By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
Do you remember the paraphrased famous line from the movie “Field of Dreams” — “If you build it, they will come?” Well, Lethbridge County did just that, as 2014 was a busy year for the Lethbridge County planning and development department.
At a recent county council meeting held Feb. 18, Hilary Janzen from the community services department submitted an annual report.
“We did have a very busy year and there were a number of bylaws brought forward for county council approval. There was the one Area Structure Plan,” noted Janzen during her report, which was for the Highway 508 business park and was approved by council in the fall of 2014.
According to the report, there were nine land-use bylaw amendments or re-designations applications received by county council.
“All-in-all, I think we had seven public hearings last year, which was pretty heavy on the public hearing side but we made it through. It shows how much people are wanting to work in the county and create new businesses and new homes,” said Janzen.
The report stated in February of last year the Commercial/Industrial Land-Use Strategy kicked off, which will provide county administration and council with a strategy to aid in directing the location of future commercial/industrial developments in the county.
“In 2014, there were three Intermunicipal Development Plans (IDP) being worked on,” added Janzen, including the Coalhurst/Lethbridge County IDP (approved in December), the City of Lethbridge/Lethbridge County IDP (still being worked on) and the Picture Butte/Lethbridge County IDP (still ongoing). The Picture Butte/Lethbridge County IDP is expected to resume once a new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) is hired for the Town of Picture Butte.
Lethbridge County, the report stated, experienced a lot of commercial/industrial development within Broxburn Business Park, along with a lot of business growth with existing businesses in the county.
“We had 179 development permits and 174 were actually issued,” said Janzen, adding in 2013 there were 168 development permits issued.
Subdivision applications, according to the report, were down in 2014 with 27 subdivision applications received and brought forward to the subdivision authority.
In 2013, there were 36 subdivision applications received. Of the subdivisions approved, 35 new lots were created down from 65 in 2013. The report stated of the 35 new lots — 28 were for county residential use, four lots were created in a hamlet and one commercial lot and two agriculture lots.
“We also had six subdivision and development appeals — three were for subdivisions, two were for development permits and then one was for a stop order,” said Janzen.
Deputy Reeve Henry Doeve asked Janzen what the status was on the aforementioned ASP.
“They have a work program they’re working through. I would say they’re probably a third of the way through. Just with the amount of work they had to cover last year, with the IDPs and the appeals, I think they just got a bit behind,” said Janzen, adding a final product should be brought back to council this fall.