APRIL 22 COUNCIL UPDATE
Updated: Nov 16, 2022
• 4-ACRE PARCEL NEAR BOTTREL REFUSED
• REDESIGNATION FOR FUTURE BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT APPROVED IN BEARSPAW
• THREE PARCELS APPROVED IN BEARSPAW
• TWO 10-ACRE PARCELS APPROVED IN DIVISION 3
• SOLAR FARM DENIED IN DIVISION 5
4-ACRE PARCEL NEAR BOTTREL REFUSED
An application to create a 4-acre parcel with a 74-acre remainder near Bottrel was refused. Administration recommended refusal as it was neither a first parcel out nor a fragmented quarter section.
The applicant stated that he wanted to redesignate the 4-acres from Agricultural to Residential Rural (R-RUR) to accommodate family. The property already had a secondary dwelling on-site that the applicants were renting out.
While the applicant secured letters of support from neighbours further afield, the neighbours most impacted by the application were opposed to the application stating that rural acreages were not compatible with the agricultural pursuits of the community, that it would set a precedence, and acreage parcels belonged in country residential areas like Bearspaw.
I agreed with the letters of opposition and Administration’s recommendation. My motion to refuse the application passed 4-2 with Councillors Boehlke and Schule in opposition.
REDESIGNATION FOR FUTURE BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT APPROVED IN BEARSPAW
An application to redesignate a parcel from Country Residential (R-CRD) to Residential Rural (R-RUR) to accommodate a future boundary adjustment in the Woodland area of Bearspaw was approved unanimously.
The applicant currently owns a 3.26-acre parcel that is part of the Woodland Range Concept Scheme. He wants to purchase 5 acres from his neighbour to create an 8.26-acre parcel. The current R-CRD designation allows for parcels as small as 1.98-acres, however the parcel he wants to purchase is zoned R-RUR. As a result, Administration felt it was best to redesignate the 3.26-acres to align with the zoning on the existing 5-acre parcel.
While there is a risk the applicant will not purchase the 5-acres and have a parcel that is smaller than the 3.95-acres permitted under R-RUR zoning, it was deemed to be insignificant. The application will come back to Council for a boundary adjustment once the land is purchased.
THREE PARCELS APPROVED IN BEARSPAW
An application to create three parcels ranging in size from 1.98-acres to 2.5-acres in Bearspaw was approved unanimously. Administration recommended approval.
While there is a water main in the area, it does not extend to the proposed lots. The applicantstated that paying $200k to extend the water line would be cost prohibitive and there was sufficient water to have the lots serviced by wells.
Administration’s report stated that there would be a deferred services agreement in their
subdivision conditions stating the landowners would have to tie-in once piped water became available. While I recognize this is not the subdivision stage, it highlights a weakness in the County’s approach to ensuring that parcels are connected to piped water servicing where it is available. With no possibility for further subdivision, it is not clear what would trigger a deferred service agreement – something I believe needs to be reviewed.
TWO 10-ACRE PARCELS APPROVED IN DIVISION 3
On April 26th, an application in the Horse Creek area of Division 3 that was tabled in February returned to Council. The applicant was asked to work with Administration to explore the potential of creating two 10-acre parcels with a modifier. Given that the lands are located in a predominantly agricultural area, the modifier would serve to prohibit further subdivision.
The applicant stated that they had worked with Administration and instead of creating two 4-acre parcels with a 12-acre remainder that they proposed two 5-acre parcels with a 10-acre remainder. The option of creating two 10-acre lots was also provided to Council.
While Administration recommended allowing the applicant to have the two 5-acre parcels, based on public feedback, local Councillor Crystal Kissel believed that the parcels were too small and limited the potential for agricultural pursuits. As a result, she moved to allow for the two 10-acre parcels. Her motion passed unanimously.
SOLAR FARM DENIED IN DIVISION 5
An application to redesignate agricultural lands to facilitate a 640-acre solar farm in Division 5 (north of Airdrie) was refused. Administration recommended approval.
The rationale for locating the proposal on the subject site was due to its ease of access to the provincial electrical grid, reducing the need for large scale electrical infrastructure. However, the application faced considerable opposition from local landowners who argued that this was some of the most valuable and productive agricultural land in the region. They also cited concerns over the technology involved in solar farms as well as the lack of public engagement.
While the applicant noted that technology around solar had come leaps and bounds over the last few years, local Councillor Boehlke moved to refuse the application sharing the concerns raised by the opposition. His motion passed 6-1 with all but Councillor Samra in support.