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River Heights to see new 100-unit condo building

Council approved a land-use amendment on Nov. 26 to allow the development of multi-family dwellings in River Heights to move forward. Despite opposing votes from Mayor Truper McBride and councillor Jeff Toews, the amendment redesignated a 2.
Town of Cochrane
Town of Cochrane

Council approved a land-use amendment on Nov. 26 to allow the development of multi-family dwellings in River Heights to move forward.

Despite opposing votes from Mayor Truper McBride and councillor Jeff Toews, the amendment redesignated a 2.43 hectare parcel of land from urban reserve to R-3.

The plan is to construct a multi-family residential condominium that will hold a total of 100 units, townhouse style with front-loaded garages.

This was precisely the issue for Toews, who said parking was his concern with approving this development.

McBride questioned why administration called this move a ‘logistical extension’ to the current River Heights development, to which Kathy Dietrich, the town’s senior manager of planning and engineering, said they do look at development from an open space perspective, as well as other developments in the area.

“We felt development in the shorter term would help complete the area,” said Dietrich, “enhance the area.”

McBride questioned administration's actions, pointing out that the Cochrane Sustainability Plan indicates that the town’s goal was to have every home within 400 metres of an open space, and that this development did not take that into account.

“It makes sense in 10 years,” said McBride, “not now.”

Dietrich responded by saying that all the town’s goals with respect to open spaces and residents proximity to them takes time to accomplish.

“It doesn’t all happen at once,” she said, underscoring that the Open Spaces Master Plan is a 20-year plan, not one that is supposed to be complete now, but to work toward for the future.

Councillor Joann Churchill, though she ultimately voted in favour of the amendment, had issues with the density of the development, with 100 units planned for the area. She also questioned why the condos were not being considered for rental purposes.