What's happening in Rocky View?
The following provides information on some of the larger issues Rocky View County is facing.
Check back from time to time for updates.
One of the sentiments shared throughout Alberta is that the penalties for those convicted of crimes are not sufficient and, therefore, do not act as enough of a deterrent. As such, the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties will be petitioning the Province to impose stricter and stiffer penalties, particularly on repeat/known offenders who, it seems, are responsible for a majority of the crime in our areas.
Recently, the RCMP made a presentation to Council and outlined some of the measures that we as residents can practice to prevent ourselves from becoming victims of crime. They couldn't emphasize enough the importance of Rural Crime Watch. For more information on this, please read my blog on crime prevention.
One of the biggest improvements to local policing is the ability for neighbouring police communities to share intelligence, something that, up until recently, they have not been able to do. Given that crime doesn't understand political boundaries, this is really positive.
The RCMP also advised us about the recent creation of the Rural Crime Task Force. As well, they have commissioned a pilot project called the Emergency Response Team, a tactical squad which deals with more dangerous crime in the surrounding Calgary area. Both of these units are making real inroads against crime.
I have also joined the board of the Cochrane Foothills Preventative Association (CFPA). CFPA is our local chapter of Alberta Rural Crime Watch. I cannot stress enough that in rural communities we are each others eyes and ears. If you see something suspicious, report it. Cochrane RCMP - 403-932-2211. If it's an emergency, please don't hesitate to call 9-1-1.
Council recognizes that crime is the top concern for most Rocky View residents and Administration is currently looking at options to improve county policing. These will range from expanding to the services we currently receive to creating our own police force. I'll keep you posted as I know more.
After a lengthy review process, Rocky View Council voted to reject the ARP. The ARP was a directive of the County Plan to provide the framework under which gravel pits will operate in Rocky View County.
When the county released its first draft, it received over 1800 comments. The County committed to review each of these comments and adjust the document accordingly. It then released its second draft.
Open houses for the second draft were well attended, however, the overall sentiment from the public had not changed. They felt the document did not do enough to protect residents from the negative impacts of gravel extraction.
Based on this feedback, this past July, Council directed administration to report to Council with a wide range of suggestions as to how we could proceed.
On September 25th, on a vote of 5-3 with Councillors Hanson, Kissel and myself in opposition, Council decided to scrap the ARP altogether. Instead, Council directed Administration to create application submission criteria and performance standards. To read more about this, please read my Council update here.
Springbank Area Structure Plan
The County is currently in the process of reviewing the Area Structure Plans for Springbank. This process began in late 2016, when Council approved the Terms of Reference directing the project.
Current Status and Timing:
Building on the public and stakeholder feedback, Administration is preparing draft visions, goals, and several land use scenarios for public consideration in May 2018. Technical studies for stormwater, transportation, and servicing are also being prepared to determine what types of land uses could be feasibly serviced in Springbank.
On January 1, 2018 the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board (CMRB was created with the task of developing a regional growth plan by January 2021. It is likely most new or significantly amended ASPs will be reviewed by the CMRB and if consistent with the regional growth plan - approved. In order to allow development to proceed members of the CMRB agree to develop an Interim Growth Plan by the 3rd quarter of 2018.
In anticipation of the regional changes, Council adopted a revised Terms of Reference and directed Administration to complete preparation of draft land use scenarios, but to delay writing a new plan(s) until the direction of the Regional Growth (or Interim) Plan was known. Waiting for the direction of the Regional Growth (or Interim) Plan will reduce the risk of preparing a plan that may not be accepted by the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board.
For further information on the project, including the updated Terms of Reference and timelines, please visit the County's website at https://www.rockyview.ca/BuildingPlanning/PlansUnderReview/SpringbankAreaStructurePlan.aspx
Growth Management Board
The Calgary Regional Growth Board came into effect on January 1, 2018 and includes 10 municipalities.
The province recognizes that growth in Alberta’s metropolitan regions will generate increased demand for services and infrastructure, put pressure on the natural and built environments, and create opportunities for economic prosperity.
As such, the province has established a growth management board for the Calgary region to help ensure regional collaboration and coordinated decision making.
The mandate of growth management boards is to:
Promote the long-term sustainability of the region;
Ensure environmentally responsible land-use planning, growth management and efficient use of land;
Develop policies regarding the coordination of regional infrastructure investment and service delivery;
Promote the economic well-being and competitiveness of the region; and
Develop policies outlining how the Board shall engage the public on the Growth Plan and Servicing Plan.
The major deficiency in the board is that there is currently no appeal process and Calgary has full veto power. Solutions are being explored to see if this can be addressed.
The County is currently reviewing its off-site levies: transportation, wastewater and water, and stormwater.
Administration has recently redrafted these bylaws so that they more accurately help fund improvements to regional transportation, water and wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.
Transportation off-site levies have been drafted to differentiate between rural, urban and special areas - the cost of the levy varying dependent on the nature of the development in the area.
Water and wastewater off-site levies have been widened to include the Bragg Creek facility.
Stormwater off-site levies will impact development in the east side of the county, namely Conrich, Langdon, OMNI, Janet and involves the Co-operative stormwater management initiative (CSMI). CSMI was created in 2012 to look at stormwater management for the region.
The County is currently accepting resident feedback on all of the above topics until October 24th. Feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.