Planning and development

Burnco Expansion of gravel pit.

Apr. 12, 2021

Since 2016, BURNCO has operated the West Cochrane Gravel Pit located northwest of the Town of
Cochrane, Alberta. In its current form, the gravel pit is 61 hectares in size, produces roughly 125,000
tonnes of material annually and edge of the project is approximately 4.5 km from the intersection of
Highway 1a with Horse creek road (i.e., the edge of the Heritage Hills). BURNCO has proposed to
increase the size to 452 hectares through the addition of adjacent land parcels and is not planning
increases in the material produced annually. The proposed extent will be approximately 2 km away from
the intersection of Highway 1a with Horse creek road.
The Heritage Hills Community Association (HHCA) has reviewed the application documents prepared by
BURNCO, and discussed potential impacts, such as noise dust, and traffic. Since 2016, BURNCO has
employed noise, dust and traffic control measures, that include include berms, enclosed equipment and
road upgrades to limit impacts on surrounding communities. In the opinion of HHCA board members,
these control measures have worked as intended. Considering BURNCO is not proposing an increase in
annual production, the HHCA does not believe there will be an increase in noise, dust or traffic as a
result of the expansion. Additionally, the HHCA is of the opinion that this will be good for the
community, as it will allow for continued work for people living in Cochrane and support the
development of infrastructure upgrades panned by the town of Cochrane, including upgrades to
Highway 1a.

We are always open to concerns from the community and if any further evidence of possible issues is presented we will revisit the situation.

-HHCA Board of Directors

Background on School Bus Lot north of H.H.

Maintenance Yard in Proposed Sports Complex

December 4th, 2019 Proposed Southland Bus Depot North of Heritage Hills

Following up on HHCA President Trent Leinenweber’s facebook Post of November 26, we had a very productive meeting last Friday with the Town’s planning staff, Drew and Riley, and representatives of Southland, Craig and Tom.

A key point of agreement was Southland’s willingness to divert most of the traffic going down Horse Creek Road toward 1A onto 262 east to 22. Southland was also willing to address the sound and visual barrier issues to our satisfaction. Trent had a draft post ready to update the community of the progress we were making, when we were asked by Drew on Monday to hold off until the Town had an opportunity to review the rerouting of traffic onto Range Road 262. It is a gravel road for which the town is responsible to maintain.

Then on Tuesday Drew informed us that Administration will be recommending that Council adjourn the Public Hearing again until Monday, February 24, 2020.  An update will be posted soon.

Administration wants the opportunity to complete the following:

  • Confirm the closure of Range Road 43 with Alberta Transportation
  • Complete a comprehensive Traffic Impact Assessment

Once this work is complete, Administration promises to meet with all the stakeholders, provide further updates and give Council the information it needs to make an informed decision.

A this point we do not know what caused this change of approach, but given we have been asking for this information, we can hardly find fault with this step.

We will have a representative from the HHCA Planning and Development Liaison Committee attend the December Public Hearing when the adjournment will be requested. We will keep you updated as events unfold.

October 2019 -Residents of Heritage Hills have raised the issues of noise and traffic congestion that would result for the use of the northwest corner of the Proposed Sports Complex as the maintenance yard for Southland and Colt buses. Some residents have raised the concern that Heritage Hills residents would be affected by Southland drivers starting up around 150 buses early in the morning.  Another concern was the traffic problems that would arise with so many buses traveling through or around Heritage Hills at peak traffic times. It was observed that Highway 1a is already backed up in the morning and all these buses would make things considerably worse.

The HHCA received a notice from the town (SNS2019-012 Circulation) concerning a land use amendment that would apply to the proposed maintenance yard, giving details of requirements for its development and use and inviting comments before October 22, making this a timely issue for use to address.

