A new shopping centre and housing development are being proposed near the northwest Calgary city limits and the plans are raising concerns from residents living in the area.
The proposed development would include commercial, retail and 883 residential units and would be located in Rocky View County southwest of the intersection of Highway 1A by 12 Mile Coulee Road.
It’s a plan some people who live in Rocky View County say is too big for the area.
Residents opposed to the development, called Ascension, have started a group called Protecting Bearspaw, aimed at raising awareness.
“We’re not opposed to development and we understand this will be developed. We want to advocate for the residents’ concerns, and the residents’ wishes as well as the character of the area,” said Protecting Bearspaw member Brent Fermaniuk.
“We want to see something that has less impact on the environmental footprint than is being proposed.”
In early December, area residents received an update from Rocky View County regarding the proposal, asking for a response to the application prior to Jan. 13.
Fermaniuk said residents are concerned about density, how it will effect a wildlife corridor and more traffic congestion.
“We are hoping that this this could be a respectful collaboration and engagement — something that maintains some of the community qualities like acreage size, particularly lower density as opposed to the higher density being proposed,” Fermaniuk said.
“It’s probably the nicest piece of land in our portfolio from a viewshed perspective. It’s just absolutely beautiful,” said the president of Highfield Investment Group, Adrian Munro.
Munro said the plans for Ascension will blend in with the existing neighbourhoods.
“We are not into doing things that are out of character and with the surrounding land. We envision this piece of land as the gateway to Rocky View County,” Munro said.
Munro said a portion of upgrades to the intersection of Crowchild Trail and 12 Mile Coulee Road will be covered by the developer.
Rocky View Council has already approved the plan’s concept scheme. A vote on land re-designation is expected in the fall.
It’s a contentious issue in Rocky View County, according to elected officials.
“As the councillor for the area, I have had a lot of feedback from residents,” said Crystal Kissel, the mayor of Rocky View County and Councillor for Division 3.
“This process is happening so that when the hearing comes, which looks like it will be early fall, that we all have an idea of how people feel about this project.”
If approval is given, Munro said Highfield will start construction by mid-2024.