Not any more

Mike Holmes project contested by Alta. town

In Canada on September 24, 2010 at 08:55
Celebrity home renovator Mike Holmes is confused about why the Town of Okotoks is taking issue with the residential development he's planning south of town limits.Celebrity home renovator Mike Holmes is confused about why the Town of Okotoks is taking issue with the residential development he’s planning south of town limits. (Promotional photo)

A green homes development helmed by TV personality Mike Holmes is being stalled by the Town of Okotoks.

The administration of the Alberta town, located about 45 kilometres south of Calgary, is appealing a decision made by the Municipal District of Foothills to approve plans for the project.

Wind Walk, as the project is known, would consist of more than 400 energy efficient houses on a parcel of land south of Okotoks town limits.

Holmes, best known for his home renovation television show Holmes on Homes, said he’s confused by it all.

“Nothing is making sense to me, that they would appeal this and literally make it harder,” Holmes told CBC News Wednesday.

“It would actually cost taxpayers’ dollars to fight this, so I’m at a little bit of a question mark here in my head as to what the hell is going on.”

Holmes has paid thousands of dollars for Calgary newspaper ads that appeared on Wednesday asking for support for the project.

He said the homes would be environmentally friendly and have Leadership in Energy and Environment Design platinum status, as well as being “fireproof, waterproof, [and] mould-proof.”

In a statement, Foothills’ Deputy Reeve Larry Spilak said: “Our council has imposed conditions on this approval to address all services and these must be met before further approvals are given.”

‘Water is the key’

Okotoks Mayor Bill McAlpine said the town is seeking to overturn the district’s decision because it’s concerned where the development will get its water.

“They really haven’t proven to us, satisfactorily, that there’s an adequate water supply. They tell us they have an adequate water supply, but they haven’t really shared that information with us,” said McAlpine. “Water is the key.”

McAlpine said he was also concerned over pedestrian access and the fact that Okotoks would not receive any tax money from the homeowners.

A large residential development helmed by celebrity home renovator Mike Holmes is planned for a parcel of land south of Okotoks, Alta.A large residential development helmed by celebrity home renovator Mike Holmes is planned for a parcel of land south of Okotoks, Alta. (CBC)

“Great idea, but in the wrong place,” McAlpine added.

Local business owner Kelly Vance said the project seems like a good one, especially with Holmes attached.

“I can see their concerns for the water, because it is a concern in the area,” said Vance. “So hopefully they get it resolved and we can get it in here.”

Town resident Allan Herchek would like to see the project come to fruition because it will help the town grow and prosper, he said.

“Appeals are a difficult process and I’m not certain that there’s going to be a clear winner after it all,” said Herchek. “It’s unfortunate that it’s come to that.”

Foothills and Okotoks have a joint planning agreement, so the two municipalities work together on any development that’s on or near the town limits.

The decision is now in the hands of Alberta Municipal Affairs, which will hold a hearing on the matter at some point before Nov. 8.

via cbc.ca

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