Over steaming cups of coffee and a buffet breakfast, more than 50 developers, city staff and council had a chance to meet and discuss the future of development in Chestermere March 14.
“It was an opportunity for council to hear from the development community,” said Catherine Proulx, Manager of Economic Development with the City of Chestermere.
“What’s going well what needs improvement and to be able to take that away and possibly develop an action item list out of that,” she said.
In attendance at the breakfast meeting, held at Chestermere Landing, were developers, engineering firms, finance companies, utility companies, and builders.
“We wanted to have a broad spectrum of people here who represent all the various aspects of the development continuum and to get their input as to…what can the city do better,” she said.
They also heard about what the industry feels Chestermere has been successful in doing and what opportunities industry sees in Chestermere for the future.
Chestermere’s Mayor Marshall Chalmers was pleased with out the meeting turned out.
“We got what we’re expecting and more it was all about getting people that are directly involved in the industry into one room and telling us what is working and what we need to improve on,” he said.
While nothing that was said came as a surprise to him, Chalmers said that the need for the city to be consistent in its planning.
“We have some work to do…we have a fast-growing community,” he said, “what I’m hearing is that we need to be consistent, not change plans so much.”
While they still need to go through the feedback forms from the event, Proulx said that what she heard confirmed what the city knew.
“It’s always good to hear it in a forum like this where people are being candid,” she said.
Proulx said that there was a very positive response from attendees at having a meeting like this where they could voice their opinions and concerns to city council and staff.
“Council heard a lot of information this morning…so it’s about opening up our doors to these folks that are in the industry and moving the community in the direction that we want to go with their assistance,” said Chalmers.
Meetings like this help both council and administration to know where they need to focus their efforts on when it comes to the growth of the community.
“Council is interested in seeing the growth of the community,” she said, “this is part of the first step of communicating that to the development world.”
While the immediate next step is to go through the feedback from the event, Proulx said that this is lots of development in the works for the city.
“We’ve got a number of new developments on the west side of the city that are going forward you’re going to see shovels in the ground this year,” she said.
Chalmers praised the work both by city staff and the community in getting Chestermere to where it is today.
“There’s been great work and community involvement…in developing those plans and we’re hearing what they’re talking about, we’re hearing about consistency,” he said.
As it stands right now, Chalmers doesn’t believe that city council is interested in making any big changes to the current developments.
“2018 is going to be a pretty significant year for forward momentum of a lot of these projects that are underway,” said Proulx.