November 15/23 Council Update
Updated: Feb 5
MOTION TO CREATE TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR AN AGGREGATE RESOURCE PLAN APPROVED
On October 27th, Mayor Kissel and I introduced a notice of motion to direct Administration to commence work on an Aggregate Resource Plan (ARP). On November 15th, Council debated the motion and I am pleased to say it passed unanimously. Councillor Kochan was absent.
When Council held its strategic planning meeting in June, an ARP ranked in the top 10 of our strategic initiatives. As such, Mayor Kissel and I felt it important to have the plan acknowledged in preparation of the 2023 budget discussions.
Administration will come back with a report no later than March 31, 2023 outlining Terms of Reference for the ARP and cost estimate based on a completion date of October 31, 2024. The Terms of Reference will guide the process of developing an aggregate extraction policy and aggregate management plan.
Our motion acknowledged that much of the work already undertaken on the previous
Aggregate Resource Plan can be salvaged and worked into a new document. Both Kissel and I acknowledge that gravel is a necessity in our society and providing solid rules around where and how it can be extracted provides wins for both residents and industry alike.
DIVISION 6 APPLICATION TO CREATE TWO 10-ACRE LOTS REFERRED TO ADMINISTRATION
An application to redesignate a 20-acre parcel to create two 10-acre parcels in Division 6 was referred back to Administration. Administration recommended approval.
The 20-acre parcel is part of a quarter section that was subdivided into 20-acre parcels in the 1970s. This would be the first parcel to subdivide further. 21 letters of opposition were
received from neighbouring residents. Their concerns ranged from insufficient water to the impact on stormwater (there is a wetland that has experienced seasonal flooding) and precedence for other parcels to do the same which many believed would impact the
agricultural nature of the community.
Local Councillor Boehlke made a motion to refuse the application citing the flooding concerns and the long-term problems one-off development create. His motion failed in a 3-3 tie with only Kissel and me supporting him.
Because the lands are agricultural, current policy doesn’t require a conceptual scheme which would provide assurances for how the quarter section would develop in the future.
Councillor Hanson felt it was the County’s responsibility to look at these types of communities and plan them comprehensively. I disagree. There are cost recovery mechanisms in place to reimburse the initial applicant for the costs of preparing a concept scheme from those who subdivide in the future. This allows for comprehensive rather than piecemeal planning.
Councillor Schule made a follow-up motion referring the application back to Administration so that the applicant could do a lot and road plan for the whole quarter section, as well as a stormwater management plan. His motion passed unanimously.
TWO APPLICATIONS TO REDESIGNATE TO INDUSTRIAL IN DIVISION 6 REFUSED
On November 15th, Council heard two applications to redesignate lands to light industrial in Division 6. Administration recommended refusal of both.
The first application sought to redesignate a 4-acre residential parcel to accommodate truck storage. The parcel is located in a transition zone between industrial and residential areas of the Conrich Area Structure Plan.
Residents in neighbouring parcels opposed the plan stating that truck storage was an
incompatible use with their parcels in that it would negatively impact the use and enjoyment of their homes. They cited concerns over the impact of 20 trucks using a panhandle for access in terms of traffic, noise, and fumes.
Despite the applicant stating they would heavily shield the neighbours through landscaping, Council voted unanimously to reject the proposal on the logic that outdoor storage is not permitted in the transition area.
The second application was to redesignate an 18.7-acre parcel from agricultural to light
industrial to accommodate industrial development. The parcel is located immediately south of the Janet Area Structure Plan.
The application was inconsistent with the County Plan and with the Regional Growth Plan. The County Plan directs business development to locate within ASPs unless there is a solid rationale for locating it elsewhere (which was not provided). As well, under the Regional Growth Plan, the proposed industrial use would be a Rural Employment Area outside of a preferred growth area, which require the creation of an Area Structure Plan. Since the subject lands are immediately outside rather than inside an ASP, Council unanimously refused the application.