February 8/22 Update
Updated: Nov 16, 2022
• APPLICATION TO REDESIGNATE 80-ACRE AG PARCEL IN DIVISION 3 APPROVED
• PROPOSED SENIORS’ FACILITY REFUSED IN DIVISION 3
• BEARSPAW MEADOW DR DRAINAGE PROJECT BUDGET ADJUSTMENT
• LICENSING OF UNDEVELOPED ROAD ALLOWANCE / RIGHT OF WAYS
• LANGDON HIGH SCHOOL HOOK UP FEE WAIVER DENIED
APPLICATION TO REDESIGNATE 80-ACRE AG PARCEL IN DIVISION 3 APPROVED
An application to redesignate an agricultural parcel from one 80-acre parcel to four 20-acre parcels in Division 3 was approved unanimously. Administration recommended refusal as the applicant had not provided rationale for the new and distinct uses on the land.
The applicant wanted to divide the land to downsize her property and allow her children to move to the area – a rationale that is not supported under current policy. However, in her presentation, the applicant also stated that 20-acre parcels allowed for a myriad of different agricultural pursuits ranging from duck egg farming to keeping goats for landscape weed control. Importantly, the applicant had engaged her neighbours and had unanimous support for her proposal.
As I have mentioned previously, agribusiness is a thriving and expanding sector in Alberta. Agricultural pursuits on smaller parcels are becoming increasingly popular and, in many cases, service a missing need. Agribusiness is one of Alberta’s greatest revenue generators and its diversification allows our Province to edge further towards self-sustainability.
PROPOSED SENIORS’ FACILITY REFUSED IN DIVISION 3
An application to create a 400-unit seniors’ facility on 14-acres at Highway 1 and Glenview Rd was refused. The parcel, located in the Glenbow Ranch ASP, has a split designation – hamlet residential and country residential. Administration recommended refusal as the plan was inconsistent with policy (it was not supported by either the Glenbow Ranch ASP or the County Plan) and was not in keeping with the existing country residential community.
The applicant proposed a multi-phased approach with the first two phases including two 3-storey buildings of 100-units each. The third phase was for four 3-storey buildings and an additional 200-units. The applicant stated that the third phase would not be built until a regional plan for the area was completed - this would deal with storm water and wastewater.
The applicants stated the proposal was a good transition with the existing residential
community as the buildings would not be taller than what is currently allowed under policy. They also said that impacts to traffic would be minimal despite it being a 24/7 care facility.
The overwhelming majority of impacted landowners, however, objected to the proposal citing concerns about the scope of the project, traffic, stormwater and wastewater impacts, as well as general impacts to their country residential quality of life.
Deputy Mayor Kissel’s motion to refuse the application on the grounds that the application was premature and did not fit within the existing community passed unanimously.
BEARSPAW MEADOW DR DRAINAGE PROJECT BUDGET ADJUSTMENT
As you are aware, the last Council approved $5.5 million to fix drainage issues in Bearspaw’s Meadow Dr and Range Rd 25 area. The original scope of the project was for a gravity fed solution, however, due to landowner opposition it was determined that a piped solution involving a lift station was required.
The project was put out to tender late last year and due to the pandemic and increased cost of labour and materials, quotes came in much higher than Administration had anticipated. As a result, Admin asked for a $1.5 million adjustment which Council approved unanimously. The additional funding will come from Provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative grants.
LICENSING OF UNDEVELOPED ROAD ALLOWANCE / RIGHT OF WAYS
In December, Councillor Boehlke introduced a Notice of Motion directing Administration to investigate possible amendments to Rocky View County’s Road Licensing Policy. The
amendments would allow the County to issue a license or permit for the use of any
Undeveloped Road Allowance right-of-way in the County to provide private access to
landowners who own land immediately adjacent to the right-of-way.
On February 8th, Administration came back to Council with a report stating that the County’s policy on leasing of undeveloped road allowances would be better as a bylaw and that this proposal could be implemented similarly to the way the County permits grazing leases on undeveloped road allowances.
The matter will come back for a public hearing after Administration has drafted the bylaw. While a public hearing isn’t mandatory, based on concerns and opposition raised by a number of County residents, Council felt it prudent to ensure that the public is given an opportunity to
express their views on the proposed bylaw.
LANGDON HIGH SCHOOL HOOK UP FEE WAIVER DENIED
In November, the Province decided to construct a high school in Langdon. In reviewing the construction fees, Alberta Infrastructure asked to have the $1.4 million wastewater hook up fee waived. Administration stated that the Province was exempt from off-site levy charges, however, not for hook up fees and this fee would be used to pay down the debt for the County’s East Rocky View Wastewater System.
When local Councillor Al Schule asked if Council had waived the fees for other schools, he was advised we had not. Despite this information, Schule made the motion to waive the fee. However, after Councillors Hanson, Samra, Kissel and I spoke, he quickly realized his motion would not pass, so he promptly withdrew it.
The motion to collect the fees passed unanimously. In my opinion, this is another example of the Province trying to download costs onto municipalities. As well, as Councillor Hanson pointed out, if taxes have to go up to cover this cost, it should be everyone’s education taxes,
not Rocky View’s property taxes.