• SW

Road Closure in Bearspaw, Live work application removed, Cottage Club amendment, dirt pile removed

Updated: Mar 3


 ROAD CLOSURE IN BEARSPAW APPROVED

 APPLICATION TO CREATE LIVE/WORK DISTRICT IN DIV 5 REMOVED FROM AGENDA

 COTTAGE CLUB AMENDMENTS APPROVED

 UNCLAIMED FILL IN DIVISION 2

 THORLAKSONS GRANTED TIME EXTENSION FOR CLEAN UP IN DIVISION 7

 DIVISION 7 HAYS HILLS APPLICATION APPROVED 7-2

 NOTICE OF MOTION – MORATORIUM ON OFF-SITE LEVIES

 ELECTORAL BOUNDARY AND GOVERNANCE REVIEW

 BOW BASIN WATER MANAGEMENT OPTIONS

 COUNCILLOR MCKYLOR ASKS TO BE REMOVED FROM SDAB

 LAND USE BYLAW GIVEN FIRST READING

 ASCENSION GIVEN FIRST READING


ROAD CLOSURE OFF WOODLAND RD APPROVED

An application to close an unused road allowance at the south end of Woodland Rd was

approved. The application sought to consolidate two parcels that were separated by the road allowance. Administration recommended approval.


Because of the unique division of the parcels, during first reading I had raised some concerns with the notification area. Administration assured Council that proper process was followed in determining the circulation area. The applicant also stated that he had gone door to door and the neighbours were aware of the application. The application was approved unanimously.


APPLICATION TO CREATE LIVE/WORK DISTRICT IN DIV 4 REMOVED FROM AGENDA

An application to seek redesignation from Agricultural Holdings to Live/Work on a property owned by Councillor Gautreau, along with his neighbour’s application for a similar redesignation were removed from the agenda.


There were a significant number of letters of opposition from neighbours who objected

because Councillor Gautreau does not live on the property and the proposed business had been rejected by a previous Council. Objections to the neighbour’s property similarly pointed out that the business was rejected previously and that there was no appetite to turn the community into a light industrial park. No date was set for the applications to return.


COTTAGE CLUB AMENDMENTS APPROVED

An application to waive three conditions under the Cottage Club Ghost Lake Conceptual

Scheme (Division 9) was passed unanimously. The three amendments included the ability to hook up to natural gas, to provide year-round water servicing, and to remove a condition that prohibited the construction of full basements. Administration recommended approval.


The applicant stated they held over 200-hours of community engagement and the application was well supported by the community. The few in opposition believed that providing year-round water servicing would stress the system. As well, allowing basements would diminish the property values for properties that were constructed without them.


As local Councillor Kissel noted, change is happening in the community and these amendments provide the flexibility for those changes to occur. This is a niche market that provides alternative living in Rocky View and the amendments provide the necessary flexibility for the community to thrive.


UNCLAIMED FILL IN DIVISION 2

Earlier last year, a dirt pile was removed from a property adjacent to Springbank’s Edge School as the result of an enforcement action. The cost to remove the dirt was $250,000. The dirt was relocated to the County’s Kennel pit in Springbank.


The landowner had 30 days to claim the fill but chose not to. Under Provincial law, the

landowner is entitled to the proceeds of the sale of the fill less the costs incurred by the

County. Administration estimated it would cost a further $150,000 to screen the fill and

dispose of the debris.


I asked why it wasn’t screened before it was moved and was advised that the County wanted the dirt removed quickly and that the screening costs would be similar. Administration also advised that no budget adjustment was needed since, as an enforcement action, the costs will be added to the landowner’s tax bill.


When Councillor Hanson asked about the urgency, Administration didn’t really have an answer. When he pushed for details, his questions were stopped by the Reeve.

Councillor McKylor made a motion to have the fill used for County projects with any additional costs billed back to the landowner. Councillor Hanson raised concerns that the motion needed further clarity so the issue didn’t come back to council again. This prompted Reeve Boehlke to shut down all debate and call a vote. The motion passed 6-3 with Hanson, Kissel and me opposed. I didn’t feel as though I had enough information to make the decision. Therefore, I could not support the motion.


THORLAKSONS GRANTED TIME EXTENSION FOR CLEAN UP IN DIVISION 7

Last June, based on complaints from residents living close to Thorlakson’s organic compost facility, the operation was closed down. Shutting down a compost facility cannot be done overnight. The owners had been given until December 11, 2019 to remediate the land.


The owners claimed that the site’s remediation was taking longer than anticipated and they were only 75% complete. They requested a six-month extension to June 11 th to complete the work. Councillor Schule amended the motion to allow until June 28 th to ensure the work is completed.


HAYS HILLS APPLICATION APPROVED 7-2

An application to redesignate a 19-acre parcel into eight R1 parcels in Division 7 was approved. Administration recommended tabling the Hays Hills application until the applicant submitted a revised application to address what they saw as shortcomings.


