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Welcome to Banff The battle over Urban Development in Banff National ParkBanff National Park is the most highly developed national park in the world It is in complete disarray and has been overcome by development Wildlife habitat has been destroyed by the ski hills the Trans-Canada Highway the CP railway the Banff townsite and by many wreck-reationists that use the park as their playgroundThe September 16th 1997 decision by Federal Heritage Minister Sheila Copps to deny approval of the Banff Town councils Community Plan made sure that questions over the proper extent of urban development within this national Park town to continue well into the year 2000 Banffs Community Plan to guide overall growth was developed through a two-year process of community input and consultations a process that nonetheless left some businesspeople and many environmentalists feeling that their concerns had not been addressed Opposition from these disgruntled groups undoubtedly contributed to the Ministers decision to send Banffs politicians back to the drawing board Beaubien ElisabethThe Commercial and residential development within the Banff town site has been an emotionally charged issue for many years The intervention of the federal minister in with this instance marks Ottawas return to a field that has largely distanced itself since the town site gained a limited form of municipal autonomy in 1990 Before that time decisions about the form and the extent of the development in Banff were the responsibility of National Parks officials Lock Harvey However the desire of local business and community leaders to have more say in such decisions combined with Ottawas wish to reduce the administrative burdens generated by a town of more than 6000 permanent residents led to the creation in Banff of the first municipal government within the boarders of any Canadian national park This arrangement appears to have served its purpose development issues in Banff have probably never received so much public attention input and debate as they have within this decade yet
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