County tables expansion plan for Langdon
Rocky View County council tabled a controversial Langdon-area development proposal in a 6-2 vote, Feb. 14.
The move was made to give County staff time to prepare preliminary reports on expansion of Langdon’s boundaries and infrastructure.
The Settlers Park Conceptual Scheme (SPCS) proposes an overall density of 3.5 units per acre and anticipates 1,845 low, medium and higher density homes, with a population of about 4,355 people.
Housing styles will vary from single-family residential to apartments and will include ready-to-move homes. The plan proposes 123 acres of open space to be used for recreation and gathering areas for residents. A school site is also planned.
The SPCS also proposes two local commercial areas, a business industrial campus and integrated open spaces on a 480-acre site just south and east of the hamlet’s boundaries.
Should the development receive approval, it will increase Langdon’s population from about 4,500 to more than 10,000.
According to Randy Gibson, with RGA Design, the Concept Plan envisions a mixed-use community with commercial and institutional land uses all located in three development cells.
The plan proposes a unique orientation for the homes: neighbourhoods would open onto a common green space, with community market gardens interspersed throughout.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to use... the open space,” said Gibson, adding that Agrium, a large agricultural business, has expressed interest in the project.
The SPCS proposes the development get its potable water from Langdon Waterworks. The sewage system will be connected to the existing Langdon water treatment plant.
Area residents spoke both in favour of and in opposition to the development.
Bob Thompson, who has lived in the area since 1996 and is an active volunteer, was in favour of the project.
“It will ensure local jobs,” he said. “I ask you support this opportunity for Langdon.”
Kelly Isley, a Langdon-area resident for more than 30 years, said he would like to see Langdon grow.
“A town that gets squished down and isn’t allowed to grow is destined to fail,” he said. “I am here to offer my support for the development.”
Doug White, who lives directly northwest of the Conceptual Scheme area, spoke in opposition to the development, saying the subject lands are prone to annual flooding.
“That land is frankly not developable,” he said. “We have a pretty severe flooding problem here.”
White showed photos taken over the past several years as evidence of the severe flooding, which at times fills the ditches, breaches the road and floods his pasture. White fears the additional homes would exacerbate the problem and said a stormwater plan would have to involve the entire Weed Lake drainage area.
He also said approving the plan would be a “back-door way of moving the Hamlet boundaries.”
Several councillors shared his concerns about the SPCS.
“When you are proposing to build a city of 15,000 on swamp you need to have a pretty good idea how you are going to do it,” said Councillor Al Sacuta. “Subdivision and Land-use (stage) is way too late.”
Councillor Lois Habberfield was concerned the tabling motion, which stipulated the reports be completed by March 27, wouldn’t give staff enough time for a proper assessment
“What is the hurry here?” she asked. “I would like to table this until the Langdon Hamlet Plan is completed. I think the community needs to be involved.”
Reeve Rolly Ashdown, along with councillors Margaret Bahcheli, Earl Solberg, Greg Boehlke, Al Sacuta and Paul McLean voted in favour of tabling the application until March 27. Councillors Habberfield and Kim Magnuson voted in opposition.