Div 7 Business Hwy Frontage & Div 2 River's Edge application held at first reading, Joint Hwy 1 ASP
· SANCTIONS ON THREE COUNCILLORS EXTENDED TO INCLUDE GPC
· DIVISION 7 APPLICATION FOR BUSINESS HIGHWAY FRONTAGE HELD AT 1st READING
· DIVISION 2 RIVER’S EDGE CONCEPT SCHEME HELD AT 1st READING
· APPLICATION TO CREATE FOUR 20-ACRE PARCELS IN DIVISION 9 APPROVED
· AMENDMENTS TO HARMONY DIRECT CONTROL BYLAW APPROVED
· TOWNSHIP ROAD 250 TRANSITION AREA APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY
· JOINT HIGHWAY 1 CORRIDOR AREA STRUCTURE PLAN
· CAPITAL PROJECTS MANAGEMENT UPDATE
· AMENDMENTS TO PROCEDURE BYLAW PLACED ON HOLD
SANCTIONS ON THREE COUNCILLORS EXTENDED TO INCLUDE THE GOVERNANCE AND PRIORITIES COMMITTEE (GPC)
If the sanctions against Councillors Hanson, Kissel and I already face aren’t restrictive enough, the remainder of Council voted to change the Terms of Reference of the Governance and Priorities committee so that the three of us would no longer sit on the committee.
As was noted recently by Rocky View Weekly, for sanctions that were supposedly vetted by a lawyer, it is unfathomable how this wasn’t addressed when the sanctions were initially imposed. The fact that the council majority had to retrofit the sanctions to make it clear that we were excluded from GPC takes the vindictiveness of the sanctions to a whole new level.
I responded with a motion arising motion asking to have the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Kaycee Madu, come in and do an inspection into the management, administration and operations of the County.
I believe that if the majority on council were acting properly that they would have no issue having their conduct examined by an outside party. My motion was a follow up to Councillor Kissel’s motion from June 11th to have Municipal Affairs provide mediation for council. Like Kissel’s motion, my motion was rejected 6-3, with only Kissel and Hanson in support.
DIVISION 7 APPLICATION FOR BUSINESS HIGHWAY FRONTAGE HELD AT FIRST READING
An application to approve a rezoning for lands within a current Direct Control District to a Highway Frontage Business district was held at first reading.
The land is currently a campground along the west side of Highway 2 just north of the hamlet of Balzac. The land is currently zoned for a data storage centre. However, the applicant wanted to change the land use to allow for other types of businesses.
Administration had asked for a concept scheme to be done to provide some certainties in terms of traffic impacts, stormwater management, etc. Council gave the application first reading and directed the applicant to come back with a concept scheme on the entire parcel.
DIVISION 2 RIVER’S EDGE CONCEPT SCHEME HELD AT FIRST READING
An application to turn a quarter section into a cluster- development of 49 homes with vast tracks of open spaces was held at first reading.
The applicant claimed that the quarter-section was too small for any real agricultural operations and that the best use of the land would be to create an exclusive residential development. They had prepared a concept scheme for the land but it was missing a number of important elements. The applicant felt that some high level explaining should be sufficient to address these matters since they had already spent $100k on the plan.
The land is not in an area structure plan, nor is it likely to be incorporated into the Springbank area structure plan, which is currently being reviewed (they are too remote). A number of Calgary residents spoke in support of the application claiming that they would move to Springbank to live in this community because they saw it as offering amenities that were not available in any current Springbank community.
The decision to hold the application at first reading was unanimous. The inadequacies of the technical support for the application were seen as particularly important given the parcel’s location – directly along the Elbow River. Council directed the applicant to return with a revised conceptual scheme that addressed all outstanding issues including: a stormwater management plan, a servicing strategy, and revised transportation network study.
APPLICATION TO CREATE FOUR 20-ACRE PARCELS IN DIVISION 9 APPROVED
An application to approve four 20-acre parcels with 68-acre remainder was approved unanimously. Administration found the application non-compliant as it did not satisfy the new and distinct agricultural use planning rationale.
