July 6th, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 27
Golf club plans moving forward
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Workers on the Crowsnest Pass Golf and Country Club
Pass Herald Reporter
Riversdale Resources is taking steps to rezone land north of Coleman for the construction of new golf holes for the Crowsnest Pass Golf and Country Club.

The rezoning is part of the Australian mining company’s plan to locate a coal mine load out on the golf course.

On June 21, council gave first reading to Bylaw 959-2016 to amend Land Use Bylaw 863-2013 to rezone land west of Blairmore Creek from Non-Urban Area to Non-Urban Commercial Recreation.

The land council is proposing to rezone is owned by Benga Mining, a subsidiary of Riversdale Resources. According to a municipal release, Riversdale and the Crowsnest Pass Golf and Country Club are proposing a land swap following the completion of the new holes. Riversdale would receive the lands it needs to build the proposed coal load out and the golf course would get the new holes.

However, a portion of the land that might be rezoned is Crown land, owned by the province of Alberta. The golf course is looking to address the issue by applying to amend their Recreational Lease to incorporate the Crown land into the existing agreement.

The statement said the application to amend the lease has not been completed. The golf course also needs to conduct a number of steps including consulting with First Nations and a Historical Resource Assessment before it can appropriate the land from the province.
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In the fall of 2014 Riversdale approached the Crowsnest Pass Golf and Country Club about locating a coal loading facility and rail loop on the course for the Grassy Mountain Coal Project.

The old lower nine holes, the clubhouse and maintenance infrastructure are to be bulldozed for the construction of infrastructure to load trains with coal from the proposed mine.

The load out would be bordered by the eleventh hole about 18 metres below the fairway. It would load about five trains per week when and if the mine is producing four million tonnes of coal per year.

The site of the future golf course is covered in forest and fescue grasslands. It also contains sections of Blairmore Creek and its tributaries, which is home to Alberta’s threatened population of westslope cutthroat trout.

Riversdale says that a number of environmental studies are underway to support mitigation steps that could be taken to allow for future golf course development.

Anthony Martin, Riversdale’s chief financial officer, said that prior to entering into the development phase, both the golf club and Riversdale would enter into an agreement governing how the development would proceed.
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The municipality has been in touch with the local Environment and Parks land referrals contact to discuss the rezoning. The province has a wild land helipad on the Crown parcel of the area to be rezoned. Environment and Parks has been in discussion with Riversdale to relocate the helipad.

The application for rezoning will be presented to the Municipal Planning Commission for comment. Now that council has passed the first reading, a public hearing will be held at the first council meeting in August in advance of second and third reading.

The Crowsnest Pass Golf and Country Club has already hired golf course designer Gary Browning of Browning Design Inc. to draw up plans for the new holes. In June the golf course said construction could begin as early as August and would take two years.

Golfers would be able to use a full 18-hole course throughout the construction process.
July 6th ~ Vol. 85 No. 27
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