By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
Lethbridge County has formalized an updated Industrial/Commercial Land Use Strategy, which aims to protect areas earmarked with potential or imminent future development from incompatible land uses.
The previous strategy was approved by County Council in October 2016. The updated document guides Council and administration, developers, and landowners, providing an overview of development trends in Lethbridge County and is used to identify future locations for commercial and industrial development, and providing “preferred” development locations. Presenting the agenda item was Hilary Janzen, supervisor of planning and development for Lethbridge County. Janzen said the strategy also acknowledges the need for the County to be flexible at times, but said the document provides an economic analysis and legislative review to ensure the County’s strategy is aligned with provincial and federal legislation.
“It doesn’t mean that it’s the only places, but it is recognizing there is certain infrastructure and development in proximity to those areas that would lend itself to successful development for industrial or commercial purposes,” Janzen told council during the April 20 council meeting.
The document also includes a review of prescribed land uses within the County as well as a land use strategy which identifies potential areas based on specific principles and criteria set out by other County documents.
Janzen said the County has, “a number of areas for growth,” including an area off of Highway 25 near Kipp which has been identified within the Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) with the Town of Coalhurst as an area of future growth. Janzen confirmed, “nothing to date has occurred in this particular area yet but it is an area of interest because of the improvement we have done to Kipp Road and the proximity to the highway system.”
North of the City of Lethbridge this area is along the future CANAMEX corridor, a trade corridor connected by the north-south portion of the national highway system in Alberta, which will eventually incorporate the City of Lethbridge in the future. Janzen said the documents recommend that this area, “be protected for future development knowing that future corridor probably will be in a far-off horizon, but it is still important to recognize the importance,” as to not infringe on that with other development.
The industrial park east of the airport is outlined as an area with potential development, and is an area the County wants to ensure stays open for future development given the proximity to Highway 5 and the airport.
The document highlights the Highway 3 corridor is an area with continued interest, as well as the south Highway 4 corridor indicating it as a priority growth area due to access to transportation networks such as the rail line and highway.
The document states that areas marked for potential development, “should not be compromised by conversion to ‘incompatible’ land uses, such as grouped country residential, and an attempt should be made to keep them as fragmented as possible.”
Janzen added the intention is to revisit the document every five years as development trends and economic conditions change. Council passed a motion to approve the strategy and directed administration to proceed with implementation.