The Save Nose Creek advocacy group went into Tuesday’s city council meeting with low expectations.
They came out at least encouraged by the questions and the conversation during the meeting, said group spokesperson, Andrew Yule.
Yule spoke on behalf of the Nose Creek group at the public hearing for a land use change on an industrial development in the Revised Stoney Industrial Area Structure Plan. The application asked for additional uses for the plots. It was ultimately approved.
The concern for Yule’s group was the new uses, the waste they’d create and the proximity to the Nose Creek watershed.
“How will this council prevent garbage and other commercial wastes from getting into the creek, the creek valley and riparian area,” Yule questioned during his submission.
He said their group was formed to be a champion for Nose Creek. More groups are stepping up to preserve the limited wetlands and riparian areas in the city, he said. That includes in the Ricardo Ranch area of southeast Calgary.
Yule said their group wants an administrative inquiry for the park to be developed in the area. He compared the situation to Nose Hill and Fish Creek parks.
Mike Coldwell, planner and principal with Urban Systems, the consultant working on behalf of developer Melcor, said they’ve been engaged with the community for years on this project.
“What we have in front of you today is a really exciting opportunity to provide some of those ancillary supports and the amenities that we’ve heard, that are in desperate need already in the community,” he told the committee.
Stormwater and overland drainage
Both Coldwell and City of Calgary administration said there’s a stormwater management and overland drainage plan. It ensures potential contamination of Nose Creek is mitigated.
There will also be a reconstructed wetland area, with full stormwater treatment that includes volume targets, the developer said. They said during construction, appropriate erosion control measures are in place.
City admin said they consider Nose Creek to be a third-order stream. That means there should be a 50-metre setback enforced. The initial setback rules different when the proposal first came forward in 2009, so there are some areas that are less than 50 metres. Admin said that generally there’s a prescribed 50 metre setback.
They also described how the water would be managed.
“Generally speaking, yes, stormwater will be captured and directed into the storm system and then the stormwater is conveyed towards the reconstructed wetland,” said city admin.
“Yes, there is a fore bay there, which will provide some treatment to the stormwater and then the stormwater then is discharged back into the creek.”
The Save Nose Creek group put together a plan for a possible park in the area. It would require the city or province to cough up cash – at market rates – to realize that.
Coun. Jasmine Mian, who represents the area, asked the developer, facetiously, she said, if they would be willing to donate the land for a park.
They said no.
During break, Coun. Mian said there was an opportunity for ongoing conversations about what to do with the area.
“I appreciate that that my residents are concerned about the health of Nose Creek,” she said.
“I’m there with them and I’m willing to work on some things that I think are going to be reasonable. But, we can’t as a city just go up and buy a whole bunch of industrial land and turn it into a park.”
Yule said he knew their plea would be a long shot.
“We were encouraged by the lines of questioning in debate,” he said.
“(We’re) glad we are getting riparian setbacks on the radar and really hope we can find a champion on council.”