The applicant owns a number of quarter-sections in the area and felt that it would be more appropriate to subdivide one quarter-section rather than take a first parcel out on four separate quarter sections. The land they proposed to subdivide into the 20-acre parcels is heavily treed and not able to be used for agricultural purposes, whereas the other quarter sections were all being used for ranching (as is the 68-acre remainder) thereby creating a win for all involved.
As I stated to Administration, this presents an interesting method of preserving agricultural lands – allowing those who own multiple parcels to more heavily fragment one parcel in exchange for leaving remaining parcels intact – a concept that needs to be examined in the land use bylaw review that is coming forward.
AMENDMENTS TO HARMONY DIRECT CONTROL BYLAW APPROVED
Amendments to Harmony’s Direct Control bylaw in Division 2 were approved unanimously. The application sought to redesignate lands from Future Development Cell to Employment Campus Development Cell as is intended in the Harmony Conceptual Scheme and to adjust regulations and definitions to allow for greater flexibility at the subdivision and development permit stages.
Once completed, Harmony will be a full-service community. The employment campus will accommodate a mix of commercial uses that support and attract employment. These uses include drinking establishments, liquor sales, country inns, outdoor café and patios, amongst others.
The application also sought to relax some definitions around village residential properties to allow for reduced setback requirements and include the definitions of “attached garage” and “wellness resort”.
TOWNSHIP ROAD 250 TRANSITION AREA APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY
The purpose of the Township Road 250 Transition Area Conceptual Scheme in Division 5 is to guide future development by establishing appropriate land uses, phasing and a transition strategy. This is an area that is in close proximity of the CN railyards, as such it has undergone major transition over the past number of years. As a result, the County has created a conceptual scheme for a transition area for the landowners in the area.
The County undertook an extensive outreach effort to coordinate the planning of the area with landowners within and adjacent to the plan area. The plan allows for more appropriate land uses, phasing and a transition strategy for the area and encompasses both a business commercial area and country residential area.
Phase 1 of the business commercial area will allow flexibility for home-based businesses of a greater size and intensity than is currently permitted by the County and provides flexibility as the area transitions to a fully serviced Business Commercial Area. Phase 2 will provide a final configuration that offers guidance for business development so as to identify appropriate light industrial, business, and commercial uses that demonstrate respect for adjacent residential properties such as buffering and landscaping.
JOINT HIGHWAY 1 CORRIDOR AREA STRUCTURE PLAN
On June 11th, Councillor Gautreau directed Administration to explore a joint developer-funded Area Structure Plan for the Highway 1 Corridor between Rocky View County and Wheatland County. The motion was expanded to also include the City of Chestermere and the Town of Strathmore and asked Administration return to Council with a report on the feasibility of the Area Structure Plan and potential expense and revenue sharing models between the four municipalities. The motions were supported 8-1, with me as the lone opposition.
The County Plan rewrite process is underway. I don’t believe that we should be exploring potential area structure plans until we have had fulsome public engagement. In fact, I believe it blatantly biases the process. As well, the Calgary Municipal Region Board is still working on regional collaborative frameworks, this is putting the cart before the horse. Not to mention, our Administration is overwhelmed with the workload this Council has already provided to them, meaning other projects will have to be put on the backburner for this one to go ahead. Considering this Council has never met to prioritize projects, this is problematic.
CAPITAL PROJECTS MANAGEMENT UPDATE
Council received an update with regards to current and upcoming capital projects. They ranged from completed tenders for line painting and bridge repair to information on the new Langdon fire hall and Bragg Creek Flood Mitigation.
While none of the larger projects pertain to Bearspaw directly, the report included the information that the County has a detailed engineering plans with regards to the Bearspaw Meadow Drive drainage project and was working on the province on environmental approval, as well as its potential funding from the Alberta Community Resilience Program. Landowner approval is also a key element for the project.
AMENDMENTS TO PROCEDURE BYLAW PLACED ON HOLD
Administration brought forward revisions and updates to the current procedure bylaw C-7295-2013. The bylaw sets out procedures for the orderly conduct of Council and committee meetings. Having a sound procedure bylaw is an integral part of efficient Council meetings and is important to the integrity of the County’s operations.
Unfortunately, the proposed revised version of the procedure bylaw had a number of inconsistencies in it. So, Council agreed to send their suggested revisions to Administration who would then make any necessary changes to reflect this input. The revised document will be brought forward on July 23rd.