Located in the Sharp Hill area (East Balzac), the land is bisected by a Noise Exposure Forecast contour, which prohibits residential development in specified areas due to the volume of flight traffic from YYC airport. In addition, much of the subject lands are on a considerable slope. Because the application wasn’t consistent with policy, Administration had drafted 39 amendments that they felt were needed for the application to proceed.


The applicant agreed with 36 of the 39 amendments and local councillor Henn moved to amend the remaining three amendments to accommodate the applicant. The application was approved 7-2 with Councillor Hanson and me in opposition. I believed there were too many deviations from policy for the application to be approved without revision.


NOTICE OF MOTION – MORATORIUM ON OFF-SITE LEVIES

On January 14th , Councillors Gautreau and Schule brought forward a notice of motion to place a moratorium on off-site levies for the next three years. Administration presented a preliminary report which recommended that to evaluate this proposal, Administration should determine potential estimated increases in development, debt covenants, cost recovery commitments, capital expenditures and promises based on inter-municipal agreements – basically, a cost-benefit analysis on the collection of levies for the next three years.


Administration also suggested that they could consider options that could help developers by shifting collection of the levies to a later development stage. I made it clear that I do not support shifting development costs onto existing ratepayers, however, I do support exploring initiatives that could provide some flexibility as to when those payments are made.


A motion to direct Administration to bring back a report providing a broad-based set of

recommendations and options on May 12th was approved unanimously.


ELECTORAL BOUNDARY AND GOVERNANCE REVIEW

On November 26, Council approved funding to conduct a comprehensive electoral boundary and governance review. The County retained ISL Engineering and Land Services Ltd., together with sub-consultants Transitional Solutions Ltd. and metro-economics, to conduct the review.


The governance part of the review will consider the possibility of moving the County to a

mayor-at-large model rather than the current model where councillors decide amongst

themselves who will be Reeve.


The electoral boundaries revision part of the review will identify options for moving all divisions to +/- 25% of the county average with the expectation that new electoral division boundaries will last for 8 years (two election cycles). To do this, the consultants will use Geographic Information System (GIS) modelling and consider growth rates and potential build out of communities like Langdon and Harmony.


The terms of reference included limited public engagement in the initial phases. When I asked if the matter would come to public hearing, Administration indicated that it was too early to determine. As always, I will be pushing to include as much public engagement as possible.


BOW BASIN WATER MANAGEMENT OPTIONS

Alberta Environment and Parks is developing conceptual assessments for flood and drought mitigation options in the Bow River basin. Council received a presentation on options for the placement of a dam upstream in the Bow River.


The process is currently in the conceptual assessment phase. The group reviewed 15 potential sites and through hydrological modelling and public consultation have shortlisted 3 potential options – Morley, Ghost and Glenbow East.


The project received over 1200 comments from 3 public sessions which over 350 participants. Rocky View County is actively involved in the process. The process is still in its early stages and is estimated to take another 8-12 years to complete.


COUNCILLOR MCKYLOR ASKS TO BE REMOVED FROM SUBDIVISION AND DEVELOPMENT APPEAL BOARD

In a 6-3 decision, with Councillors Hanson, Kissel and me opposed, Councillor McKylor was removed from the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) so she can sit on the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC).


Last week, Council debated the merits of having Councillors on the SDAB versus the MPC. A councillor cannot sit on both boards as the SDAB is the appeal mechanism for decisions made by MPC.


My position was that all councillors should sit on the newly created MPC while we learn the ropes. However, that decision was defeated in favour of allowing Henn to remain on the SDAB with McKylor as his alternate. Now, with the removal of McKylor, if Henn is absent for SDAB there is no alternate to replace him. In which case, I wonder why have a council representative on the board at all?


LAND USE BYLAW GIVEN FIRST READING

The long-awaited County’s redrafted Land Use Bylaw (LUB) was given first reading. The current LUB is 344 pages and has 38 land use districts. The new version has been streamlined down to 101 pages with 25 districts for simplification and ease of use.


The document reflects Council input along with the comments submitted by over 350 residents who either attended open houses or submitted comments online. The document is slated to come back to Council for a public hearing and second and third reading some time in March.


DIVISION 8 – ASCENSION GIVEN FIRST READING

In a 6-3 decision, the application, known as Ascension, received first reading. Located at the SW corner of 1A and 12 Mile Coulee, the application proposes mixed-use residential / commercial space.


Administration provided Council with three options: give the application first reading; table it until the review of the Bearspaw Area Structure Plan is completed; or, refuse it. Due to the significant size of the application, I asked to table the application pending the outcome of the BASP review. My motion was defeated with support from only Councillors Hanson and Kissel. The Council majority instead gave the application first reading.


Since Ascension is almost two quarter sections, I believe that as many residents as possible should be included in the circulation area for the public hearing. As such, I asked to have the notification area expanded from 800m to 1600m. This time, my motion passed 6-3 with Councillors Henn, Gautreau and Deputy Reeve Schule in opposition.

 Samanntha Wright, Division 8 Councillor / T 403.478.1041 / sam@wrightforbearspaw.com / © 2017-2020 by SW.  

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