Budget adjustment, Grant monies, Development approved, County plan review
BUDGET ADJUSTMENT OF $1.7 MILLION FOR ROAD UPGRADE Administration requested a $1.7 million budget adjustment to accommodate the actual construction costs for Range Rd 290 subgrade reconstruction. The original cost estimate of $2 million neglected to include raising/lowering the road by up to 2m in parts or lowering the transmission main to align with the road’s new profile.
My comment to staff was that while the cost is what it is, moving forward we must endeavour to do better cost modelling so that cost estimations more accurately reflect the true cost. A budget adjustment of almost double the original quote is unacceptable. Engineering assured Council that improvements are in the works.
ADDITIONAL MUNICIPAL SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE (MSI) FUNDING GRANTED On a positive note, the province approved additional grant monies via MSI funding. As a result, the following Council authorizations to incur indebtedness on the following projects were rescinded - $750,000 for a salt and storage building, $925,000 for paving RR 284 and $965,000 for paving of TWP Rd 270.
SPECIALIZED TRANSPORTATION GRANT APPROVED FOR HANDIBUS $273,700 was granted to the Rocky View Regional Handibus Society to subsidize transportation costs for medical and or therapeutic appointments for seniors and persons with disabilities who reside in the County. This is a per capita rate of $7.20.
If you feel this service could be of assistance to either yourself or a family member - please check out their website - http://www.rockyviewbus.ca/
DIVISION 9 REDESIGNATION APPROVED Despite Administration recommending refusal, Council unanimously passed an application to divide a 40-acre parcel into two 20-acre lots. Refusal was recommended as the lands were not within a fragmented quarter (more than 6 parcels in one quarter section) and the applicant had not performed a ground water supply evaluation.
The fragmentation criteria is primarily designed to protect agricultural lands from losing their agricultural nature and use. However, the subject lands are located in a heavily treed area (far NW of the County) that is not conducive to agricultural activity.
I did have concerns about the water supply evaluation but the remainder on Council asserted that even if water could not be provided via well, there was the ability to use a cistern. After some debate, area councillor, Crystal Kissel, felt that the water feasibility could be deferred until subdivision and the application was approved 8-0.
2 ACRE LOT DIVISION APPROVED IN DIVISION 3 The application to divide a 5+ acre lot at the SW corner of Grand View Estates in Division 3 into a 2-acre lot with a 3+ acre remainder was approved 7-1. Deputy Reeve Jerry Gautreau was the lone standout. Area councillor Kevin Hanson was absent from the meeting. Administration recommended approval.
Access to the proposed lands is through a panhandle driveway down the middle of two existing properties in Grand View. Those who spoke in opposition were primarily concerned with potential traffic impacts on the existing quiet cul-de-sac as the owner runs a landscaping business. As well, they cited the issue of slope stability and whether the property should belong to the HOA (not a redesignation issue).
While the access to the property was in no doubt bizarre, the arrangement was made prior to the construction of the community and the panhandle driveway was on title. Slope stability was addressed by the applicant’s engineer and the applicant stated that his business is not home based; rather he operates out of a space he owns elsewhere, meaning the traffic impact would be strictly of a residential nature.
DIVISION 3 APPLICATION APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY An application to approve six 2 and 3-acre lots south of Elbow Valley West was approved unanimously. The area surrounding the proposed development is already heavily fragmented with similar parcel sizes. Administration recommended approval.
The majority of residents who spoke at the hearing were not against the proposal rather had some concerns with potential water problems, as the area had some flooding issues believed to be created by previous development.
While technical considerations are given at the subdivision stage, the applicant hired an engineer who spoke to the issues around stormwater. After asking questions of the engineer and Administration, I believed that sufficient preliminary work had been done and that stormwater management could be handled at the subdivision stage.
SUBDIVISION IN HARMONY APPROVED An application to increase the Harmony development (Division 2 – Springbank) by 119 single detached lots, 4 townhome lots, 2 municipal reserve lots, 7 open space lots and a beach club/multi-family lot was approved unanimously.
As conditions of subdivision the applicant must address issues regarding potable water and waste-water servicing. Harmony Advanced Water Systems Corporation Inc. (HAWSCO) is the franchised water and wastewater utility provider for the Harmony development area. As part of previous development approvals, the Applicant submitted an Integrated Water Systems Master Plan. All applicable levies will be collected.
COCHRANE NORTH GIVEN THIRD READING In January, an application to create an area structure plan amendment and create a DC-Bylaw for 317 acres of land in Cochrane North was given first reading. Second reading was placed on hold pending the applicant addressing the following four matters:
1. Provide clarification on the earliest timing of the construction and installation of the storm water management pipe and outlet to the Bow River; 2. Reconsider the road network design, including questions of access; 3. Prepare detailed policy regarding the necessary licensing and approvals to ensure appropriate water and waste water servicing to the proposed development; and 4. Provide a comparison of density levels with other areas of the County.
The applicant provided the necessary information to address the above concerns, providing clearer guidelines as to when an outfall pipe will be constructed and how/when they will engage provincial regulating bodies. As such, the application was unanimously provided second and third reading.
MOTION TO REVIEW THE COUNTY PLAN A motion was made by Councillor Al Schule to review the County Plan. While I believe the documents is fairly sound as written, it is 5 years old.
The original commitment was to review the plan every year. While Administration does do that, I cannot argue that the document should be brought forward for Council and public review from time to time. Schule‘s motion passed unanimously.
MAY IS CENSUS MONTH - PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO FILL OUT YOUR CENSUS!!!