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Ward 1 News: My thoughts on the Trinity Paskapoo Slopes proposal

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For the past 50 years, I have lived in the NW quadrant of Calgary. I first learned how to ski on the Paskapoo Slopes. My daughter was a biathlon who used the slopes to train. City council has acknowledged that the Paskapoo Slopes is a special area and this is why we are invested to ensure a best solution for all Calgarians. Unfortunately, on sensitive issues like the Paskapoo Slopes, council cannot please everyone.

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The Trinity Hills development of the eastern land is privately owned. The land is not for sale.  The previous council in 2011 chose not to pursue this direction. That ship has sailed long ago and now we are left with how to best balance protecting the Paskapoo Slopes.

The upper two-thirds of the park will be returned to the City of Calgary and managed by the City of Calgary Parks. The City is investing nearly $3 million to improve the park and will provide guaranteed maintenance for years to come. The park will have 11.5 km of trails for Calgarians and visitors to permanently enjoy, that will be accessed by more than three different access locations.

Trinity Hills Development is responsible for paying 100% of the Sarcee Tr/16 Ave NW overpass development. Trinity Hills is also paying 50% of the cost of the pedestrian bridge over 16th Avenue and 50% of the cost of the Trail underpass which will join to Edworthy Park, both of which will be used by cyclists and pedestrians. In addition, there will be pedestrian and cyclist connectivity over the new Bowfort Interchange, which is currently under construction.

Council has introduced and added 16 amendments to ensure the design of the development will be sensitive to the area’s history regarding the First Nations and the Blackfoot culture. The amendments address environment and wildlife concerns posed during the public hearing. The new plan represents a carefully balanced mix that addresses the importance of the Paskapoo Slopes. As well, The City of Calgary has critical safeguards as well as within the agreement to facilitate the development that is reflective to the sensitivity to the land.

During the two days of public hearing, City council listened to Calgarians about their segment and planning concerns. We heard legitimate planning concerns and we responded by addressing those issues with further amendments. In a 12-3 vote, council passed the Paskapoo Slopes development proposal based on planning merits. City council is invested in the Paskapoo Slopes and we will ensure planning meets the expected amendments to protect the sensitivity of the slopes.

As the ward councillor, I will personally be involved, as well as Cllr Pootmans, with the planning department and the applicant to ensure that all amendments, agreements and conditions of this development are followed.

This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.

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