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Coaldale council to make amendments to ASP and re-zoning bylaws to avoid, “difficult” negotiations with landowners

Posted on May 4, 2022 by Sunny South News

By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News

Town council has voted to table the Area Structure Plan (ASP) Bylaw 844-P-03-22, and the West Industrial Area Rezoning Bylaw 845-P-03-22 following last week’s public hearing.

After hearing from Kirk Beler during the recent public hearing, council voted unanimously to table both bylaws for second and third reading until amendments have been made to remove a plot of land from the ASP owned in part by Beler. The decision to table both bylaws until May 9, followed a lengthy list of concerns presented by Beler with respect to his land contained within the proposed ASP.

Director of Growth and Investment for the Town of Coaldale, Cameron Mills, said most of the problems raised by Beler during the meeting, “are resolvable,” through amending the proposed bylaws.

Mills said, through the different stages of public engagement, the County offered no concerns to the proposed ASP, and Alberta Transportation responded favourably to the plan, approving the orderly and efficient planning of the area, to date. Mills noted that one resident raised concern during the public engagement period. According to Mills, the resident said, “between this new development and the planned leisure centre and school, serious consideration needs to be made to the traffic situation on 20 street and highway 845.”

Mills said issues pertaining to traffic will be addressed as part of the more detailed engineering and technical assessments associated with that traffic impact assessment which will inform the ASP moving forward.

Beler, who is part owner of the strip of property along the southern boundary, expressed his opposition to both bylaws in their current iteration. He added he is not opposed to development and the plans to expand, more broadly, but voiced concern over the consultation and notice given by the Town with respect to the ASP.

“You’d think if somebody was going to advance an ASP that involves taking a significant portion of someone else’s land, that those people would be actively involved in that planning.”

He later stated, “I am concerned about notice, I am concerned about consultation, and I am more concerned about the future development of that land and how it affects me.”

Beler added he was, “suddenly” alerted to the related bylaws approaching second reading.

“We didn’t get notice. There are two addresses in play,” explained Beler, one being the address for land titles that is registered, and the other being the address used by the corporation that the land is held in. However, Beler claimed he did not receive a mailed notice to the corporate address.

Mills said, “it is correct that the notice would have been sent to the address on land titles,” but added this is true of all land notices that are sent for these types of things, “all of our mailings are pulled through that, if there are multiple owners of a particular parcel, the mailing address is pulled from the land titles system.”

But Mills later expressed, based on administration’s point of view, there was, “A substantial amount of direct consultation between the developers and the landowners and substantial opportunity for landowners within the plan to provide commentary on the plan in terms of incorporating that into the development.”

Mills explained Coaldale has an advertising bylaw in place which requires the Town to advertise for bylaw resolution, meetings, or public hearings. Several different mediums can be selected to advertise, which Mills said has been satisfied.

“From our initial conversation with Beler, we heard residents had not received the notices sent out via regular mail, and in the spirit of ensuring that people received them,” Melanie Messier, town planner, printed a second notice which was “hand-delivered” to impacted landowners. Mills said, “I’m quite confident we meet more than the requirements for notification.”

“We had a substantial amount of direct consultation between the developers and the landowners and substantial opportunity for landowners within the plan to provide commentary on the plan in terms of incorporating that into the development.”

Mills said to remove Beler’s plot from the proposed ASP would be a, “relatively simple endeavour,” and added, “I think the simplest and most straightforward and optimal solution to address (the concerns raised) is simply to provide for some amendments to the ASP to potentially remove that property,” from the ASP.

“It is my position that making the amendment to remove this one lot from the ASP is the course that allows for the fastest development, given the tradeoff between keeping the land within and needing to work through what I suspect would be a difficult negotiation with Mr. Beler,” amending the bylaws, “is quicker,” added Mills.

A motion was passed to table second and third readings of both bylaws to allow for minor amendments to be made, in anticipation of the May 9 council meeting.

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