Rocky View County Council met Wednesday to discuss a proposed mixed-use development in Bearspaw; the development plan has been met with a minority in support and a majority in opposition when it comes to residents speaking out. 

The administration presented the proposed development, which would span 275 acres and be made up of 883 residential dwellings, with 50 acres going toward commercial use, asking that it be approved and that the land be re-designated. 

The proposed site will be located southwest of Airdrie at the corner of Highway 1A and 12-mile Coulee Road.

Residents shared concerns about the overcrowding of schools, busy roads and safety, as well as the infrastructure, such as water treatment and sewage. Founding member of the group Protect Bearspaw Steve Lilly asked the council and those in attendance to reflect on the lifestyle residents live. 

“Imagine the quiet night sky, the country roads, the nature, the trails, the privacy, the security and the peacefulness of the countryside. Something many worked hard to obtain and opted out of the city lifestyle for; imagine a 50-acre shopping mall and high-density housing and ask yourself - is this good planning? Does this make sense?"

Bruce Hanson of the Bearspaw Glendale Community Association spoke in favour of the development as it will help develop a regional pathway through the community. 

“We are planning, as part of one of the priorities of the Bearspaw community, to develop a regional pathway system so people can commute around Bearspaw either on foot or on bicycles, and the pathway system they planned is very compatible and very close by so that we can interconnect these,” said Hanson.

The concerned residents all mentioned that they don't wish for their lifestyle to change.

“We fully understand that which is crucial for progress, it must be approached with a holistic and sustainable mindset. It's equally important to ensure that it aligns with the values and needs and sustainability of the existing community," said Tina Ermaniuk, a member of the protecting bearspaw committee. 

While the council heard all in-person submissions for those opposing the development, there was not enough time to view all video submissions. 

The council is set to reconvene on February 1 in a special hearing to deal with the matter. 

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