The development industry is one of the cornerstones of our economy. There is no denying that. What we build in the future will determine the vibrancy of this community. Affordable housing is critically underserved. Vacant mansions are the last thing we need right now. Tourist homes should be family homes. We need true commercial space to help balance our tax base and not just faux hotels (aka Airbnb). We need to address the needs of middle and lower income families that help keep our community diverse and strong. What we do build we need to do to the absolute best environmental standards possible and not just the minimum.
The development industry is a critical player in helping shape our future. But….what is our vision of the future. Years ago we had a process and document named Mining the Future that helped guide our way. I would argue that it is very much time for a new visioning process. We are no longer Banff’s bedroom community. We aren’t a mining town. But our sense of community, as reported in the last Community Survey, is degrading. Our sense of place and space is changing. Who do we want to be as a town and community? After we answer that question then we can work with the development industry to help us bring that vision into reality.