Langdon Policing Solution, Strathmore RCMP position renewed, Firearms Bylaw, CAP levy increased...
LANGDON POLICING SOLUTION: By April 1, 2020, the hamlet of Langdon must identify a policing solution to address the fact its population now exceeds 5,000. To accomplish this, the county provided three options:
1. Provision of municipal policing services (expand what exists) 2. Regional police servicing 3. Creation of County police service
At this stage, the exact number of additional police officers needed is unknown, however, it was indicated it would be a minimum of two. While there is interest in regional policing, it was determined that the best short-term solution would be to expand existing services and hire additional officers to operate out of the Strathmore Division. The motion was supported unanimously.
ENHANCED STRATHMORE RCMP POSITION RENEWED
The request to renew Rocky View’s enhanced RCMP position based in the Strathmore detachment was unanimously supported by Council. Enhanced officers are paid for by the County and are over and above provincially provided policing for the area. Each officer comes at a cost of approximately $165,000 p.a. (this includes a vehicle) and the County has 3 enhanced officers – one in Cochrane, Airdrie and Strathmore.
FIREARMS BYLAW Council provided first and second reading to the bylaw that prohibits the use of firearms in certain regions of the county. The County’s firearms bylaw came into existence in 2003. However, as drafted, it is not enforceable because it does not have Ministerial approval.
As part of the bylaw’s review, definitions were made clearer and higher density communities that were not included in the 2003 version were added, e.g. Cochrane North and East Balzac. Bearspaw’s proposed boundaries remained as described in the 2003 bylaw as they are already quite comprehensive. To see the map, click here.
There was much discussion about the need for the inclusion of comprehensive maps in the bylaw so residents could easily understand which lands are included in the no-shooting areas.
An exemption was also provided to lands zoned Ranch and Farm, Ranch and Farm 2, Ranch and Farm 3, Agricultural holdings or Farmstead. If your property falls under one of these designations, you may still utilize a firearm for pest control purposes.
The bylaw will now go to the Province for the Minister’s approval. Once that occurs, it will come back to Council for third reading.
CAP LEVY INCREASED TO $0.40 PER TONNE The Community Aggregate Payment (CAP) levy was increased from $0.25 to $0.40 per tonne. The increase is estimated to provide the county with an additional $360,000 per year. Administration recommended it go to the public for consultation prior to its implementation.
After some discussion, Council decided that putting the matter out to public consultation would further setback an already heavily delayed process. As such, Council voted unanimously to have the county start collecting the levy immediately.
To provide some context, earlier this year, the Alberta Sand and Gravel Association (ASGA) had written a letter asking Council to delay charging the fee until July. They claimed their members had already tendered out their bids and this increase was not considered in those bids. ASGA’s letter was submitted despite the Province announcing last year that this levy increase was available for municipalities to charge as of January 1st, 2018.
In a previous decision, Council had denied ASGA’s request. Instead, Administration was directed to implement the levy as soon as possible. While one would assume that a simple levy increase of $0.15 per tonne could be completed rather quickly, Administration had some concerns with how the original document was drafted. As a result, it was sent to external counsel to clarify language and remove any ambiguous phrasing that Administration felt may have left us open to legal challenge.
DIVISION 1 APPLICATION FOR 20-ACRE PARCEL APPROVED
The application to approve a 20-acre parcel leaving an 87-acre remainder was approved in Bragg Creek. There were 5 letters of support. Administration had recommended approval.
While the applicant claimed she only needed 10 acres, under the proposed land-use bylaw, policy only allows for a minimum parcel of 20-acres. There was discussion around amending the bylaw so that smaller parcels may be permitted. However, until that is done, Council chose to respect the policy advice given by Staff and approved the application as proposed.
ATKINS DEVELOPMENT APPROVED IN DIVISION 3 An application to redesignate a 40-acre parcel to accommodate nine lots in Springbank was unanimously approved. The application sought to reduce the existing home’s lot to 5 acres, while creating eight additional 3.5-4 acre lots with the vision of creating a gated community.
The applicant asked to have a reduced area for what was referred to as the Atkins’ conceptual scheme. His reasoning included fragmentation of surrounding lands and considerable topographical constraints - the lands to the north are separated by a large undevelopable hill. Administration recommended approval.
Concerns were raised regarding the location of the proposed access point to the community. The application also proposed the use of wells despite there being a local water provider. The applicant hired a hydrogeologist to address the water concerns and the viability of the wells. Prior to coming to subdivision, the applicant also committed to continue working with the local water provider as piped water is the preferred option.
SUBDIVISION APPLICATION APPROVED 8-1 IN DIVISION 6 An application to divide a 20-acre parcel into two 10-acre parcels was approved 8-1. I was the lone one. Simple reason, I did not support waiving the Municipal Reserve (MR) fees.
Councillor Schule had originally proposed removing MR fees off both parcels but due to some opposition changed it to waiving it for one of the lots. Administration had recommended collecting all MR fees.