Canmore town council votes down contentious Three Sisters Village development

CALGARY — Canmore town council has rejected an application for a large commercial and residential project that has faced vocal local opposition.

All six councillors voted against the proposal, with Mayor John Borrowman casting the lone vote in favour of the project.

The plan was to go to third reading two weeks ago but was delayed after the developer asked for more time in addressing a series of significant amendments to the plan passed by council in late April.

The amendments would have doubled the amount of housing deemed “affordable” from 10 to 20 per cent. It also sought guarantees that commercial space would be built early in the plan which was expected to take up to 30 years to complete.

Three Sisters Mountain Village, the developer of the project, has sought to develop the land for decades.

Councillors cited concerns over impacts on wildlife, the overall community and potential liabilities of building on lands undermined by historic coal operations.

Canmore’s last coal mines closed in 1979. They left large underground chambers supported by timbers that were meant to eventually rot away, causing slumping on the surface.

Three Sisters Mountain Village conducted extensive research into the location of the tunnels and chambers and says it took the hazard into account in its planning.

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