By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
The following are selected briefs from the April 20 meeting of Lethbridge County Council.
2023 Q1 Planning and Development Report
The department completed the Lethbridge County and Town of Coaldale Intermunicipal Development Plan which was approved by both municipalities in March 2023.
Completed the update of the Industrial-Commercial Land Use Strategy and held a Council Workshop on March 9.
The County’s Development Authority received 59 development permit applications from Jan. 1 to March 31, 2023. Administration said this figure is up slightly from 2022 when 50 development permit applications were submitted in the first quarter. As well, 49 development permits were issued, 15 of which were residential in nature. Additionally, 16 permits were for accessory structures, eight for commercial/industrial, and five permits which fell under agricultural were issued. The report also noted that acting as the subdivision authority, Council approved five subdivisions during this time as well.
Administration noted several land use bylaw complaints were received and investigated during this time.
The report to council highlighted several Bylaws considered by council relating to the Planning and Development Department’s 2023 Q1 Report which included the Green Prairie road closure (Bylaw 22-021). Both the Country Crossroads Estate Area Structure Plan (Bylaw 23-002) and the related rezoning Bylaw 23-003 received first reading during the March 16, 2023 council meeting. During the April 6 council meeting, Bylaw 23-008 passed first reading which contains proposed amendments to the Chinook Industrial Park Area Structure Plan as well as the related rezoning bylaw 23-009.
Water Co-op Liaison Committee Bylaw No. 23-015
Council is moving forward to establish a council committee that will work more closely with water co-ops located in the county.
Administration noted up until this point there has not been a formalized practice in place for communicating with water co-ops in the county. In recent years, council has returned to the discussion of ways to improve upon the relationships between the municipality and water co-ops. The report to council states it is beneficial to the County to form a committee to work closely with water co-ops, “in a spirit of cooperation that recognizes the mutual benefits that working more closely together toward common goals and interests brings.”
As required by the MGA, a Terms of Reference (ToR) must be established and a bylaw must be adopted to move forward with the creation of a committee. Council passed all three readings of the Water Co-op Liaison Committee Bylaw No. 23-015 and approved the ToR.
Public Hearing for Bylaw 23-002 and Bylaw 23-003
The passing of the bylaws would allow for the phased subdivision and development of the land parcel in question for Country Residential use. An application was received for the Country Crossroads Estate Area Structure Plan (Bylaw 23-002) and a request to re-designate a 66 acre title in the SW5-8-20-W4 from Rural Agriculture to Grouped Country Residential (Bylaw 23-003). The proposed subdivision would see residential development of approximately 25 lots which would be at minimum, two acres each.
Bylaw 22-001, or the Municipal Development Plan, requires the developer to prepare an Area Structure Plan (ASP) since more than four adjacent titles have been proposed by the applicant.
County Administration’s report showed Alberta Transportation confirmed a traffic impact assessment would need to be completed, and Alberta Health Services recommended the developer consider a communal wastewater system based off of the soil’s analysis which indicated a high water table. As well, SMRID indicated irrigation rates would need to be sold or transferred. Comments received from the Lethbridge County Rural Water Association after the circulation period was completed indicating there was insufficient capacity to serve this area.
It was noted during the meeting that the applicant has provided options contained within the proposed ASP for providing potable water to the development that do not include the water co-ops such as irrigation water, ground wells, and/or hauled water, but several objections to this were brought forward by residents during the public hearing.
The meeting’s agenda packet included comments collected by the County and attached letters outlining concerns from adjacent landowners. Comments collected were all in objection to the proposed ASP and rezoning. Noted general concerns include increased traffic and impact to Range Road 20-5, development of farmable land in the area, increasing population, lack of specific architectural controls, concerns with regards to potable water supply and impact to the adjacent landowners and their potable supply, septic fields the impact on adjacent landowners, general drainage in area, proximity of development to industrial park and more.
Following the closure of the public hearing Coun. Kuerbis clarified, “the nature of the recommendations are strictly to consider the proposed ASP, and re-designate the parcel from rural agriculture to group county residential,” at the time of the meeting.
Council passed a resolution to postpone the decision on Bylaws 23-002 and 23-003 until a later meeting for more information.
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