June 23, 2021
Since it was announced in 2020 by the owners of Lakeside Greens Golf Course of their intention to partner with a developer and transform the golf course into a residential neighbourhood, I have provided two updates, and now I am giving a third to the community.
The last update was just over five months ago and my initial update was in the fall 2020.
As I stated then, and as I am stating now, as the City’s Chief Administrative Officer, I have significant concerns with the development as proposed. Regardless of the reasons, or the housing types considered, or the intended benefits offered by the developer, the golf course lands are specifically designated for parks and open space use in the Municipal Development Plan. And, the proposal as described is currently not permitted under local and provincial regulations. It is my duty to support the laws and policies as enacted by City Council, including the Municipal Development Plan, and when I believe they deserve amending, I advise City Council as such.
Our municipality has a duty to be fair and open to all potential developers and to duly consider all suggestions brought forward. That’s why our planning staff have been meeting with the development partnership for many months; to better understand their intentions, to communicate our concerns, to outline the process that would be required should they wish to submit a formal application, and to explain that ultimately any application would have to be brought to City Council for consideration, consultation, and required amendments to their laws and policies. Council has a duty to be unbiased and to reserve judgement on any such proposal until the complete application is before them which includes all the available information provided by the applicant, City staff, the CAO, and (most importantly) views from the public.
It has been over nine months since the announcement of the idea to redevelop Lakeside Greens, and during that time City staff have been very accommodating in assisting the partnership in reviewing their proposals, detailing the application process, the review process, and the City Council approval process.
But, the Lakeside Greens Golf Course Partnership has still not submitted a formal application for an amendment to the Municipal Development Plan, which is the required first step should they wish to pursue this project.
Given that the City of Chestermere has still not received a formal application, and we have many dozens of development and building files we are working on, and that there is no indication that an application is coming anytime soon but rather the developer is considering waiting for a new City Council and term before proceeding, we now consider the redevelopment of Lakeside Greens golf course file ‘closed’.
Should the development partnership wish to resume their interest in the future, our staff will again commence discussions. But we have many files we are working on, and they will have to wait their turn. And should the development partnership engage again with City staff on any proposal to redevelopment the golf course, I will be sure to advise the community and keep you up to date on the progress of the file.
To conclude, let me say how much I appreciate the correspondence we have received from so many residents who wanted to express their thoughts on the proposal. City Council and City staff are well aware of the interest and the opinions on this issue. Engaged and active citizens are essential to a healthy democracy, and I thank you for taking the time to write.
Thank you. Enjoy the summer.
Chief Administrative Officer
City of Chestermere