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Residents raise concerns over Hillcrest Meadows

Monday, 07 August 2017. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Residents raise concerns over Hillcrest Meadows
Ray Martin of Martin Geomatics Consulting shows Savi Houldin how certain parts of the Hillcrest Meadows development would be built in relation to water mitigation and the dry pond, while also indicating the topography of the area on the map.   Photo by Tyler Ryan

Residents raise concerns over Hillcrest Meadows

By Tyler Ryan

Dozens of local residents met with representatives from Martin Geomatic Consultants last Wednesday in Pincher Creek to voice concerns over the proposed Hillcrest Meadows subdivision.

The proposed site is in the area of Crocus Street and Tumbleweed Avenue in the northeast part of town.

Many shared concerns regarding soil sloughing on the proposed site, stormwater drainage, traffic and overall necessity of the project.

Ben Martin, president of Martin Geomatic Consultants, answered questions during the session.

With regard to water issues, he said there are plans to create a dry pool to catch rain run-off, with almost twice the capacity of a “one-in-a-hundred-year storm” — a calculation of a flood event with a one per cent probability of occurring in any given year.

“We’re going to collect all of the water and we’re going to send it north and away from the edge of the coulees,” Mr. Martin said, adding that an emergency overflow would be put in place, in accordance with rules set forth by Alberta Environment and the Town of Pincher Creek.

There would also be catch basins and foundation drains in all of the new homes, and “French drains or tile drains in the street to collect the water that seeps in under the pavement,” Mr. Martin said.

When asked if this would be the first thing built during the project, he said “not necessarily,” because there may be homes in the northeastern portion of the development that could be built first.   

The pipe and sewage systems would tap into existing infrastructure around the site, Mr. Martin said, and there would be no construction under existing homes.

He said he was aware of the soil sloughing issue surrounding the Hillcrest Meadows development and added, “It’s going to continue to slough, no matter what we do or don’t do, but by us collecting the water, it’s going to mitigate or reduce the amount of sloughing.”

Some townspeople at the open house felt communication between town administration and residents had been inadequate.

Among them was Savi Houldin, who said “pushing this development through [with] 77 units almost feels like it’s being pushed through without people knowing.”

“I don’t think the town needs this,” she continued, citing 303 vacant houses in the area spanning from Brocket to Crowsnest Pass.

She would support a referendum on the new development and hopes for more open dialogue between the town, Martin Geomatic Consulting and residents.

Despite Mr. Martin’s explanations of how the project would be undertaken, many at the meeting were not sold on the development.

Dianne Gray said there are inconsistencies in the information that is publicly available.

“The information in their documentation is inadequate,” she said. “It doesn’t address a lot of the water needs. And as a resident living on similar [land], there are so many issues around sump pumps and leakages and foundational durations, and they haven’t addressed that for many homeowners.”

She still had more questions than answers regarding safety and environmental concerns.  

“What happens if the development falls through or isn’t completed in a certain time frame?” another person asked during the event. “Will the taxpayers be stuck with the bill?”

Mr. Martin could not provide a time frame for construction in the event that the development is approved by council.

“This is just the first step in a longer process,” he said.

A public hearing regarding the Hillcrest Meadows area structure plan will be held at town hall on Monday, Aug. 14, at 6 p.m. All residents are invited to attend.

Read more in this week’s online edition here.
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From the August 2, 2017 print edition of Shootin’ the Breeze.
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In Pincher Creek, call Jessica Jensen at 403-904-2227
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