March Bearspaw Beat - Public participation - Scott Property update -Ascension Receives first reading
Solid policy documents provide the framework around development, and, as you are aware, many of our key documents are under review – the County Plan, the Land-Use Bylaw, the Bearspaw Area Structure plan, to name a few. Change is inevitable. However, the questions remain, how much change, what does change look like, and, where should this change occur?
I cannot stress enough the importance of your input into these documents. Public feedback is critical to ensuring that the policy decisions this Council makes reflect what those who elected us want this County to look like.
In Bearspaw, there are a couple of large developments in the works. North of the 1A, Lehigh Hanson recently stated that they intend to apply for an aggregate extraction operation (gravel pit) at its Scott Property later this year. The “Scott Property” constitutes 600-acres at the NW corner of Rocky Ridge Rd and Burma Rd.
According to information provided by Lehigh at their open house on February 8th, they are proposing the use of a covered conveyor system that will run east along Burma Rd and south along 85th St to Lehigh’s facility on 112thAve. Their plan is to extract and do preliminary processing onsite with final processing occurring at their Spy Hill site. For more information, or to be placed on their contact list, please visit – www.scottpropertyproject.com.
South of the 1A, the Ascension application received first reading on January 28th. The application seeks to redesignate the SW corner of 1A and 12 Mile Coulee into mixed-use residential / commercial space. Administration provided Council with three options: give the application first reading; table it until the review of the Bearspaw Area Structure Plan is completed; or, refuse it. My motion to table the application pending the outcome of the BASP review was defeated in a 6-3 decision, with only Councillors Hanson and Kissel supporting my motion. The Council majority instead granted the application first reading.
So, what does first reading mean? As the County website states “it does not mean Council approves of the bylaw, only that they (Council) believe it is worth a closer look…information is prepared, reports completed, and the public given an opportunity to provide their input.” There will be a public hearing, at a later date, to assess the merits of the application.
Due to Ascension’s size, almost two quarter sections, I believe that as many residents as possible should be included in the circulation area for the public hearing. As such, I asked to have the notification area expanded from 800m to 1600m. My motion passed 6-3 with Councillors Henn, Gautreau and Deputy Reeve Schule in opposition. More information can be found on the County website – www.rockyview.ca – Proposed Conceptual Schemes – Ascension.