February/ 21 - Council hearing update
Due to the increased number of large applications coming to Council, February and March will have three special meetings in addition to the four regularly scheduled council meetings.
Originally, the public hearing for the proposed Scott pit was scheduled for December 22nd. Based on residents’ feedback, I advocated for a date that wasn’t so close to Christmas and would allow for more fulsome public participation. Thanks to residents’ pushback, along with December’s COVID restrictions, the hearing was delayed. The special council meeting, solely for this application, is now scheduled for February 2nd.
On February 16th, another special council meeting is scheduled for the public hearings on the new Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and the revised Springbank ASPs. There is no doubt, the 6-year-old County Plan needed some tweaking; however, it is by-and-large a well-written document that provides solid development guidelines and involved robust public engagement. The proposed new MDP eliminates many “shall” statements in favour of “should” statements. There seems to be a belief, amongst at least some on Council, that fewer rules are better. That the County should be more open for business. Development cannot be for development’s sake; it must be orderly, responsible and sustainable. Council already has unbelievable flexibility in what it can approve.
Maintaining policy that provides reasonable levels of expectation to those who live here and those looking to move here is a positive, in my opinion.
The third special meeting will be held on March 2nd – a public hearing for the proposed Summit gravel pit in Division 9 (north of Cochrane).
Administration has created a new process to facilitate public participation should our meetings continue to remain electronic. Members of the public who would normally provide submissions in person at a public hearing may submit a pre-recorded video or audio presentation that will be played during the public hearing. People may also submit an email during the public hearing to be distributed to Council during the public hearing.
At the December 22nd Council meeting, Councillor Kissel and my motion to create truck haul routes in Rocky View came to council as a report for information. We had asked Administration to review the truck traffic situation along Burma Rd, Weedon Trail and Horse Creek Rd and provide some remedies. Over the next couple of months, Kissel and I will work with Administration to create potential solutions.
Lastly, I am pleased to say, that at December’s Recreation and Governance Committee meeting, Council approved over $75,000 in funding for improvements to the Bearspaw Lifestyle Centre. These include dividers for the gym, improved security surveillance equipment and a major kitchen upgrade. Thanks to the continued hard work of the Bearspaw-Glendale Community Association.