Judy Harwood, the reeve of the Rural Municipality of Corman Park, says the next move is up to the City of Saskatoon on a proposed solar-powered community that would require city servicing but be located on Corman Park land.

Michelle Berg / Saskatoon StarPhoenix

The reeve of the Rural Municipality of Corman Park says Saskatoon city hall will decide the future of a proposed solar-powered community on the city’s periphery.

In a Thursday interview, Reeve Judy Harwood said the RM council met with representatives from Vancouver-based Arbutus Properties two weeks ago about the proposed Solair community.

Arbutus wants to build the sustainable neighbourhood for 7,000 people on a triangle of land that is mostly located in Corman Park.

“To be really honest, it’s really not our project now because (Arbutus wants) servicing from the city,” Harwood said. “We’re really not a player.”

The City of Saskatoon’s administration has been cool to the proposal, which would disrupt development plans. Arbutus has suggested the $1-billion development should be moved to the front of the queue because of its potential to serve as a blueprint for environmentally sustainable communities.

Harwood acknowledged Solair is a “unique” project, but wondered about other developers who think their projects deserve special treatment.

She cited as an example the $600-million Buffalo Ranch development, which would feature underground streets and energy-efficient homes, proposed for land in Corman Park.

“As far as Corman Park, we would certainly not stand in the way of a major development,” Harwood said. “I don’t want to be the bad guy here.”

The city has compensated the RM using a formula based on property tax revenue when it has acquired land, such as for The Willows neighbourhood.

Harwood said she thinks Arbutus will build the community elsewhere if Saskatoon city hall does not accommodate them.

Last summer, Harwood said she thought Arbutus should have approached Corman Park before the city since the development would take place on land in the RM.

Saskatoon city council voted earlier this month to get more information about how the Arbutus proposal would affect development plans for the eastern edge of the city.





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