as he is visiting your neighborhoods. Consulting with and listening to residents requires incorporating community decisions into municipal planning, with due consideration for Rocky View County as a whole, and respecting the overall process.
Check back frequently as I gather resident input.
In no particular order...
Affected trees are on Public and Private land. A very complex problem with pros and cons for each course of action that residents can take on their own, that the county can undertake, or some combination thereof. External factors including recent climate and environmental stresses have exacerbated the infestation in dense stands. A multi-year spraying program controls budworm, but kills many other pollinators as well.
With a dry autumn and potential for a late snowstorm, natural processes may also mitigate the cyclical infestation. Bragg Creek is an asset for the entire County. The issue of individual landowners’ rights put Bragg Creek in a messier situation than Tsuut’ina-owned Redwood Meadows. Government can promote solutions in situations where private industry cannot achieve the critical mass needed and do so in a cost-effective and/or less destructive manner.
The Council previous to this current sitting Council made the last decisions w.r.t. this matter. At their last meeting Oct 10, 2017, they selected the 2nd Option as the preferred egress route based on an engineering and business case study done by Tetra Tech
The last Council resolution in 2017 was: Administration was directed to continue working with Alberta Transportation and Tsuut’ina Nation on the project including finalizing the planning study and developing a funding strategy.
While on Council this past 4 years, we heard bits and pieces on the status of this project. I can say Council has had minimal discussions or workshops for the project.
My impression listening to Clr. Kamachi was the Nation was complicating the matter.
Further complicating things, there has been significant impact on staff due to the CoVID constraints, and a high turnover in adminstrative staff the past 2-years, which both could be a factor in this project’s timeline, not just budget and funding sources.
Also this past Council’s laser focus on redoing the Municipal Development Plan, updating several Area Structure Plans (ASPs) - including the two for Springbank, and trying to create a number of brand new ASP’s and Conceptual Schemes all just prior to the adoption of the new CMRB’s Regional Growth Plan has meant that servicing the needs of existing residents has taken a back seat, especially with limited available administrative resources.
Until Council is briefed in detail on the current state of affairs with respect to discussion with AT and the Nation, and where funding source exploration has led, it is difficult to plan a path forward. It may require political intervention with AT, or with the Nation, or thoughtful debate representing my Division when we are prioritizing our capital projects.
Access to the river for recreational purposes must be protected. The newly crafted Rocky View Master Recreation Plan, the Active Transportation Network plans and the ongoing efforts of the Springbank Trails and Pathways Association all play a part, as well as educating council colleagues on the importance of protecting this valuable community asset. The County should amend the Recreation Master Plan to explicitly highlight the importance of river access as a recreation amenity,
Signage and improved parking with controls are important low-cost enhancements that the County could provide. The existing ad-hoc river access has created friction within the community. The County should invest properly in the access infrastructure to mitigate problems from occurring on adjacent private lands. This includes maximizing the use of road rights of way and environmental or municipal reserves to formalize river access.
A suggestion to improve the attraction of the Springbank area would be to consider the preservation of some Historic Buildings and work that into the development plans as a means of supporting all property values in the area.
Interconnected green-spaces are a huge wildlife habitat and recreational lifestyle benefit for all Springbank residents. An strong county vision is required to coordinate the green-spaces of the various Springbank developments. A special sensitivity for the creation of a wild life corridor between the Elbow and Bow Rivers is suggested.
A vibrant Springbank Area Structure Plan has the ability to foster a stronger sense of community and enhance the recreational opportunities of residents. Thoughtful integration into the Calgary cycling network could provide safer commuting choices, and ease driver concerns.
Flooded basements. A number of residents feel that ongoing development is impacting changes in overland storm water flow and water table stability throughout the Springbank area. Wet / drought cycles also recognized as a contributing factor impacting the watershed.
The banks of the Elbow River provide unique symbiotic habitat for native Orchids. Construction work on the flood mitigation must take into consideration this unique and valuable resource for both Bragg Creek Residents, as well as visitors to the Hamlet.
A number of suggestions for a social gathering area for Springbank that is not related to the sporting complex at Springbank Park for All Seasons.
Library, Pool, Coffee Shop / Restaurant, Neighborhood Pub, Medical Walk-In Clinic.
Bingham Crossing was recognized as having potential to support some of this - but development has been slow to non-existant
A suggestion for Fire Smart programs similar to Bragg Creek for the areas in Elbow Valley and that are more heavily forested.
It is suggested that an additional Springbank area Fire Station will lower response times and change fire insurance coverage categories and lower premiums for a number of residents.
Suggestion for minimum service standards on private water suppliers for Hydrant service. Including not only operating standards, but emergency backup as well.
Suggestion to look at more cooperative arrangements with the City of Calgary for shared services.
Desire for Rural Transit integration for the fringe areas of Springbank. Suggestion for a collector system for feeding into the Calgary Transit system.
Better opportunities in the community for aging in place, without having to move into the City of Calgary, and distancing yourself from neighbors and friends.
Additional policing needed as growth continues.
A number of specific concerns related to new development areas / fringe areas.
For 13 months 3 of the 9 elected Rocky View Councillors were seriously sanctioned for taking a strong stand in the Residents best Interest, with an unwavering commitment for transparent and accountable decision making. I was one of those 3 Councillors and this seriously curtailed my ability to effectively represent those who elected me.
Not backing down from the Bullying the efforts of the 3 Councillors ultimately led to successful legal action where Alberta Court of Queen's Bench found the actions of the remaining 6 Councillors forming the majority to be irrational and unlawful.
It also found that the investigation into our alleged breach of the RVC Councillor Code of Conduct was performed by an investigator brought in by the new CAO under circumstances found to have a reasonable apprehension of bias.
We had multiple legal opinions prior to sharing a Confidential Council document with an independent lawyer we had personally hired to review the highly irregular hiring process for the new CAO in 2018.
This document remained confidential from the public under Client-Solicitor legal privilege. Further, the Municipal Government Act affords Councillors the latitude to retain expert advice as they see fit to fulfill their Fiduciary Duties as Councillors.
The Council majority of 6, the new CAO, and the investigator with the reasonable apprehension of bias being the only ones classifying the lawyer we hired to be just another member of the public.
The Court vindicated the 3 Councillors, However, an appeal of that judgement was ordered by the block of 6, and is still active. It will not to be heard until next summer, long after the Sanctions have expired. It is not covered by Insurance and continues to cost the ratepayers legal bills.
There were many experience-based learnings in my first-term on Council. Especially in the areas of interacting with my fellow Councillors. Had I known where the County would ultimately end up - I absolutely would have done things differently.
I would have dealt with the bullying much earlier in the process - likely while we were on retreat to create the County Strategic Plan. This would have nipped the problem in the bud - without it gaining momentum and playing out expensively in Court.
Please contact me if you would like to discuss your issues and concerns.
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