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  • Writer's pictureSamanntha Wright

Bearspaw parcel approved, lands approved for turn lanes off Burma Rd, Bearspaw resevoir task force

2-ACRE PARCEL APPROVED IN BEARSPAW An application to redesignate a Bearspaw property from Residential 2 to Residential 1 to create a 2.63-acre parcel with a 3.08-acre remainder was approved unanimously. The property is located just west of Bearspaw Rd on TWP Rd 262. Administration recommended approval.

Typically applications for lots smaller than 4-acres in Bearspaw require a Concept Scheme, however, because this was one lot on an already heavily fragmented quarter section, Administration stated there was no direct benefit in performing one. There were no letters of support or opposition. There were also no technical concerns regarding servicing, stormwater or lot access. CANAL COURT APPLICATION GIVEN FIRST READING An application to approve 15 lots on a 69-acre property on Canal Court in Division 4 was given first reading on a decision of 6-2. Councillor Kim McKylor and I formed the opposition. Councillor Al Schule recused himself as he had previously worked as a consultant on the proposal. Administration had recommended approval.

Every adjacent neighbour was in opposition to the proposal. These neighbours cited concerns about insufficient availability of well water, traffic impacts, land right-of-ways and ownership, road conditions and the potential for flooding. A neighbour to the south, who is in the process of applying for a marijuana facility was concerned that more residents would severely inhibit his ability to operate in an area otherwise suited for such an endeavour.

Concept schemes are not required in this part of the County, which means that neighbourhood buy-in is essential. I had major concerns over evaporation being an effective enough mechanism in dealing with stormwater along with the potential insufficiency of well water. Given some of the comments of Administration, I also had severe reservations about the lands suitability to handle waste water.

Before second reading could proceed, Councillor McKylor moved to have the application tabled sine die, pending the following considerations of the applicant: 1) The Applicant is to provide a Phase II aquifer testing report for a minimum of seven lots (every second lot) and incorporate a minimum of two observation wells in that testing; 2) The Applicant is to investigate road upgrade options for Canal Court including but not limited to permanent dust control through calcium injection; 3) The Applicant is to investigate access and ownership arrangements associated with Lots 20 and 21 and obtain any necessary legal opinions; and 4) The Applicant is to undertake further community engagement on all raised concerns.

McKylor’s motion was carried unanimously.

SUBDIVISION IN SPRINGBANK APPROVED An application to subdivide two 2-acre parcels in Springbank was approved. The applicant asked to speak to the application as she wanted to have the Transportation off-site levies (TOL) and the need for an Environmental Screening analysis waived. The applicant claimed that the Environmental Screening to determine whether an identified area of the land was considered a wetland or not was too onerous ($3500). She had claimed that the wetland hadn’t had water beyond spring thaw in it for over 20 years.

Councillors Kevin Hanson, Crystal Kissel and I voted against waiving the need for the Environmental Screening. Administration had recommended that Screening be done as a condition of subdivision as it would help ensure that there was one contiguous acre available for on-site development.

Councillor Kissel and I also opposed waiving the TOLs. As Administration indicated, it is highly doubtful that the lands will be further subdivided. As such, I believed that the fees should have been collected. TAX RELIEF PROVIDED TO BEARSPAW HOMEOWNERS Council unanimously supported waiving the municipal taxes for the owners of a home in Church Ranches that suffered from a devastating house fire.

In accordance with the Fire Protocol approved by Council on December 14, 2004, Administration recommends that Council consider cancelling municipal tax related to properties affected by fire. According to the Municipal Government Act, Council may reduce or refund all or part of the municipal and emergency services taxes due to fire loss for the portion of the year the property is uninhabitable.

PORTION OF COUNTY LANDS IN BEARSPAW GIVEN TO ROAD DEDICATION Council approved the use of .08 acres of County Municipal Reserve lands to be used as a right turn lane for traffic turning south off Burma Rd onto Bearspaw Rd.

The whole intersection is being upgraded as part of the widening project of Bearspaw Rd. Turn lanes will be incorporated in both east and west directions. This should help make the intersection much safer.

BEARSPAW RESERVOIR TASK FORCE TERMS OF REFERENCE ESTABLISHED Administration’s request for approval of the Bearspaw Reservoir Task Force Terms of Reference was granted unanimously. The purpose of the Task Force is to explore governance and management strategies for the Bearspaw Reservoir that will proactively address risks related to water quality.

The Bearspaw Reservoir provides source water for potable water use in the City of Calgary and Rocky View County. In total, five county utility providers draw water for thousands of County residents.

The intended outcome is a report that will identify and characterize the risks of water quality and public safety associated with the use of the reservoir and mitigate those risks while improving public safety and emergency response. The report is to be completed by the end of the year and will include the County’s intergovernmental affairs manager, Richard Barss and other qualified specialists who will serve as needed. NOTICE OF MOTION - COCHRANE AG SOCIETY LANDS Councillors Kissel and Hanson brought forward a motion to have the Cochrane and District Agricultural Society Lands “be removed from the land disposal list until a time that Council has a clear understanding as to the best and most appropriate use of the land and provides direction on whether the land asset disposal is in the County's residents' best interest.”

Due to the conflicting information surrounding the sale of the grounds, these two Councillors feel that a decision should not be made by Council until we are provided all facts. The motion will be debated at the July 10th Council Meeting.

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