By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
A group of berry growers is hoping Lethbridge County will let them build a storage facility.
During their regular Dec. 6 meeting, Lethbridge County council reviewed a land-use bylaw amendment to allow for a berry storage and processing facility east of Picture Butte.
The proposed bylaw — Bylaw 18-02 — would amend the Land Use Bylaw from Rural Agriculture to Rural General Industrial for the north-east corner of NE 35-10-21-W4, in order to accommodate a future berry storage and processing facility on the site.
“This application has been submitted by the landowner, to accommodate a future berry storage and processing facility. So the use is not a use that is considered either permitted or discretionary under the Rural Agriculture District, because it’s a commercial or industrial operation, so they have come into, applied to amend it to an industrial district to, in the hopes of building a future berry storage and processing facility in this location,” said Hilary Janzen, senior planner for Lethbridge County. “The application is approximately one mile east of the town of Picture Butte, directly off of Highway 519, and the application has been sent to the external agencies, so Alberta Transportation, more specifically, because it does go off 519, and also to the internal county departments for review.”
In response to a question, Janzen said the bylaw concerned the facility itself, as the “berry farm areas” were throughout the county in a consortium, who wanted a hub to bring their product in. As the landowner is part of the consortium, she said they’ve decided this piece of land to be a good place for the facility.
Council unanimously passed a motion to perform first reading of the bylaw. A public hearing for the bylaw is expected to be held in January 2019.