By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
A proposed bylaw aims to bring the Lethbridge County’s Municipal Development Plan in line with provincial documents.
During Lethbridge County council’s regular June 20 meeting, they discussed potential amendments to the county’s Municipal Development Plan.
Bylaw 18-016 — Municipal Development Plan Amendments aims to update the county’s existing Municipal Development Plan and bring it into compliance with the modernized Municipal Government Act (MGA) and the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan.
“The amendments for those particular documents include things like wetlands, historical resources, consultation — so dealing with intermunicipal, as we have been dealing with even last night, schools, irrigation districts, First Nations — housing diversity and density, redevelopment and brownfield developments, flood mitigation, conservation easements, setbacks to oil and gas facilities — so kind of those broader policies that the province has changed in those documents that we need to bring our Municipal Development Plan into compliance with those,” said Hilary Janzen, senior planner with the county.
“As we were going through this — I went through this with Steve Harty at the Oldman Regional Services Commission — and we found a couple of areas that we wanted to amend for this go-around of amendments, just to kind of clean up the document a little bit.”
Some of those changing include updating the county’s name in the plan from ‘County of Lethbridge’ to ‘Lethbridge County’, amending the government departments and agencies listed, removing references to the Coaldale Lethbridge Corridor District and replacing it with general policies on the Highway 3 corridor, amending the minimum parcel size from one to two as identified in the county’s Land Use Bylaw, amending the Commercial and Industrial section to reflect amendments made to the Land Use Bylaw and amending policies on Confined Feeding Operations to be consistent with the county’s Land Use Bylaw, Intermunicipal Development Plan and Animal Control Bylaw.
Reeve Lorne Hockey asked how they referred plans with other municipalities back to their Municipal Development Plan. Janzen said that the plan was their “highest level policy document”, and provides them the framework for how they do planning and development in the county. It is not specific to any one intermunicipal development plan they have.
“It’s just policies that we’re changing; it doesn’t specifically reference, in terms of intermunicipal planning, any specific plans that we have, it’s just says that we have to do the intermunicipal development plans with al of our rural and urban neighbours.”
Hickey also asked about a name change in the document.
“So we dropped the Lethbridge Coaldale Corridor, why don’t we call it the County Corridor, instead of the Lethbridge Corridor?” said Hickey. “It kind of gives the city an advantage.”
Janzen said they could change the name to something else.
Coun. Klass Vander Veen asked about removing the term rural fringe from the document. Janzen said that they currently have two fringe districts — the Lethbridge Urban fringe and the rural urban fringe.
“Instead of just saying ‘rural’, we wanted it to be any fringe district, so that goes for any of our hamlets, any of the towns, the city. It’s a little more broad instead of being so specific,” said Janzen.
Council unanimously passed first reading of the bylaw. A public hearing for the bylaw is expected to take place in August.