We raised the issues at our meeting with Drew Hyndman, Senior Manager, Development Services and Candace Banack, Senior Planner, at the Ranch House. Drew informed us that he spoke with Southland and was told that buses start up at 5:30 not 4:30 as some believe, and they start up in stages: 5;30, 5:45, 6:00, etc. He is waiting for a precise schedule. Also, not all buses go south. A percentage go to Rocky View in the country and much of it would be going north on Horse Creek Road (or 626 then north on the extraction plant road) and some will go along 626 to Highway 22 until that connection is cut off by the Cochrane Interchange. They will not be allowed to go through Heritage Hills. Thus, not all of the bus traffic leaves at the same time, and not as early as some thought, or in the same direction.

We also raised this issue at the Mayor’s Meeting with the Community Associations. We were told by Mayor Jeff Genung and Dave Devana, CAO that the town did an extensive review of where to move the buses, looking at numerous possible sites, but this was the only one they found feasible. It is unlikely they are going to change the decision to put it there. The other council members appeared to support that message, in particular, Tara McFadden. It was emphasized that the sale of the maintenance yard for the bus use allowed for the purchase of other lands in the Sports Complex.

Tara explained that the planning process itself has requirements regarding the placement of barriers or berms to be a visual and noise protection for the surrounding area. We were also told by them that we should go ahead and make a submission regarding the noise concerns in response to the notice. We were also told that the development is a long process going through many stages and there will be future opportunities for us to make our concerns known.

The mayor and councillors present did not give hope that the bus traffic issue will change their minds on using this location for the buses.

The committee strongly recommends that the Board consider and approval a letter restating the concerns of the community to be submitted to the town before the October 22 deadline.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Proposed Intersection improvements

Oct. 25th, 2019

One of the biggest issues that has been a constant cause for concern is the traffic issues at the intersection of highways 1A and 22. For all of us in Heritage Hills the congestion at the intersection is a daily concern. The Heritage Hills Community Association, has been following the updates and proposed solution. Here is some of the recent information.

I was informed last night that the interchange project is a go, with a timeline start of possibly just over a year. This is great news! I ask that as we move forward with the town of Cochrane on our traffic concerns, specifically with the school bus relocation which is targeted to happen right before construction, that you pay close attention to Ron’s posts. We may require your support to ensure that our concerns are not only heard, but addressed.

Trenton
President, HHCA

Overview of the proposed solution

Cochrane is expected to grow significantly, making an interchange the best option to accommodate travel in this area well into the future.

The intersection at Highway 1A and Highway 22 sees an average of more than 27,000 vehicles a day. These numbers are also expected to increase significantly over the coming years.

Project details

The project is estimated to cost between $65 million to $75 million and will include:

  • expanding Highway 1A to 4 lanes (2 lanes in each direction) from east of Big Hill Creek to west of Highway 22
  • eliminating the existing Highway 1A traffic signal on Highway 22
  • 2 new bridges over Big Hill Creek with removal of the existing bridge
  • replacing the Highway 22 Canadian Pacific Railway overpass to accommodate the new interchange ramps
  • a new overpass to carry Highway 22 over Highway 1A
  • new interchange ramps to connect the 2 highways

See the Cochrane Interchange project plan (PDF, 3.1 MB)

Interchange design

The interchange will be based on a partial cloverleaf design to make best use of the area’s geography, while also accommodating future upgrades. This approach will help ensure the interchange can effectively accommodate:

  • population changes in the area
  • traffic growth
  • transportation corridor use

The partial cloverleaf design will meet growing traffic volumes now and in the future and provide more efficient traffic flows in the Town of Cochrane and the surrounding area, while minimizing the footprint of the interchange and cost of overpass structures.

Several considerations were addressed in determining the configuration of this interchange:

  • accommodating proximity of the highways to the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks
  • limiting impacts upon adjacent lands (Cochrane Ranche, the Cochrane and District Agricultural Society site, and historical and environmental considerations)
  • limiting impacts to Big Hill Creek
  • accommodating existing and future major oil and gas pipelines
  • accommodating existing and projected future traffic volumes
  • minimizing noise and visual impacts to adjacent homes and businesses.

Environmental impact

An environmental evaluation will be completed to determine the best way to minimize and address potential impacts near Big Hill Creek and Cochrane Ranche.

The current concept was developed based on previous environmental impact studies completed for highway twinning designs. All required environmental permits and approvals will be in place before construction starts.

