Courtesy City of Calgary

In just over six months time, an area structure plan (ASP) setting out the vision for a natural, amenity-rich, 570-hectare parcel of land in Calgary’s deep south will go before city council.

The proposed new community of Ricardo Ranch is named after an area ranch owned by Calgary Stampede co-founder Senator Patrick Burns, and first established by William Crawley Ricardo.

Four separate landowners – Genesis Land Development, Brookfield Residential, Genstar Development Company and the provincial government (which holds lower benchland areas to be left undeveloped) – now hold property in the proposed community.

The Ricardo Ranch lands feature unique natural amenities, with plains in the north region and native grasslands adjacent to the river in the south. An escarpment with views of the river valley separates the two areas, while a ravine runs along the southern portion.

“We are seeing a lot of demand, and applications coming in, for that area.” – Kevin Froese, City of Calgary community planning manager

As part of the planning process, environmental impact assessments will help determine which land will be available for development. This will help determine the potential population limits at the site.

The ASP process began in January 2017 for lands determined to be both ready and strategically placed under municipal planning guidelines for urban development, says Kevin Froese, a community planning manager with the City of Calgary.

Southeast Calgary has already seen strong population growth in recent years, thanks to the South Health Campus hospital, improved transportation infrastructure and the large urban hub in nearby Seton.

“We are seeing a lot of demand, and applications coming in, for that area,” said Froese.

The Ricardo Ranch property is bounded by Rangeview (an undeveloped community) to the north, other undeveloped lands to the east, the Bow River to the south and Brookfield’s Cranston to the west. The ASP will cover a joint-planning area of Calgary and the Municipal District of Foothills.

Three ASP concepts were presented to an open house in late June attended by City staff, stakeholders and the residents of nearby communities.

Reaction has been generally positive to the preliminary planning documents, Froese says, and in the next month or two, the City will post a “What We Heard” summary on its website, compiled from all feedback channels.

A draft document will then go to the Calgary Planning Commission, with the proposed Ricardo Ranch ASP expected to go to council next January.