Since being elected to council in 2014, Councillor Morgan has expressed concern over rapid development in Cochrane.

It's a position he hasn't been successful in pressing home on council for four years now.

So when it came to approving land-use for phase 2 and 3 of the Rivercrest neighbourhood, he was impressed with the design but voted no because he believes the timing is simply wrong.

"It looks like a great neighbourhood. It backs on to a forest, it's close to a school, it's in a pretty good location, lots of nice big homes; it's somewhere that a lot of people would be happy to live. I personally would be happy to live there," says Nagel.

"I didn't vote against it because of the quality of the neighbourhood. I voted against it because I simply don't think Cochrane is ready for more homes to be approved for development. There are already plans for over 10,000 homes to be built in Cochrane. Thousands of those have already been given land-use approval and it's only a matter of the developers applying for the development and building permits and they can go ahead."

Certainly, transportation infrastructure is a concern, but he also points to what he believes is a totally saturated, regressive housing market that is hurting many owners.

"This summer I think Cochrane broke the record for the most homes that we've ever had for sale in our community. At one point there were 400 private listings, besides those offered by developers, and there are only something like 8-9,000 total units in Cochrane. So we're talking one in 20 people were trying to sell their home."

Many of those are in new neighbourhoods and are upside down on their mortgage now, he says. He spoke a homeowner who paid $ 550,000, only to discover the exact updated version just down the road is selling for 10 per cent less.

"So anybody who bought into these new neighbourhoods literally can't sell their houses."

He also believes the town's infrastructure is simply not equipped to handle more growth at this point and until he sees it he won't change his mind.

"Yes, our new council has taken some steps to address traffic infrastructure and yes the province has said they're going to fund the highway interchange but all that stuff is still not done yet. We're not ready to build new homes."

He says council continues to be fed the same line he heard during his first term.

"I've noticed that there's a trend. Whether it's a capital project or new exciting thing, like transit or development, council is always told to just vote in favour, we can always stop it later. Then all of a sudden we get to this tipping point and we're being told by administration that you've come so far you can't stop it now."

Meanwhile, the town has started its budget planning for 2019-2021. While it's far from being finalized, Chief Administrative Officer Dave Devana gave an overview at the Oct. 9 council meeting.  Each year is projected to see over a three per cent tax increase, but only if the town carefully manages its affair and grows four per cent in each of those years.

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