February 22/22 Council Update
Updated: Nov 16
• MASTER RATES BYLAW APPROVED
• CREATION OF PUBLIC PRESENTATION COMMITTEE (PPC)
• APPLICATION TO CREATE INDUSTRIAL PARCEL IN DIVISION 6 DENIED 4-3
• APPLICATION TO CREATE 4-ACRE LOTS IN DIVISION 3 TABLED
• COUNCIL TO HIRE FACILITATOR TO IMPROVE WORKING RELATIONSHIPS
MASTER RATES BYLAW APPROVED
Council voted unanimously to adopt the proposed Master Rates Bylaw for 2022. Key changes included: clarification on legislated fees for Freedom of Information / Access to Information (FOIP); dog licensing fees (not applicable until January 1, 2023); planning fees for applications referred to the CMRB; servicing fees for the West Balzac servicing area on water/wastewater; a 10% increase to utility fees; and, increasing cemetery fees by up to 5%.
When I asked if the hook up fees for West Balzac would cover the $9.6 million that was taken from the tax stabilization account under the previous council (with no payback mechanism), Administration stated it would cover part of it. They also noted that a levy would also need to be introduced which could take upwards of six months, so having the connection fees in place provided some assurances in the event the applicant comes back within those six months.
CREATION OF PUBLIC PRESENTATION COMMITTEE (PPC)
Throughout the year, Council receives requests from landowners, developers and community groups to make presentations about their potential proposals. Currently, such presentations occur during Council meetings.
In the past, the County had various committees, such as the Governance and Priority
Committee (GPC), where such presentations were made. Due to a dwindling interest, the
previous Council eliminated the committee. However, based on the current Council’s feedback and requests from individuals and groups, this Council felt that reinstating the committee and having on a quarterly basis would be worthwhile. As such, Council directed Administration to create a Terms of Reference for the Public Presentation Committee by March 22nd
APPLICATION TO CREATE INDUSTRIAL PARCEL IN DIVISION 6 DENIED 4-3
An application to redesignate an 8.95-acre parcel in Division 6 from Rural Residential to
Industrial Light was denied. Administration recommended refusal.
In March 2021, the application was tabled so that the applicant could work with Administration to identify a different land use that was more consistent with surrounding residential parcels and the applicant’s existing business (landscaping / snow removal company). However, after reviewing alternative land use districts, the applicant chose not to change and instead returned with the same application he had in 2021. The applicant claimed that other proposed uses would not allow for the residence and business to exist as they did, nor would they allow for the number of vehicle trips required to operate the business.
The applicant also declined to prepare the requisite concept scheme that would consider traffic impacts, development guidelines for the quarter section and a stormwater management plan, citing that it was onerous and would have little benefit. He stated that the business was already operating and landscaping / snow clearing equipment was already on-site.
While the applicant had a number of support letters from surrounding neighbours, the
application was inconsistent with both Rocky View’s intermunicipal development plan with Calgary and the County Plan. As well, a redesignation for Industrial Light would permit significantly more industrial uses than the applicant’s existing business. For those reasons, local Councillor Samra moved to deny the application. His motion passed 4-3 with support from Hanson, Kissel and me.
APPLICATION TO CREATE 4-ACRE LOTS IN DIVISION 3 TABLED
An application to create two 4-acre lots with a 12.9-acre remainder in Division 3 was tabled 4-3. The lands are currently zoned agricultural, however, 4-acre parcels require a change to R-RUR or residential zoning.
Kissel asked to have the matter referred back to Administration stating that smaller parcels were not supported in the predominantly agricultural area. She indicated that she was looking to see if something more in keeping with the area, such as two 10-acre lots, was possible.
Four acres is the minimum parcel size for R-RUR. And while the applicant noted that there were many R-RUR parcels in the area, when I asked if they were four acres, I was advised they were not and that they had restrictions on them that limited their ability to be subdivided into smaller parcels. As a result, I supported Kissel’s request, as did Samra and Mayor Kochan.
COUNCIL TO HIRE FACILITATOR TO IMPROVE WORKING RELATIONSHIPS
Deputy Mayor Kissel’s emergent motion to hire a third-party facilitator to help Council improve its working relationship and provide better leadership for the County passed unanimously.
Kissel indicated the motion was time sensitive since she wanted to ensure the process starts before Council brings in its new CAO. In my opinion, participation in sessions that could help Council better understand its roles while providing tools and skills to improve its working relationships creates a win-win. A win for our stakeholders and County employees and a win for ourselves as Councillors. Administration noted that a facilitator would be paid out of Council’s existing budget for special initiatives and did not require a budget adjustment.