You probably heard that Council voted 6-1 to delay its final decision on TSMV’s Village Centre ASP until May 25 so that TSMV can work directly with Town Administration on the amendments adopted at Second Reading. (Thank you, Councillor Marra, for your continued opposition to this ASP.)
As a matter of fairness, if the applicant is being granted permission to provide input and their evaluation of the amendments made by Council, should the community not also be granted the same permission? It seems that Council’s interpretation of “procedural fairness” doesn’t include their constituents who will be affected by this decision for decades to come.
So what can actually be changed or amended at Third Reading? We recently learned that it’s too late in the process to include the significant amendments we asked for in our open letter that 1,751 of you signed last week. For example, to go back and properly consult with the Stoney Nakoda Nation, or to exclude the unfinished golf course and keep it zoned Private Recreation (as prescribed in our town’s overarching planning document, the Municipal Development Plan) are too big to be acted upon at Third Reading.
This is why we remain staunchly focused on getting the Village Centre ASP rejected.
We must also address Councillor Comfort’s comments: “To those folks who are out there and see defeating the motion and going straight to third reading as a victory, I think that feeling of victory would be very transitory because it would be replaced with a nagging feeling of uncertainty that we don’t know what’s going to happen to the lands.”
Our response is that we can work with the Town to create a new public engagement process that allows our community and the Stoney Nakoda Nation to help define the parameters of development from the onset, so that we are not left with just the option to register a “for” or “against” stance at the Public Hearing. This way, subsequent ASPs will correspond to our community’s vision and priorities for our future.
We have never been against development. We are against this development. We can do better.
Does Council have the grounds to reject this proposal? Absolutely. It’s pretty simple — all they need to say is: “It isn’t consistent with our Municipal Development Plan.” Do they have the conviction to do so? To listen to the overwhelming concerns of their community?
Stay tuned in the coming days for ways to drive this simple message home: Council must reject this ASP.
Have a great day!