By J.W. Schnarr
For the Sunny South News
The Town of Coaldale’s tri-party regional pathway project is moving forward.
During a regular council meeting on July 11, council voted to endorse the plan as an authorized Town of Coaldale project, allowing the town to receive donations for the project and issue charitable tax receipts; apply for grants; offer technical resources, such as planning and engineering services, where feasible and appropriate; and serve, where required, as project treasurer.
The project is an agreement between the Town of Coaldale, Lethbridge County, and St. Mary River Irrigation District, and would connect Coaldale and Lethbridge via a pedestrian and cycling trail.
One potential idea for a pathway connecting Lethbridge to Coaldale is via the Coaldale main ditch — along Highway 3, with an anchor point on each end.
One anchor point identified is Henderson Lake Park in Lethbridge with a link to the Coaldale pathway system already in place — along the SMRID.
One hurdle, with this idea, might be crossing 43 Street South. Not only would a regional pathway be a place to walk or bike for leisure or to get from one place to another — it could also feature vegetation, bathrooms, benches, robust architecture and learning opportunities along the way about the area and its history.
Town Chief Administrative Officer Kalen Hastings described the motion as a way to formalize the nominal amount of work being directed and to make it official the project was town-sanctioned.
Mayor Kim Craig said the declaration also paves the way for the charity aspect of the project, especially collecting funds and issuing receipts.
A similar motion is expected through Lethbridge County when they resume meetings in the fall.
Council is moving ahead with more control over a contentious proposed northside development.
A public hearing for Bylaw 713-P-06-16 Direct Control for properties located at 1812 18 Avenue and 1607 20 Street saw developers, council and administration, and local residents discuss what they would like to see in the area more thoroughly.
A development for nearly 40 single detached dwellings in the area has raised a number of concerns for local residents.
Some of those issues include traffic load in the neighbourhood with the addition of about 40 new dwellings and with access to the neighbourhood for vehicle traffic, as well as emergency crews.
A previous rezoning application was defeated by council in order to pave the way for a direct control designation by council.
A new addition to the plan, in response to previous concerns about lack of access for surrounding homes, would be for neighbouring homeowners to lose 20-feet of their back yards in order to make space for an alley.
There were also frustrations expressed over a perceived lack of communication on behalf of the developer, as some residents in the area may not have known about the meeting.
Residents expressed concerns about property values, drainage and the local utility load, and population density.
Council told residents the land in question is currently designated for multi-family dwellings, so any development in the area would likely be for similar plans.
Another resident expressed concerns over foreign ownership of the property should the developments be used as rental property, or if there was a specific group in mind for the development.
Garry Rankema, the landowner currently developing the area, stated the goal was for families and retirees to the area, but that no specific groups have been targeted. He then clarified for council the intent of the development was not low-cost housing.
Following discussion, council passed second and final reading of the bylaw.