Canmore granted right to appeal development order by provincial tribunal

A housing development near the Three Sisters mountains on the eastern edge of Canmore, Alta., is shown on July 2, 2017. Canmore’s town council is debating the next step on two development projects that could almost double the mountain town’s population in the coming decades. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colette Derworiz. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colette Derworiz

Alberta’s highest court has granted permission for a popular mountain community to appeal a decision by a provincial tribunal ordering it to allow two major developments that would almost double the town’s population.

Read more: Council rejects 1 of 2 controversial developments in Alberta mountain town

Canmore town council had rejected the proposed Three Sisters Village and Smith Creek projects, but the Land and Property Rights Tribunal of Alberta ruled in May that both developments could go ahead.

The town, west of Calgary, then applied for permission to appeal that decision to the Court of Appeal of Alberta.

Read more: Canmore to appeal approval of 2 developments by provincial tribunal

Justice Jolaine Antonio has ruled that the town can proceed with its appeal on questions of law and jurisdiction.

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The two proposals on Canmore’s eastern edge include about 80 per cent of the town’s remaining developable land and raised concerns about affordable housing and wildlife.

The decisions by the tribunal, however, found both developments met the parameters set out in a 1992 review of the Three Sisters area by the Natural Resources Conservation Board.

Click to play video: 'Hundreds share concerns about massive development project in Canmore'
Hundreds share concerns about massive development project in Canmore

Antonio says the town’s concerns are of sufficient importance to merit a further appeal.

“The town’s proposed grounds of appeal are interrelated and pertain to the scope of the town’s involvement and ability to apply its own processes in considering applications for projects within its boundaries,” she wrote in the decision Tuesday.

“These issues are compounded by the evolution of the legal landscape surrounding project development in the 30 years since the NRCB approval.”

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Read more: Canmore town council rejects second proposed development

A public hearing on the two developments last year took seven days and heard from more than 200 people concerned about possible effects on the busy town and wildlife in the area.

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