resort Centre MDP Map2 amendment (1.35 MB)
pdf Resort Centre MDP Map 5 amendment (443 KB) Links / Documents pdf Resort Centre - EIS Terms of Reference (383 KB)
The Smith Creek Area Structure Plan (ASP) proposal includes a mix of residential housing types including entry-level housing, and a variety of commercial development ranging from retail, office and industrial. It will also include large areas of open space for recreation, and a trail system. The proposal will add between 1,200 – 1,700 units of low and medium density residential, which could add up 4,000 new residents to Canmore at build out.
The Three Sisters Smith Creek ASP application has not been withdrawn, it was delayed until a corridor decision was made by the province. The application will be revised based on the boundaries delineated by the province on the wildlife corridor. Further details on the timeline for new dates for consideration of the Smith Creek ASP will be updated on this page.
The previous application is available for viewing below:
pdf Smith Creek - Area Structure Plan (129.47 MB)
pdf Smith Creek - Application Rationale (653 KB)
pdf Smith Creek - Fiscal Impact (1.58 MB)
pdf Smith Creek - Transportation Impact (3.51 MB)
pdf Smith Creek - Stormwater Management (4.12 MB)
pdf Smith Creek - Environmental Impact Statement (138.77 MB)
2017 - Background
Smith Creek is at the eastern edge of Three Sisters Lands, located to the south of Deadman’s Flats. The owners of the Smith Creek lands, and the Town of Canmore and a community advisory group have been working together in a collaborative process for the future planning and development of these lands by preparing an Area Structure Plan. These lands are currently undeveloped except for the Thunderstone Quarry, an active rundle rock quarry operation, and other previous coal mining activities.
The Smith Creek lands are also commonly referred to as Sites 7, 8 and 9. The future development of these lands is guided by the planning that was undertaken through the Master Zoning Bylaw DC1-98. To view the relevant information on Sites 7, 8 and 9 in the DC 1-98 Bylaw click here. The 1992 National Resource Conservation Board (NRCB) Decision #9103 for a Tourism and Recreation Development is another consideration for future planning for these lands. To view the NRCB Decision, pdf click here (17.73 MB) .
In a more traditional ASP process in the Town of Canmore, an applicant prepares and submits the ASP on their own, with the Town providing feedback once the plan is prepared. In the Smith Creek collaborative ASP process, the Town, TSMV and a community advisory group worked together to create an ASP that attempted to address the needs and goals of all parties involved. This process was designed to provide greater understanding to the Town and the community about the final application that is submitted for Council consideration for approval.
The formal application submitted by PwC can be found below:
pdf Supporting Document 1 - Site Analysis (826 KB)
pdf Supporting Document 2 - Golder Environmental Impact Statement (36.55 MB)
pdf Supporting Document 5 - Fiscal Impact Analysis (1.45 MB)
pdf Supporting Document 6 - Alternative Development Guidelines (284 KB)
pdf Supporting Document 7 - ASP Comparison Table (73 KB)
pdf Supporting Document 8 - Disposition of Applicable Policies 2004 (141 KB)
pdf Supporting Document 10 - Wildlife Monitoring Program (2.20 MB)
pdf Supporting Document 11 - Adaptive Management (122 KB)
pdf Supporting Document 12 - Wildlife Exclosure Fence and Associated Mitigation (122 KB)
Citing a “sharp downturn in the demand for recreational properties tied to the economic crisis,” current ownership declares bankruptcy. At the time, only 15 of 18 holes of the second golf course were completed. Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) was appointed Receiver with significant debt owed to HSBC and others.
The Town initiated several wildlife-related reports during previous planning on Three Sisters lands. These include the pdf 2002 Golder Report (6.62 MB) in the Resort Centre area that resulted in a significant re-alignment of corridors and the 2006 Komex Review of an environmental impact statement for the Three Sisters Creek golf course. A provincially-led study, the pdf 2002 Wind Valley Corridor study (3.99 MB) , is relevant to the area under review.
A wildlife underpass along with 3-kilometres of fencing, built with G8 Legacy Funds and administered by the Alberta Ecotrust Foundation, was built at the mouth of the Wind Valley east of Dead Man’s Flats to allow wildlife to safely cross under the Trans-Canada Highway.
Note that the Settlement Agreement was not transferred over to Three Sisters Mountain Village Properties Ltd. when the lands were purchased out of receivership in 2013, and is no longer relevant.
pdf Golden EIS background study 2012 (29.49 MB)
pdf MSES Review 2013 (1.23 MB)
pdf Framework Agreement (3.67 MB)
pdf Terms of reference for the TSMV Area Structure Plan (685 KB)
pdf Terms of reference for the environmental impact statement (EIS) (685 KB)
pdf Resort Centre Area Structure Plan (6.95 MB)
pdf Stewart Creek Area Structure Plan (30.23 MB)
Section 4.9 of Land Use Bylaw
pdf 2002 Golder Report (6.62 MB)
pdf 2006 Komex Review (763 KB)
pdf 2002 Wind Valley Corridor study (3.99 MB)
Municipal Development Plan
pdf NRCB report (17.73 MB)
pdf Settlement Agreement (902 KB)