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  • Writer's pictureSamanntha Wright

November 29/22 Council Update

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PPLICATION FOR LIGHT INDUSTRIAL IN DIVISION 6 REFUSED 5-2

An application to redesignate a parcel from Direct Control District 146 to light industrial in

Division 6 was refused. Administration recommended refusal.


The lands are currently being used for truck storage, a use that is not permitted under the DC Bylaw. To bring the property into compliance, the applicant applied for the redesignation and also indicated they planned to create a truck driving instructional facility which is also not a recognized use under the Direct Control district.


Like the application on November 15th, this change would create a regional employment area outside of an area structure plan which is not supported under the Regional Growth Plan. The use is also not supported by the County Plan or the Inter-municipal Development Plan and, to complicate matters further, the lands are located in the area Calgary is proposing to annex.


Deputy Mayor Samra made the motion to approve the application, however his motion failed 5-2 with support from Schule. His follow-up motion to refuse the application was successful with only Schule in opposition.


APPLICATION TO CREATE FOUR PARCELS IN DIV 5 REFUSED

An application to create four 40-acre parcels on an undeveloped quarter section with no access to a developed road in Division 5 was refused unanimously. Administration recommended refusal.


The applicant stated that they wanted to subdivide the land to accommodate family; however, they provided no rationale for subdivision other than estate planning reasons, which is not permitted under the County Plan. They also stated that the land had limitations in terms of agricultural pursuits outside of grazing.


The quality of the lands was disputed by a neighbour who runs a successful cattle operation on the neighbouring parcels. Furthermore, the soil map indicated that 70 acres of the subject land which are in the middle of all the proposed parcels are some of the best in the County.


As well, there was significant neighbour opposition to the proposal. Concerns ranged from access to limited water availability to development impacts on soil as portions of the lands were a known saline seep and disruption caused by developing four houses would have impacts on the overall community. Boehlke’s motion to refuse the application, based on the above noted reasons, passed unanimously.


LANGDON LIBRARY SOCIETY OPERATIONAL FUNDING REQUEST APPROVED

In 2021, the Cereal Library offered Langdon its library. As a result, the Langdon Library Society was formed to establish a physical presence within the hamlet.


Previously, Council directed the Society to explore partnership options with other local

community groups to expand their funding sources and resources to address larger needs. Administration worked with the Society, in partnership with the Langdon Community Association (LCA), to develop a business case for a multi-purpose library and youth centre. This was proposed as an equal cost-sharing collaboration between the Society and the LCA. In April, Council approved the Society’s portion of capital funding for a modular unit in Langdon.


As per the Provincial Libraries Act, public libraries are funded primarily by the local municipality. Earlier this year, the Langdon Library Society presented a draft 3-year operating budget; however, as the project evolved it became clear a revised budget was required. With oversight from the regional Marigold Library organization and Rocky View County Administration, the Society updated its three-year operating budget.


In summary, the Society determined it needed $69,934 in bridge funding to support library operations from its opening in December until June 2023. The funds will come from the County’s library reserve which currently sits at $424,000. In addition, the Society also identified that funding over and above Rocky View’s annual $4 per capita will be required to sustain the library.


Administration noted that in many municipalities per capita funding ranges between $25-33. While there is no doubt that libraries provide a valuable service to a community, I asked whether any proposed fee increases would be charged to the catchment area or the entire County – the current catchment area is estimated to be 7,045 residents. Administration advised that would be a future decision of Council. Council unanimously approved the funding request.


LANGDON YOUTH AND LIBRARY CENTRE NAMING

Naming of facilities is a source of revenue for community associations to offset capital costs for the development of new facilities. In October, the Langdon Community Association advised the County that they entered into an agreement with Qualico Development for the proposed naming of the new community library and youth centre as Qualico Resource Centre.


When asked what Qualico’s contribution was, Administration indicated that the LCA had asked that the amount be kept confidential. This raised concern amongst Council. After some debate, a representative from the LCA asked to speak to the issue. On receiving approval to speak, he advised Council that Qualico committed to providing a $100,000 for a 5-year contract.


As per policy, the naming of a facility requires Council approval. Given the updated

information, Council approved the naming unanimously. In recognition of the shortcomings of the current Facility Naming Rights policy, Administration committed to review the policy.


GARDNER ASP RESCINDED IN A 5-2 VOTE

The Terms of Reference for the developer-funded Gardner Area Structure Plan, in the west Highway 8 area of the County, was approved by Council in January 2021. Although the project was slated to be completed by the end of 2021, Administration noted that no significant work or public engagement has been completed.


Administration assessed the ASP project against the policies of the Regional Growth Plan and concluded that it would not support a proposed new settlement in this location. As such, Administration recommended that the Terms of Reference for the Gardner ASP be rescinded.


In a 5-2 decision, with all but Schule and Boehlke in support, Council rescinded the Gardner ASP. Boehlke felt that there was no harm in keeping the project on the books for future use. In my opinion, doing that would send the wrong message to our neighbouring municipalities, especially given that Council recently rescinded the terms of reference for the Elbow View ASP which was contiguous with existing development, not leapfrog development like the Gardner

ASP.


PROCEDURE BYLAW AMENDMENTS TO ALLOW THREE READINGS AFTER A PUBLIC HEARING

As noted in my September update, Council directed Administration to amend the Procedure Bylaw to allow for three readings after a public hearing. Holding a public hearing before first reading allows Council to consider all three readings at the same meeting unless otherwise restricted by legislation. For example, road closure bylaws must be referred to the Minister of Transportation before second reading and bylaws for statutory plans need to be referred to the Calgary Metropolitan Regional Board prior to third reading.


Administration noted that staff resources could be redirected to planning applications by

considering all three readings after public hearing at one Council meeting. These resources could improve application timelines and enhance customer service.

Administration advised that there are approximately 30 public hearings that will continue under the old format of providing first reading in advance of the public hearing. January 10, 2023 public hearings will be the first under the new format.


The amendment was approved 5-2 with Boehlke and Schule in opposition.

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