By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
Coaldale town council has approved a blanket waiver for a subdivision created in 1977.
During their regular Feb. 22 meeting, Coaldale town council discussed a report on a non-compliant subdivision.
In February 2020, a compliance request regarding setback waivers for a residential small-lot dwelling initiated a further investigation into a subdivision, located on Lot 1, Block B, Plan 6651FG, that was created in 1977.
During the investigation into the compliance request, it was realized several lots within the subdivision did not meet current Land-Use Bylaw lot size requirements. Following a full revision of the current LUB and the LUB of the time, it was determined several lots could be categorized as either compliant or non-compliant in the two iterations of the bylaw.
“Some of the history associated with the subdivision included recommendations originating from 1977 that council could either rezone the properties or waive the zoning requirements. As the application was approved, it’s assumed the zoning requirements were waived,” said Melanie Messier, municipal planning intern for the town. “However, this wasn’t clear when viewing individual property files, which was shown in the request for compliance letter back in February of 2020.”
At a resulting Municipal Planning Commission meeting, they approved development application 2019-182 at the applicant’s own expense.
Town staff had recommended they issue a blanket waiver for the entire subdivision and have requested council considers waiving the fees normally associated with the process. Once that is done, the application will be taken to the MPC for review at an upcoming meeting.
In the report, it was noted accessory buildings and structures have been built on many of the properties in question after the dwellings were constructed, and it is proposed the waiver be granted for the dwellings only and the property owners would need to apply for separate waivers for these accessory structures on their property.
According to an accompanying schedule to the report, of the 20 properties in the subdivision, only two meet the minimum Land-Use Bylaw requirements from both the current and 1977 versions of the bylaw. Coun. Bill Chapman noted his residence was in the “adjoining cul-desac” and there was no conflict of interest in any discussion or director “at this point.”
Coun. Roger Hohm asked if they approved the waivers at this time, if anyone in the subdivision wanted to add a deck or something like that, if they would need to follow the current LUB or be grandfathered in to the new parameters. Messier said they hadn’t discussed it in depth, although she said it would need to be within the 10 per cent waiver “at maximum” for any additions onto a deck.
“But this is only relating to the principle building.
We would have to look at each case individually, just because they’re all of different levels of compliance, but we would want to make sure they weren’t too far out of the scope of the Land-Use Bylaw.”
Mayor Kim Craig asked for the out-buildings added after 1977, if the MPC would look at them giving respect to the time of when they were added when they look at whether they are compliant or have the right setbacks. Messier said they wouldn’t be a part of the waiver, as it was only for the principle dwelling.
“The consideration is typically given by the planning commission for the context in which applications are being made. So, if there’s something that’s been there for decades, that’s typically going to be clarified by staff — and in my experience, although we can’t speak to future decisions, that is something always considered by the planning commission — while they’re making those type of decisions,” said Spencer Croil, director of Planning and Community development for the town.
Hohm asked if there was a way of finding out what out-buildings don’t comply right now, so council could have a single waiver to include everything that is there right now, so to not put the MPC in a tough position in the future. Spencer said they could broaden the scope of the recommendation to include any accessory building in place currently, although the ultimate decision would still be with the MPC.
Council unanimously passed a motion to approve waiving the cost to issue a blanket waiver for the residential subdivision located on Lot 1, Block B, Plan 6651FG, that C. Moman be refunded the fee that was paid that initiated the broader review of the subdivision located on Lot 1, Block B, Plan 6651FG, and the town refers the item to be reviewed by the MPC and to include accessory building in the blanket waiver.