Noise studies

A traffic noise study based on future traffic volumes will be completed during the interchange design process. Results will be posted online.

Pedestrian access

The interchange will be designed to accommodate pedestrian use. Details will be available as design proceeds.

Timelines

Design is expected to be completed once requirements for utility relocation, right of way and environmental components are finalized.

At this time all projects are undergoing a provincial review pending release of the provincial budget.

Benefits

This project will support economic development in Alberta by improving access to this area, allowing efficient movement of goods and people, in particular larger truck traffic, through Cochrane to access Highway 1 to the south and the Highway 22 corridor to the north. The new interchange will also:

  • expand the capacity of both highways
  • enhance safety
  • accommodate future growth

Contact

For more information on the Cochrane interchange, contact Alberta Transportation’s Southern Region Office:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 403-381-5426
Toll free: dial 310-0000 before the number (in Alberta)
Email: hwy1a22@islengineering.com

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Horse Creek Sports Park Master Site Plan

Town of Cochrane Council Report

Regular Council
June 24, 2019
Drew Hyndman, Senior Manager, Development Services Horse Creek Sports Park Master Site Plan
6a

RECOMMENDED ACTION

That Council adopt the Horse Creek Sports Park Master Site Plan.

STRATEGIC / SUSTAINABILITY PLAN ITEM

Town of Cochrane Strategic Plan

1.2 Future infrastructure, facilities and plans to be developed and implemented to

accommodate growth.

1.4 Promote / Advocate the Cochrane Sustainability Plan by aligning our plans and actions.

2.2 Use effective communication mediums, processes and messages to provide transparency,

support dialogue and develop understanding with external partners.

2.3 Develop and implement effective approaches to communication and public engagement.

Cochrane Sustainability Plan

Cochrane is a Complete Community ~There’s enough room for everything a community should

have, Wherever you are in Cochrane, you’re close and connected, There are diverse options for

getting around & Everyone has a roof over their head.

We Live Locally – Our local economy is healthy and diverse

BACKGROUND

The purpose of this report is to present the proposed Horse Creek Sports Park Master Site Plan to Council for formal consideration. Throughout 2019 Administration has collaborated with Rocky View Schools and the Parks & Recreation Committee to develop a Master Site Plan that is intended to help guide the future development of these lands. All parties have agreed with the proposed future vision for this property, and Administration is now seeking Council adoption of the proposed Master Site Plan.

HISTORY

In 2015, Rocky View Schools purchased approximately 158 acres within the SW 1⁄4 16-26-4- W5M, located immediately north of the current boundary of the Town of Cochrane. As part of their purchase, Rocky View Schools clarified that they would only require approximately +/- 30 acres for a future High School site. Rocky View Schools subsequently approached the Town of Cochrane regarding the purchase of the balance of the property which could be utilized for future recreational uses, with significant benefits for the Town and its residents. Administration also recognized that a portion of the lands could strategically provide an ideal site for future municipal purposes, including maintenance and transit facilities.

While attracted by the various opportunities this property could potentially provide the Town, Administration cautioned against the purchase unless these lands were within the Town’s jurisdiction. For the Town to dedicate the financial resources required to purchase and develop

Horse Creek Sports Park Master Site Plan June 24, 2019

these lands, it was imperative for these lands to be within the Town’s jurisdiction and control. Rocky View Schools also confirmed their desire for a fully serviced school site located within the Town’s boundary, ready for future development when required.

Understanding the complexity of this proposal, Rocky View Schools and the Town of Cochrane reached an Agreement in Principle regarding the purchase of these lands and began to explore the annexation process. In 2018, Rocky View County and the Town of Cochrane jointly established an Annexation Negotiation Committee who met to negotiate the annexation of +/- 200 acres from Rocky View County into the boundary of the Town of Cochrane. Discussions commenced in the Spring 2018 and concluded with a formal annexation agreement that was submitted to the Municipal Government Board in November 2018.

