September 13/22 Council Update
Updated: Nov 21
·1.98-ACRE PARCEL APPROVED IN BEARSPAW
·APPLICATION TO WAIVE SUBDIVISION CONDITIONS IN DIV 5 DENIED
·ROAD LICENSING BYLAW TABLED
·CALGARY METROPOLITAN REGION BOARD APPROVES GROWTH PLAN
·CMRB’S IMPACTS ON COUNTY DOCUMENTS
1.98-ACRE PARCEL APPROVED IN BEARSPAW
An application to create a 1.98-acre parcel with a 4-acre remainder in Bearspaw was approved unanimously. The parcel is located in the Priority 1 area of the Bearspaw Area Structure Plan (BASP).
While policy requires a concept scheme, Administration cited that it would have little benefit as the area is already heavily subdivided into 2- and 4-acre parcels. Administration identified a concern about a lack of secondary access in the event of an
emergency. However, it was noted that there is potential to connect to Woodland Heights
should the larger parcels to the west be developed in the future.
APPLICATION TO WAIVE SUBDIVISION CONDITIONS DENIED
A request to waive the requirement of a traffic impact assessment (TIA) as a condition of
subdivision for a parcel in Division 5, just east of Airdrie, was refused unanimously.
Alberta Transportation (AT) requested the TIA to determine whether the road needed
upgrading because of the recent subdivisions in the area. However, the applicant felt that
adding one parcel should not trigger such a study.
Administration noted that Provincial regulations supersede municipal rules, so if the condition was waived, the County would have to do the TIA. When asked if the TIA’s scope could be reduced, Administration indicated that would have to be a discussion between the applicant and AT.
While I understand a study may be perceived as onerous, I don’t believe that the County should be on the hook for the study. There is a cost to doing business, in this case subdividing. Furthermore, the applicant had letters of support from neighbours who had also recently applied for subdivision. Given that, it was suggested that the applicant might work together with his neighbours to fund the study.
ROAD LICENSING BYLAW TABLED
Based on a notice of motion by Councillor Boehlke, Administration brought forward a proposed Road Licensing Bylaw to replace the policy on licensing road allowances. The proposed bylaw added “dedicated access” to the acceptable purposes for licensing of undeveloped road allowances. Currently, licenses are only available to adjacent landowners for grazing or cultivation purposes.
While road allowances that are licensed may be gated, public access must be maintained as all road allowances are publicly owned. Unfortunately, in some areas of the County, landowners with licenses are making it impossible for people to access these allowances. From the letters and presentations at the public hearing, it quickly became evident that the proposed changes were creating more questions than answers.
At the end of the public hearing, I made a motion to refer the bylaw back to Administration with the following considerations: defining dedicated access, temporary access and public use; exploring the potential to have signs with County and licensee information installed at licensed entry points; including an appeal process; reviewing lengths of leases (currently one year); and, clarifying what is meant by the term “beneficial interest”.
My motion was supported 6-1 with all but Councillor Schule in favour. Schule felt we should just maintain the status quo. Administration will come to Council with amendments by the end of January.
CALGARY METROPOLITAN REGION BOARD APPROVES GROWTH PLAN
The CMRB was established by the Province in January 2018, with mandatory participation by member municipalities – Airdrie, Calgary, Chestermere, Cochrane, Foothills County, High River, Okotoks, and Rocky View. The Board was mandated to create a Regional Growth Plan, Servicing Plan, and Regional Evaluation Framework (to assess compliance with the Regional Growth Plan). These became effective on August 15th.
The Growth Plan is a statutory plan governing development in the Calgary Metropolitan Region. It is focused on accommodating the next one million people and 600,000 jobs. Rocky View County is forecasted to have 71,439 residents by 2053 (currently 40,000), and to create an additional 69,010 jobs by 2048. Rocky View’s anticipated 13.9% of the region’s employment growth exceeds every other member except Calgary.
