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Northwest ASP given first reading

Posted on May 16, 2023 by Sunny South News

By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News

More public consultation is expected before a public hearing on a bylaw for an Area Structure Plan for Northwest Coaldale.

Presented during Coaldale town council’s regular May 8 meeting, the Northwest Area Structure Plan Bylaw – or Bylaw 872-P-05-23 – will allow for the creation of an Area Structure Plan for lands in the northwest portion of the town, surrounding the new high school and recreation centre, located north of Highway 3, west of the Birds of Prey Center and east of 30th Street.

Cam Mills, director of growth and investment for the town, said that the bylaw is generally in line with previous presentations to town council and the public consultations held with stakeholders with the plan area, and the Town’s initial overview conceptual framework for the area.

Mills noted there are some changes to the proposed map of the area.

“As we engage in the process, work in the process, engage in sort of high-level engineering and things like that, things adjust and change over time,” said Mills.

One change is the location of the southernmost stormwater pond, which was moved south of its initial location on the map, to better accommodate stormwater management flows and drainage swell. This would result in an “easier construction” of a stormwater management facility, which Mills suspected would be smaller than what is indicated on the map.

Another change was moving the location of land designated for multi-family dwelling for seniors below the location of the stormwater pond. Mills said it would provide for a slightly longer walk to the new rec centre, but still provides one of the chief things they were looking for in the area, surrounding the facility with ponds and quick access to walking trails and nature, providing “a high-quality beautiful space for a seniors residents in this portion of the community.”

“What we’re proposing here is to take the plan, which is fundamentally a complete draft at this point, and now to engage one more time with our stakeholders, which is to say our landowners in the plan area, and then also to expand that conciliation out to the general community, to get some broader, public feedback on this document prior to a public hearing,” said Mills.

Coun. Bill Chapman voiced support for the bylaw. Coun. Lisa Reis, for clarity purposes, asked when the acreages located south of 18 Avenue were included in the ASP. Mills said fundamentally, when acreages are annexed into an urban municipality, they can create “planning challenges” for growth within those areas. While ideally, that land remains as a full quarter section until it is subdivided in a completely urbanized way, and the town can grow into it. The struggle with acreages is that 50 years from now, the town could have grown beyond those areas.

“At a certain point, you want to see five-acre pieces, or three-acre pieces start to be divided up into more urban sized areas, because they simply do not allow for the efficient operation of the town,” said Mills. “The incorporation of the acreages into the ASP at this point, allows for us to consider opportunities for those landowners which do want to move forward with development in the area, which is some but not all of the developers or the owners in the immediate term, but also to make sure we have regulations in place where they can do that in a way that is, well perhaps, there’s always going to be issues from one landowner to another, but do so in a way that is generally compatible with each other.”

Council unanimously performed first reading of Bylaw 872-P-05-23 as presented.

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