In the next 20 years, nearby DeWinton might be absorbed into the City of Calgary if an upcoming annexation proposal is approved. Since DeWinton is to the immediate north east of Okotoks, the sprawling suburbs are inching every closer to the Town of Okotoks.
The City revealed a proposed plan for future growth recently at an open house at DeWinton’s community Hall. The draft showed the proposed boundary changes, which could extend southward past Highway 552X reaching to 290 Avenue SW which is very close to the overpass to Okotoks at Highway 2 to 64 Street East.
This draft proposal was put together after the City of Calgary garnered feedback from local residents following several public meetings conducted in the Fall 2015. At that time, four possible growth plans were laid out for interested parties to examine. The four different scenarios each depicted four different boundaries for future expansion with potential subdivisions outlined in each. The most recent draft was drawn up based on resident feedback and concerns.
Last fall’s forum was when many residents asked that Heritage Point not be annexed, turning it into an island surrounded by residential development, and to avoid the area to the south of Highway 22X. Based on this feedback, the most recent draft included a boundary that doesn’t extend as far south as the previous incarnations.
The City of Calgary and the Municipal District of Foothills worked together and established policy for growth areas on the south side of the city in an attempt to limit the amount of growth in this area and to create density where possible.
Subdivision within this proposed new annexation areas may be limited. For example, a quarter section with 160-acres can only contain eight subdivisions and 40-acre parcels or even smaller can’t be fragmented further.
If at any time prior to annexation, when Foothills County entertains application for subdivision within this jurisdiction, they will be sure to inform the City of Calgary of whatever information comes its way.
Should this draft plan be approved, it will be up for review in ten years – possibly 2026. If Calgary’s unprecedented growth should slow down, the current 20 year projection may be altered and more time may be taken to implement it.
The City of Calgary may decide that it doesn’t require any further land and that negotiations may resume well into the future, rather than the proposed 20 year time span.
DeWinton residents expressed concern that their land may be tied up for an inappropriate and unreasonable amount of time. For example, in the 1970s a DeWinton land owner fragmented part of his 704-acre homestead near 274 Avenue to create DeWinton Heights, a rural subdivision of 13 homes that proved to be popular and a smart real estate transaction. A move like this will be restricted or nearly impossible should the City of Calgary tie up more land in the area.
Locals hope that the character of the DeWinton village site will be preserved. In the last 40 years, the Town of Midnapore and the community of Shawnessy was swallowed up by the city with not much but the name and a few historic buildings remaining.
The public consultation process is continuing, with folks in Okotoks and as far away as Millarville worried about transportation into the city.
Another public open house for DeWinton and area residents will be held at the end of June. More information is available on the. M.D. of Foothills website.