Remain Rural

Candidate for Councillor, Division 5, Rocky View County

Remain Rural

Rocky View should use its rural strengths rather than compete for development with the large urban centers that we surround. Development can occur but the costs must not fall to existing residents and businesses. Residents that have chosen to live and farm in Rocky View rather than in cities and towns make a lifestyle choice that should not be destroyed by incompatible and unwanted developments.


Listen to Community Input

Time after time residents of Rocky View have expressed their desire to maintain their rural lifestyle. When they come out to oppose a development it is most often because they feel their community will be no longer be the same community they choose to live in. Feedback from residents to the Growth Management strategy was unequivocal: "Rocky View residents want to preserve the rural character of the municipality... They wanted to see less fragmentation and sprawl.... ...protecting the character of their local communities. They wanted to protect open spaces and the natural landscape." Input to the 2013 County Plan reinforced this desire of residents to limit population growth and direct growth to already developed areas of RVC or to our urban neighbors.

Urban Costs

Urban developments such as shopping malls and high density nodes are very costly to service and maintain. ISL Engineering has estimated the cost for increasing the population of the Bearspaw growth node to 15,000 people at $265 million. East Balzac waste water is expected to cost $200 million. If the 16 areas selected as community or business growth nodes in the Growth Management Strategy have similar infrastructure needs, the total will be $4 billion.

The following chart illustrates this problem in another way. The chart was compiled with data from the City of Calgary LPT2009-40 2009 Cost of Growth Review.doc and Rocky View bylaw C_6842_2009 (average). The chart compares the levies charged by cities across Canada and Rocky View County. The red bar shows the development costs for Calgary are actually $60,000 per acre higher than the levies they are charging. This is another way of saying that existing Calgary businesses and residents are subsidizing new developments.

A crucial part of these costs in relation to Rocky View County is that Calgary costs are $114,328 for developments that are across the street (50 m) from established infrastructure. The levy Rocky View is charging for East Balzac Wastewater is for a 50 km pipeline. Rocky View charges 10 times less even though the distance is 1000 times longer.

Cumulative Effects

Developments are typically considered one at a time. This can easily lead to over development of an area if the cumulative effects of all the developments together are not considered.


The limited water availability in the County does not support high concentrations of development.

Ecological Goods and Services

There is increasing recognition of the value of the ecological and environmental benefits of undeveloped lands. Cities depend on the natural processes to filter ground water and provide habitat for wildlife. Tourism in the Calgary region depends on our open spaces. Rocky View needs to work toward capturing this value to the benefit of our residents.

contact John at 403-935-2356 or