• • •

Administration now anticipates that the proposed annexation will be approved by the

Government of Alberta by July 1, 2019 and these lands will be within the boundary of the Town

of Cochrane. In anticipation of this and in accordance with the Agreement in Principle reached

with Rocky View Schools, the Town of Cochrane was required to prepare a Master Site Plan for

the Horse Creek quarter section. The Master Site Plan is intended to confirm the following:

Location of the Rocky View Schools +/- 30 acre parcel

The Town of Cochrane uses on the balance of the property

Future site servicing

Following the annexation of these lands into the Town of Cochrane, Administration will be

proceeding with redesignation and subdivision applications throughout 2019, and plan to service

the properties in 2020 in order to meet all the requirements of the purchase agreement with

Rocky View Schools. Once the property has been serviced, formal onsite development may

commence including the Town maintenance and transit facilities. The development of the High

School site will not proceed until required by Rocky View Schools.

MASTER SITE PLAN

Throughout Spring 2019, Administration has collaborated with Urban Systems, Rocky View

Schools and the Parks & Recreation Committee to develop a Master Site Plan for the Horse Creek

quarter section that is intended to help guide the future development of this property.

The process began with a comprehensive analysis of the onsite constraints and opportunities of

this property, including the identification of the existing utilities and the varied topography. The

Parks & Recreation Committee then took this information and developed a series of ‘key guiding

principles’ they intended to utilize to formally evaluate the potential future uses and users on

this site. These efforts were subsequently followed by a Delegation Day in early March where

various recreation user groups made formal presentations to the Parks & Recreation Committee

to outline their proposals to be included within the future Master Site Plan.

Based upon all the input provided, two different draft Master Site Plan concepts were prepared

for consideration. Following further discussion and critical evaluation, the Parks & Recreation

Committee chose a single Master Site Plan comprised of the following key features:

• • • • •

+/- 30 acre School Site

+/- 11 acre Maintenance site

Quad Ball Diamond

Soccer / Rugby Fields

Central Clubhouse Facility

Horse Creek Sports Park Master Site Plan

June 24, 2019

Outdoor rinks

• • • •

The preferred Master Site Plan was presented to the Board of Trustees for Rocky View Schools who approved the proposed plan in early June 2019. The Master Site Plan was also provided to Inter Pipeline Ltd for comment, however, Administration did not receive a response.

Administration is satisfied that the proposed Master Site Plan is in keeping with the original vision for this property and that the future development of these lands will provide the Town of Cochrane and its residents with a significant increase in outdoor recreational amenities. Administration does note that this property will be developed in phases and will take several years to complete through user group fundraising and the acquisition of Provincial grant funding.

COMMUNICATION / PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

Public engagement on the proposed Master Site Plan has been through the Delegation Day in March where various recreation user groups presented to the Parks & Recreation Committee. Formal engagement has also occurred via the Parks & Recreation Committee and Rocky View Schools, both of whom have been instrumental in the development of this plan.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

The budget for the development of the Master Site Plan was $100,000 and was approved by Council in February 11, 2019 to be funded from the Parks & Open Spaces Reserve.

The funding associated with the future development of the Horse Creek Sports Park are to be via grant applications and fundraising efforts from local sports groups.

OPTIONS / IMPLICATIONS

Option 1: Recommended

That Council adopt the Horse Creek Sports Park Master Site Plan.

Bike Facilities

o o o

Sport Court

Pump Track

Skills Park

Flow Park

Extensive Pathway & Trail network with lookout

Playground facilities

Washroom facilities

Over 600 parking stalls

Implications: Adoption of the Horse Creek Sports Park Master Site Plan will confirm the

conceptual development and layout of the Horse Creek Sports Park. This will allow the land

purchase from Rocky View Schools to proceed, site servicing in 2020, and fundraising

efforts by local sports groups to commence.

Option 2:

Horse Creek Sports Park Master Site Plan June 24, 2019

That Council does not adopt the Horse Creek Sports Park Master Site Plan and provides

Administration with further direction.

Implications: The Horse Creek Sports Park Master Site Plan will not proceed as proposed

and would be brought back to Council at a future date for consideration following

amendments to the proposed design. This will also result in delays to the formal purchase

of these lands from Rocky View Schools.