Skip to content

County mum on Ag Land sale negotiations

Rocky View County will not be releasing details about the potential purchaser, land values, terms or conditions with respect to the 145-acre parcel of county-owned land in the Town of Cochrane along Highway 1A, west of Cowboy Trail until further noti

Rocky View County will not be releasing details about the potential purchaser, land values, terms or conditions with respect to the 145-acre parcel of county-owned land in the Town of Cochrane along Highway 1A, west of Cowboy Trail until further notice.

The county has yet to set a timetable for negotiations but has decided to withhold details for the time being in order to “prevent compromising those negotiations”.

Known to most as the Cochrane and District Agricultural Society (CDAS) lands, the possible sale of the land and the feared potential for displacement of the popular Ag Society and its associated user groups (including Cochrane BMX and various horse, pony and 4H clubs, among others) has been a contentious issue over the last several months.

Some social media threads and letters to the Eagle have expressed concern over a lack of transparency from the county with respect to the potential future land sale, as well as the diminishing of Cochrane’s western heritage by developing the well-used lands.

The county asserts that it “set out a number of criteria for proposals, including the requirement that the purchaser recognize the society’s lease on the land, which runs until mid-February of 2025. Honouring the CDAS’s lease agreement will be a primary focus of any potential sales agreement”.

A request for proposals (RFP) deadline of June 2 has now passed and the county is in negotiations with a potential buyer.

“No one has bid on or been offered the land,” explained Grant Kaiser, manager of communications for the county. “The county council wanted to gauge interest in the land including the requirement to accommodate the Ag Society until their lease expires in 2025.

We are currently in negotiations with the proponent who met our criteria. If the county can reach an agreement with the proponent, then details will be provided to the Ag Society and the public ahead of a council vote on selling the land.”

If an agreement with the potential buyer cannot be reached regarding the Ag Society’s lease another option might be available.

Last month, county council passed a motion permitting the Town of Cochrane to purchase a portion (128 acres) of the quarter section (160 acres) owned by the Rocky View School Board; the board only requires a portion of the lands for a future high school site.

While “nothing has been finalized as of yet,” the idea has been put on the table, as the town is committed to using this land for recreational, according to Suzanne Gaida, senior manager for community services for the Town of Cochrane.

Kaiser said, “Once the lease ends, there is no money owed to the Ag Society. Any buildings or leaseholder improvements become the property of the landowner, as is standard in almost any lease.”

He added that the “county may decide to assist the Ag Society with future funding but that funding is based on the value it offers to the quality of life for county residents and has nothing to do with the lease on the current location.”


Lindsay  Seewalt

About the Author: Lindsay Seewalt

Lindsay is a senior Eagle reporter who has transformed her penchant for storytelling into the craft of writing.
Read more



Comments