Town of Canmore

History of planning for Three Sisters Lands

Alberta Environment and Parks Rejects Wildlife Corridor Proposal (2018)
Three Sisters Mountain Village applied to Alberta Environment and Parks in January 2017 to get final approval for a wildlife corridor required for the company to move forward with more development to expand Canmore’s border to Dead Man’s Flats. The application was rejected on June 26, 20118. TSMV is submitting a revised application.
Resort Centre Area Structure Plan Amendment Submission (2017)
On May 2, 2017, a motion was defeated by Council for first reading of the proposed Resort Centre ASP amendment.
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)
Smith Creek ASP (2017)
Canmore Town Council approves a Collaborative ASP approach proposed by TSMV to allow stakeholders to proactively work together on the future of Smith Creek. A Community Advisory Group (CAG) was formed consisting of developers, council members, town planning staff, recreational users, conservationists and business owners. The approach was intended to ensure a transparent process, find solutions and reach a common ground. 
Area Structure Plan Submission (2013)
In 2013 the Town of Canmore received an application for the Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV) lands from the former court appointed receiver Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC). The application was withdrawn and first reading of the ASP bylaw was canceled at the request of PwC. Former owners purchase the property back. The information below includes resources related to the withdrawn 2013 application and history on three sisters lands planning. 
Three Sisters Mountain Village Declares Bankruptcy (2009)
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 formal application submitted by PwC can be found below:

pdf Area Structure Plan submission (13.36 MB)  (also incorporates Documents 10,11 & 12)
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)

Supporting Documents 3, 4 and 9 are Engineering studies. 
East West Partners purchase Three Sisters Mountain Village (2007)
Morgan Stanley Real Estate fund purchased TSMV lands with backing and financing from HSBC, and hires East West Partners to operate the development company. 
Resort Centre and Stewart Creek Area Structure Plans (2004)
In 2004, the Town approved the pdf Resort Centre Area Structure Plan (6.95 MB)  and the  pdf Stewart Creek Area Structure Plan (30.23 MB) . The only development within the Resort Centre area is a partially completed golf course straddling Three Sisters Creek. Several multi-family condominium projects and a golf course clubhouse have been constructed within the Stewart Creek ASP area since 2004.

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.
Settlement Agreement and the Master Zoning Bylaw (1998)
In 1998 Town Council also approved the Master Zoning Bylaw which is now Section 4.9 of Land Use Bylaw. A substantial portion of this Bylaw, particularly in the easterly portion of the TSMV lands, still represents current zoning in the area. Council also entered into the pdf Settlement Agreement (902 KB) with the owners of the Three Sisters lands.
NRCB (1992)
Following extensive public hearings, the NRCB ruled that the Three Sisters Golf Resorts Inc. proposal was in the public interest and could develop its property in the Bow Valley, but not in the critical wildlife habitat of the Wind Valley. The decision came with several conditions, including the designation of wildlife movement corridors that must get approval from the Provincial Government. The project required a review of an environmental impact assessment by the provincial Natural Resources Conservation Board before the Town could consider any municipal approvals.
Three Sisters Golf Resorts Inc. acquires Three Sisters Mountain Village (1989)
Three Sisters Golf Resort purchases lands after it was placed in receivership. The group proposed a tourism and recreation project in the Bow Valley and Wind Valley that would include residential, accommodation and commercial space— including retail, convention, restaurants, hotels and other attractions. The large-scale nature of the project required approval from the Alberta Government appointed Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB). 


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