• Samanntha Wright

January 25, 2022 Council Update

Updated: Nov 16


 APPLICATION TO CREATE S-FUD IN DIVISION 5 TABLED

 MUNICIPAL PLANNING COMMISSION COMING TO AN END

 BEARSPAW AREA STRUCTURE PLAN REVIEW

 BRAGG CREEK EXPANSION STRATEGY AND CONRICH FUTURE EXPANSION AREA


APPLICATION TO CREATE S-FUD IN DIVISION 5 TABLED

An application to redesignate a 140-acre parcel from Agricultural Lands to S-FUD in Division 5 was tabled. Administration recommended refusal.


One of the criteria for S-FUD is that the lands be located in an area structure plan. This parcel was not. The proposal was to utilize 10-acres for truck storage, however, the application sought to redesignate the entire parcel, meaning that the entire parcel could theoretically be used as such.


Councillor Boehlke argued that the size of any truck storage operation would be the discretion of the development authority. However, Administration noted it would be difficult to say no to the whole parcel if the whole parcel was approved.


The applicant’s consultant outlined how he believed S-FUD should be interpreted and what its true intent was. Boehlke’s motion to approve the application failed. I then made a motion to refuse the application, which also failed. Finally, a tabling motion was approved unanimously directing Administration to hold a workshop so that Council could understand the intended purpose for S-FUD once and for all. Once that happens, the application will come back to Council for a decision.


MUNICIPAL PLANNING COMMISSION (MPC) COMING TO AN END

Originally, MPC was brought forward on the recommendation of previous CAO Al Hoggan to streamline the development authority process. However, it has become clear that the

Municipal Planning Commission is more of a make-work project for all involved, one that has little benefit to ratepayers, Administration, or Council.


It was noted that the increased workload for Administration to prepare for MPC was not

meeting the strategic goal of timely and efficient customer service delivery. Furthermore, it added a layer of bureaucracy and created a more complicated decision-making framework.


While MPC allows for Council to have greater oversight, it also allows for greater deviation from policy and therefore, provides less consistency. While making subdivision and development permit decisions at MPC allows for adjustments to policy that may be outdated, in my opinion, outdated policy should be revised rather than having council provide exceptions on an ad hoc basis. Council voted unanimously to dissolve MPC.

Since eliminating MPC will impact numerous County policies and bylaws, Administration will bring a report back to Council no later than April 1 st detailing all proposed changes.


Based on Administration’s recommendations, subdivision applications at the request of the applicant will still come to Council, as will subdivision applications where there are any objections from stakeholders in the circulation area, neigbouring municipalities, school boards or government agencies. When Administration brings back its report, Council will have the opportunity to make a final decision on which subdivision and/or development permit applications should be dealt with by Council and which should be delegated to Administration.


BEARSPAW AREA STRUCTURE PLAN REVIEW

Administration requested Council input as to whether it should proceed with the Bearspaw Area Structure Plan (BASP) Review or table it pending the outcome of the Regional Growth Plan and Council discussions around its direction on growth.

Administration recommended waiting until the CMRB’s Growth Plan is approved by the

province to make it easier to develop a revised BASP that will be consistent with CMRB

requirements.


Although the BASP is 27 years old, Administration acknowledged that initial public engagement indicated that Bearspaw residents support their country residential lifestyle and current policy. Administration also noted that work on the BASP is at a relatively early stage making it less disruptive to delay this project than some others where work is significantly more advanced and/or where there are more development pressures. As a result, Council voted unanimously to place the review on hold. Administration will present a report on the project within two months of the Minister signing off on the Regional Growth Plan.


BRAGG CREEK EXPANSION STRATEGY & CONRICH FUTURE EXPANSION AREA

Administration also sought direction on the Bragg Creek Hamlet Expansion Strategy and Conrich ASP Future Policy Area. Unlike with the BASP, in both cases, Admin recommended that the projects continue.


In 2020, the previous Council directed Administration to look at options to increase densities to cover the costs of servicing the 214-acres identified in the Bragg Creek ASP as its hamlet expansion area. Councillor Hanson argued that there was no need to rush and that delaying the amendments would permit proposed land uses in the hamlet expansion area to reflect the recently approved Gateway project in the core of the hamlet and its impact on growth and water / wastewater servicing costs. As such, he moved to table the document pending the outcome of the Regional Growth Plan. His motion was supported 5-2, with Schule and Boehlke in opposition.


With regards to the Conrich Future Expansion Area, Council concurred with Administration’s recommendation to continue the development of land use policies for this area within the Conrich ASP. It has become increasingly evident that there are significant development pressures in this area. As well, the review was well into Phase 3 meaning that amendments were being finalized in conjunction with technical studies.


Administration indicated that they anticipated the project could be finalized for a public hearing in late spring 2022. As such, Council voted unanimously to proceed with the Conrich Future Policy Area Structure Plan amendments.


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