On June 24, the City of Chestermere closed the file on the Slokker Homes and Lakeside Greens Golf Course development, as a formal application hasn’t been received.
“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,” said Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Bernie Morton.
“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,” Morton said.
Adding, “Given that the City of Chestermere has still not received a formal application, and we have 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.”
Morton expressed in a letter to the public that he has significant concerns with the development as proposed. Regardless of the reasons, 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.
The proposal as described is currently not permitted under local and provincial regulations.
“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 judgment 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,” Morton said.
If the development partnership wishes to resume its interest in redeveloping the Lakeside Greens Golf Course, the city will commence discussions.
“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,” Morton said.
Adding, “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.”
The Lakeside Greens Golf Course Preservation Society is pleased to see the City of Chestermere temporarily close the file on the potential rezoning of the Lakeside Golf Course.
“The city is listening to the needs of its community members and understands how vital the golf course is to our city,” said the Lakeside Greens Golf Course Preservation Society Executive Director, Darby King-Maillot.
The Lakeside Greens Golf Course Preservation Society believes this is an important step forward in preserving the landmark, however, the society remains committed to actively working to preserve the golf course area until new ownership of the property takes place.
“It’s only at that point can we feel confident that all discussions or potential applications for rezoning the golf course area will be permanently closed,” King-Maillot said.
Adding, “We would like to thank all those who have come together to show their support in protecting this essential recreational green space. Your dedication and determination toward this cause have helped us reach this first critical milestone.”