Ricardo Ranch Area Structure Plan

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Recently, there has been public interest and discussion about the development of the Ricardo Ranch area, which is located along the Bow River Valley along Calgary’s southern border. This location, like other communities within Calgary’s city limits, shares its space with significant natural environment areas.

It is a priority for the City, as stewards of the environment, to manage our urban environment which supports a healthy and green city. Our goal is to be a leader in environmental stewardship and resilient neighborhoods. Our Environmental Strategy and recently approved Climate Strategy give us the tools and the direction to achieve this goal.

“Area Structure Plans are long-term planning documents that give us the policies and guidelines to develop areas in Calgary in a logical and sustainable way,” says lead planner Chris Wolfe. “When we created the Ricardo Ranch Plan in 2018 and 2019it was a priority for us that future development recognize and respect the natural environment.

Ecological Studies and Ricardo Ranch

specific to Ricardo Ranch Area Structure Plananalyzes and environmental studies have been and will be undertaken at different stages and stages:

1. An initial environmental analysis is undertaken when a Sector Structure Plan (PSA), like the Ricardo Ranch ASP (2019), is created. An ASP identifies areas of environmental significance and flags areas where further environmental analysis and study will be required.

a. The ASP Ricardo Ranch included a Ecological Inventory, And one Open Space Environmental Study Area was identified. Specific additional studies were identified as necessary at later stages.

2. The next stage of environmental analysis begins when a Land Use Change Application and Master Plan is submitted by the landowner. Two applications have been submitted for the Ricard Ranch ASP land. Additional and more detailed environmental studies and analyzes are undertaken at this stage.

a. ASP Ricardo Ranch has identified a Study of the flood fringea Biophysical impact assessmenta Study of the colony of great blue herons and one Slope stability study to better understand and inform decisions regarding the coexistence of people and development in ecologically significant areas.

3. In all cases where land development is proposed, all applicable provincial and municipal regulations must be met or exceeded with respect to environmental protection.

a. Recommendations and decisions specific to Ricardo Ranch ASP have not yet been provided on how the land can be used or developed and what should be protected and conserved, as studies and reviews are ongoing and will continue for some time.

You can follow the process of these specific developments in the Ricardo Ranch area at Calgary.ca/development. When entries are open for public comment, anyone can contribute their views via development map.

The Floodplain and the Ricardo Ranch

The the floodplain includes the “flood channel” and the “flood fringe”. Development is prohibited in the floodway, floodway setback and environmental reserve areas. For more information on Calgary flood maps see: The Story of the Calgary River Flood. The flood fringe can only be developed if mitigation measures (flood protection) are included in the development.

ASP Ricardo Ranch conducted an area-specific study of floodplains in conjunction with planners, environmental specialists, engineering and river morphology specialists to inform the review of the town and guide the planning and design of flood resilience measures. A flood scenario of 1:200 years (or 0.5% annual probability) has been incorporated.

“Our engineering standards at the city make it very unlikely that future development will be affected by flooding,” says Frank Frigo, acting environmental director, “We have ensured that future development will be far enough away from this which we call the Bow River Meander Belt which exceeds the predicted limits that the river could move over the next 200 years.

Proposed flood protection at Ricardo Ranch includes placing artificial earth embankment to raise ground elevations so that buildings, roads, infrastructure and even basements are above flood levels. designated in the City’s Land Use Bylaw.

When all studies, analyzes and reviews are complete, a recommendation will be presented to City Council for consideration and decision.

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