News / Calgary

Calgary councillor muses about wide-scale annexation of Rocky View County

Calgary should look at annexing wide swaths of Rocky View County if the province doesn’t force surrounding municipalities into a binding plan for development in the entire region, a city councillor said Thursday.

Coun. Jim Stevenson said he doubts it will to come to that, however, as he expects the provincial government will bring hold-out municipalities like Rocky View and the M.D. of Foothills into the Calgary Metropolitan Plan (CMP) through legislation.

"But if the province is not going to legislate the Calgary Metropolitan Plan then we need to go back to our UniCity approach we had years ago and start a large-scale annexation plan," Stevenson said during a meeting of the city’s intergovernmental affairs committee, adding he’d look to annex as far north as Highway 566 – five kilometers past the current city limit.

The talk of broad annexation stemmed from discussion about Calgary potentially returning a small parcel of northwest land to Rocky View, including a private water treatment plant that serves customers in both municipalities.

Rocky View Reeve Margaret Bahcheli told Metro “it seems to make some sense” to do so, after the plant was “scooped up” by Calgary in an earlier annexation.

“It ended up in the city almost by accident when the (Lynx Ridge) golf course got put into the city,” she said.

The plant now sits within a jagged section of the municipal boundary, one of several spots where Stevenson said the borders don’t make much sense and prevent significant sections of land from being properly serviced.

"We have land in the County of Rocky View that's only accessible through the City of Calgary,” he said. “We have land in the City of Calgary that's only accessible through the County of Rocky View.”

Ideally, he said those areas should all be smoothed out as part of an “omnibus” series of annexations back and forth, all negotiated at once.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said in that case, it would be prudent to hold off on letting the treatment plant go, for now.

"This could be a bargaining chip towards pieces of land that we want," Nenshi said.

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