What do you see as the top three priorities for the greater Springbank area (from Tsuut'ina lands to the Bow River) during the next municipal term?
In addition to my Rocky View County-wide and Bragg Creek priorities, for Springbank my priorities include:
Do you believe that RVC community engagement practices are sufficient and that community perspectives are appropriately considered by RVC? If not, how would you improve or change engagement practices between the community and RVC?
No, current practices do not provide adequate community engagement. There should be better communications from Administration with residents and with community organizations in advance of public hearings on development applications and major County policy initiatives.
More investment is needed in our IT capability and our website. The Safe & Sound technology should be used to push non-emergency information to residents and organizations that subscribe. Additionally, the County needs to reinstate newspaper public notices as this channel also supports independent reporting on County issues. On complex applications I’d also like to see more in-depth information made available from Administration (not just the Applicant) earlier in the process, so residents have an opportunity to fully understand how the application meets policy and raise thoughtful concerns.
I supported the corporate reorganization resulting in a new internal staff structure and removal of the district recreation boards because I believe having staff liaison positions will provide better connections with the various community groups involved in providing recreation services.
How do you intend to work with the Springbank Community Association to facilitate and improve community engagement? Do you support the Community Association's request to be informed by RVC of planning activities in the area?
I intend to work with as many of the community organizations, such as the Springbank Community Association, and homeowner associations, as is feasible. This will let me continue to take their concerns into consideration in my decision-making and to assist them engaging with Administration effectively to address community issues.
In terms of the SCA’s request to be informed by RVC of planning activities in the area, the County’s public notification bylaw would have to be amended to provide for this. I’m not sure precisely how that should be done since it is focused on notifications to landowners. In the immediate term, I’d also support using Safe & Sound style push service for public notifications and the SCA could access information that way as well.
Do you support the changes to the Bingham Crossing development? (y/n/explain)
I did support Bingham Crossing’s Phase 2 re-prioritization. However, I don’t think many of us on Council understood that the changes would also facilitate a single big box retailer being the anchor for Phase 2, versus perhaps 2 or 3 mid-size big box retailers in the same footprint; this was not made clear in Administration’s report.
In general, I think it is important for the County to support the successful completion of projects to avoid the possibility of derelict or partially finished projects like Windhorse. However, I also believe that there should be fulsome public engagement to ensure that there is good community understanding and buy-in before any substantive changes are made.
Do you support the Coach Creek development at OBCR and Highway #1? (y/n, explain)
As presented, I did not support the Coach Creek development at OBCR and Hwy 1 when it was at council in April. I had thought there might be some ability for the applicant to work with Administration to make the application acceptable, but the council majority did not support that, even though Qualico had indicated a willingness to do so.
Do you support the Elbow View Area Structure Plan along Highway 8? (y/n, explain)
As Councillor for the area, I believe this area is the next logical expansion for Hwy 8 Corridor. I supported referring the Plan back to Administration to work with the developer group to amend the ASP to bring it into compliance with relevant policy. My biggest concerns were economically and environmentally viable servicing. Having a capped sewer line to the City right at the development boundary, yet to suggest moving sewage across the Elbow River north to a Harmony-based utility was not responsible or sustainable growth.
What do you believe is the role of commercial development in the future of Springbank?
There’s a role for commercial development in the area immediately around the Springbank Airport and in the already-approved Commercial Court, Harmony, and Bingham Crossing developments. The commercial and industrial needs assessments that have been done for Springbank concluded that the area didn’t need much, if anything, more than what could be developed within those areas. We need to be sure that any additional commercial development has resident buy-in and improves the quality of life for the community.
The Springbank ASPs were rejected by the CMRB. How will you proceed on this item?
One of the clear messages I got from the Springbank community during the public hearings for the revised ASPs was that many people strongly preferred status quo of Country Residential living. Landowners also had deep concerns about what they could accomplish with their land especially adjacent to the Ring Road which has changed the landscape and traffic patterns. Rocky View Planning also knows the region supports more efficient development forms and higher densities.
The new council needs to re-establish the trust and confidence of the community as it continues to review the Springbank ASPs in the near term. With a new Regional Growth Plan in place now, the fact that the ASPs are over 20 years old means that an update is still needed to modernize to current environmental and regional development expectations, and fulsome public engagement is required as we bring Springbank into compliance.
How do you propose Rocky View County work within the CMRB?
It is imperative that Rocky View is fully engaged with an inter-municipal commitment to consult and collaborate with our regional neighbours. Acting in isolation has resulted in significant economic waste and long-term debt and carrying costs to our existing taxpayers. I believe it is critical for the County to cast aside our historic combative approach so we can take a smarter and more strategic approach to grow our piece of the regional pie through better working relationships with our municipal neighbours.
What are your views on water and wastewater in the greater Springbank area? Do you believe that current RVC planning processes adequately address water and wastewater? Explain.
Water and wastewater solutions in Springbank need to recognize the high water table and storm water issues in many areas of the community. I support exploring new technologies for waste water treatment. The current approach of using “made in Rocky View” solutions may not be the most cost-effective regionally.
What role do you see for developers in the provision of public community infrastructure in Springbank (water, wastewater, parks, facilities, libraries, pathways, etc)?
New development should pay for its infrastructure costs – either directly for on-site infrastructure or through off-site levies. It is unfortunate that Rocky View has not yet implemented off-site levies for soft infrastructure. I understand that Administration is working on soft infrastructure off-site levy options for the new council to consider.
If I’m re-elected, I will support moving forward on soft levies since they are long overdue. I also believe that the existing off-site levies for hard infrastructure should be reviewed to ensure rates are set appropriately to recoup costs from the new development that benefits from the infrastructure.
How will you work to preserve and enhance public river access in Springbank?
Signage and parking are important for river access and are two low-cost enhancements that the County could provide. However the existing ad-hoc river access has created friction within the community. The County should amend the Recreation Master Plan to explicitly highlight the importance of river access as a recreation amenity, and 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.
How will you advocate for improvements to RR33 / school road, including a pathway and roundabouts?
If I’m re-elected, I will work with my fellow Councillors in reviewing Administration’s recommendations for the capital plans for the Springbank area. I anticipate that this will be part of the 2022 budget deliberations. I will advocate for upgrades that have community support.
There may be less money to go around since the provincial funding for municipal infrastructure is in flux and the core Municipal Sustainability Initiative program is being wound down. That, combined with falling tax revenues due to the current economic conditions means that all Rocky View infrastructure spending will have to be carefully examined to ensure that we can afford what we want.
Do you support a new community center in Springbank? How will you work to improve and create recreational and public gathering spaces in Springbank?
A new community facility in south Springbank is the number 2 priority in the Recreation Master Plan (behind a community centre in Langdon). Early-stage planning work has already been organized with the establishment of a Stakeholder Advisory Group which I sat on. Unfortunately, its work has been delayed because of COVID.
In terms of generally improving recreation and public gathering spaces in Springbank, I strongly support working through the comprehensive framework that has been established in the Recreation Master Plan.
How do you believe the $10M in SR1 funds should be used in Springbank?
The $10 million should be used to accelerate the Recreation Master Plan’s priorities for Springbank. This should give access to more recreation amenities more quickly.
What is your view on working with Rocky View Schools to enhance community recreational spaces and programs?
There is precedent for working with Rocky View Schools for recreation facilities – the Langdon Joint Use Facility. Partnering with the school board can provide additional opportunities, but it also brings potential constraints. The Stakeholder Advisory Group that has been established for planning the new community facility should explore this as part of its work.
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