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Coaldale council passes first readings of ASP and rezoning bylaws

Posted on April 6, 2022 by Sunny South News

By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News

Council has set a public hearing for the west industrial area structure plan and rezoning bylaws and passed first readings of the respective bylaws during the March 28 regular town council meeting. Director of Growth and Investment for the Town of Coaldale, Cam Mills, presented the agenda items and called the development plans, “an exciting thing for the community.”

Mills explained the Municipal Government Act (MGA) has specific sections about planning and Area Structure Plans (ASP), which is a statutory plan which provides a framework for subsequent subdivision and development of land. Mills explained an ASP is required to include a proposed sequence of development in the specified area and communicate proposed land uses and servicing details, which subsequently must be adopted as a bylaw. The ASP bylaw, known as 844-P-03-22, refers to a parcel of land west of the current industrial park and is north of station grounds. The area had been previously annexed into the town in 2018.

The ASP was prepared by ISL engineering, on behalf of the principal landowner, 845 Developments, who owns approximately 90 acres within the proposed area. Although there are other landowners with ownership in the area, Mills said 845 Developments, “represents the largest stake in this.” Mills said a key part of developing and finalizing the ASP is to ensure, “the public is engaged early and often.” Part of the public consultation process already took place late last year and into January 2022, and involved an online survey and a virtual open house.

Mills said conversations with the public and community engagements have brought other affected landowners into the fold. He pointed out that in previous development projects, public information has informed the development of a given project.

In this case, the town is, “really trying to make it clear how the public consultation has informed the planning,” and added the ASP document summarizes what was put forward by the participants during the public consultations. He noted the public’s input will be articulated in a document which, “specifically outlines the feedback collected during the engagement sessions and provides an overview of how it (feedback) is addressed either through the planning process or through the Town’s existing regulations.”

Mills explained that in examining the ASP, the potential land uses would be categorized as industrial or light highway commercial zoning, and would make sense to examine both the rezoning bylaw and the ASP bylaw, “in tandem,” by presenting first reading of rezoning jointly with ASP and hold the public hearings for both in the same time period. “Stakeholders may not know how to raise concerns with each respective process (ASP and rezoning),” explained Mills, and added completing the first reading of step one and step three (the rezoning process) simultaneously, is, “in line with red-tape reduction efforts,” of administration and council.

The plan includes, planning context, planning area, development concept, development framework, servicing framework, and implementation. The majority of the land is set to be allocated as industrial zoning. On the western side with the highest visibility, the plan proposed a mix of, “light industry and highway commercial zoning.” Mills noted a 10-metre wide area has been set aside, “to provide for some landscaping,” while still retaining visibility to the highway.

Council passed first reading for the ASP bylaw 844-P-03-22 and passed first reading of the industrial area rezoning bylaw 845-P-03-22.

“What we are suggesting here is having a conversation about land use at the same time as having a conversation about the ASP because they really are very closely linked.”

The public hearings for both bylaws are scheduled for April 25.

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