The Growth Plan directs new residential and employment growth in the region to Preferred Growth Areas. All Urban Municipalities are identified as Preferred Growth Areas. In the rural municipalities, Preferred Growth Areas are in Joint Planning Areas and Hamlet Growth Areas. Rocky View’s are:
• Two Joint Planning Areas (JPAs)
o JPA 1 – north-east Calgary, south Airdrie, and East/West Balzac in RVC
o JPA 2 – east Calgary, Chestermere, Conrich, Omni and Janet in RVC
• Three hamlets – Langdon, Harmony, and Bragg Creek
As well, existing Area Structure Plans, e.g., Bearspaw, Cochrane North, and Springbank, can continue as currently adopted. Amendments to existing ASPs must comply with the Regional Growth Plan. Elsewhere in the County, residential development can continue in accordance with County policy so long as parcels are no smaller than 2 acres and there are no more than 80 of them in a development. There are also provisions for the creation of rural employment areas, within specified parameters.
CMRB’S IMPACTS ON COUNTY DOCUMENTS
A large portion of the September 13th council meeting focused on the impact of the Regional Growth Plan on outstanding County planning initiatives. Those decisions were as follows:
• MUNCIPAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN REVISIONS
As you may remember, the previous Council attempted to replace the County Plan with a new Municipal Development Plan, which was rejected by the CMRB. At the September 13th meeting,
Administration recommended creating new terms of reference for revising the Municipal
Development Plan to ensure consistency with the Regional Growth Plan. The new terms of reference will come back to Council later this year. Under the CMRB’s rules, the MDP must be revised by August, 2025.
• SPRINGBANK, CONRICH, & JANET ASPs TO PROCEED
While the Regional Growth Plan was being finalized, Administration continued working on updating the Springbank ASP, as well as amending the Conrich and Janet ASPs.
Following some further revisions and additional public engagement, final amendments to the Conrich and Janet ASPs will be considered at public hearings later this year. As for the Springbank ASP, a revised draft, along with opportunities for further public engagement, will be provided later this year with the public hearing anticipated in early 2023.
• BEARSPAW AREA STRUCTURE PLAN (BASP) REVIEW ON HOLD
Due to staffing limitations and the current focus on the above-mentioned ASPs, Administration recommended placing the BASP on hold until May of next year.
While I understand that the document is almost 30 years old, it seemed pointless to rush.
Existing feedback indicates that residents are happy with the country residential feel that the current ASP provides. Furthermore, the public outcry over the rushed Springbank ASP made Deputy Mayor Kissel and I conclude that taking our time to get it right was not only important, but fiscally and socially responsible. The remainder of Council agreed.
Feedback Kissel and I received indicated that many residents felt the previous engagement sessions were lacking. As a result, I asked for additional engagement sessions before moving to the next phase. Administration advised that a timeline/strategy would be discussed when the matter comes before Council again next year.
• BRAGG CREEK HAMLET EXPANSION AREA AMENDMENTS PLACED ON HOLD
Administration indicated that before moving forward with amendments to the Bragg Creek ASP for its hamlet expansion area, they recommended further public engagement around improvements to the Hwy 22/White Ave intersection and the impacts the Gateway development will have on water and wastewater servicing. As Councillor Hanson noted, for Bragg Creek to become a more sustainable community, the community needed to have conversations around the potential for increased density. Per Council direction, Administration will return to Council by next-September for direction on how to proceed.
• GLENMORE TRAIL EAST ASPs QUASHED
The Glenmore Trail ASP was a developer-led ASP terms of reference which were approved by the previous Council. Now that the Regional Growth Plan is in force, Administration advised Council that the Glenmore Trail ASP’s residential and employment plans were not consistent with CMRB policy and conflicted with the County Plan’s policy.
In a 5-2 vote, with all but Schule and Boehlke in support, Council rescinded the terms of reference and discontinued the project.
• ELBOW VIEW ASP RESCINDED
In July 2021, the Elbow View ASP, another developer-led ASP just west of Elbow Valley along Highway 8, was given second reading by the previous Council. However, it failed to pass through the CMRB.
Administration reviewed the ASP and concluded that it would not meet the Regional Growth Plan’s criteria. As a result, they recommended discontinuing the project. Despite an impassioned plea by the developer to keep the ASP on the books, Council voted 5-2 to rescind the ASP, with Boehlke and Schule in opposition. As Administration indicated, keeping the ASP alive sent the wrong message to the CMRB and our municipal neighbours since it neither aligned with our own policy nor the CMRB’s.