The town council of Canmore, Alberta recently approved a controversial new development known as Three Sisters Mountain Village, despite strong opposition from residents. This decision has the potential to nearly double the town’s population and significantly expand its size. The approval comes after a failed attempt to block the development through the Court of Appeal of Alberta.
The approval of Three Sisters Mountain Village marks the end of a 30-year-long saga filled with debates, changing plans, shifting ownership, and numerous political and legal battles. The project has faced not only opposition from residents, but also legal disputes, with the developer currently suing the town and several current and former councillors in a $161-million lawsuit for voting against the plan.
Although the development has been given the green light, it has faced criticism for various reasons. Concerns have been raised about the impact on wildlife corridors in the sensitive area adjacent to Banff National Park. Critics argue that these corridors are insufficient and that the development will harm the local wildlife.
Many opponents of the project also question its scale and claim that it fails to address pressing issues such as housing affordability and vacancy rates in the area. They express frustration that a decision made by a provincial tribunal decades ago can override local decision-making.
The approved plans for Three Sisters Mountain Village include two new neighborhoods with housing for up to 14,500 people, as well as commercial spaces, an arts center, a possible school, and light industrial and office areas. The development is expected to take decades to fully complete.
As construction begins on the site, the controversy surrounding the project continues to simmer. The approval of the development may impact the ongoing lawsuit filed by the developer, although the details of any potential discussions remain undisclosed. Meanwhile, opponents of the project are left with limited options for further action.