October Bearspaw Beat Submission
It’s been almost a year since I was elected, and it’s been quite the experience. While there is a definite benefit to having eight new councillors, there is less opportunity for those with experience to show us the ropes. That said, there is also less ability to be influenced by a “this is how we’ve always done it” mentality.
I do believe that a change in governance was needed in Rocky View. The County is steadily moving away from its rural roots and is becoming increasingly urbanized. As such, we need to be clear and precise in identifying how the County grows. Most importantly, our growth needs to be sustainable and we need to make sure that new development pays for itself. To do this we need to create strong policy and have a Council that follows that policy.
Council recently directed Administration to review the County Plan. While a timeline for this review has not been established, your input will be vital in ensuring this document remains balanced. The County Plan is the master plan that guides development and servicing in Rocky View.
One only needs to look at the number of developers making presentations at Council’s Policy and Priorities Committee (PPC) meetings to understand that they want to make substantive changes to Rocky View. Change is inevitable and developers are there to push their agendas, however, the input of those who wish to develop here must be balanced by the input of those who already live here.
Locally, the Bearspaw Area Structure plan (BASP) is set for review in the coming year. The BASP has not been comprehensively reviewed since it was created in 1994. While there have been amendments over the years, 25 years is a long time. This will be your opportunity to help shape how you would like your community to grow.
The County’s Land Use bylaw is currently being reviewed and will come for public input in the coming months. The Land Use Bylaw controls development by dividing Rocky View County into land use districts, prescribing the uses of land and buildings, and establishing a system for issuing development permits. It has been amended, however, it has not been comprehensively reviewed since 1996.
Lastly, the County is well into rewriting their transportation, water and wastewater, and regional stormwater off-site levies. The proposed changes and updates are required to continue to help fund the County’s transportation network, water and wastewater facilities, and Cooperative Stormwater Management Initiative stormwater infrastructure. The off-site levies should come to Council later this year.