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Public weighs in on county's development plan

Hearing held last week

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY – A public hearing held last week for proposed changes to the county’s municipal development plan (MDP) brought in worthwhile input that will be considered by council starting this week, says reeve Bruce Beattie.

“We had a lot of good input from people who participated,” said Beattie. “There are some questions and we want to make sure we get it right before proceeding.

“The biggest issue is the growth areas around the towns and trying to eliminate any confusion around economic node growth areas and how it would impact the areas around the towns.”

The MDP governs development across the county, which includes more than 1,800 farms and ranches. County council approved $85,000 for the plan review in the 2019 budget.

Amendments proposed to the plan include the following:

• Amending the policy for agricultural subdivision to have more flexibility to consider parcels smaller than 40 acres when supported by land use considerations.

• Removing the concentrated confined feeding operation (CFOs) area layer from mapping and rely on NRCB for accurate mapping of approved CFOs. Restriction on subdivisions apply to the 800 metre radius of the subject quarter section where an approved CFO is located.

• Add a policy that a road use agreement shall be required during construction of new or expanding CFOs.

• Removing the growth centres from around the towns in the district and the Village of Cremona but retain two growth centres, one southeast of the Town of Sundre and one at Water Valley-Winchell Lake.

• Add four economic nodes: Olds-Didsbury airport; the intersection of Highway 2 and Hwy 582 east of Didsbury; the intersection of Highway 27 and Highway 22; and the Sundre airport west of Sundre.

Council gave first reading to the proposed amending bylaw last month.

During the Nov. 18 public hearing, a written submission from the Town of Sundre was received, highlighting three points:

• Proposed new policy 12.3.9 states: “An inter-municipal development plan may include policies that defer policy direction to the policies of the municipal development plan. As such, the applicable policies of the municipal development plan shall apply.” It is our view that this policy does not belong in an MDP as it implies that the MDP takes precedence over the IDP.

• With respect to the size of the proposed MDP growth area affecting the lands south of the town, we acknowledge that the county has reduced this to the area southeast of the town while extending the boundary to include the IDP (inter-municipal development plan) area up to Highway 27. We acknowledge that MVC has an existing ASP (area structure plan) for these lands and therefore we have no further comments.

• Regarding the proposed economic node affecting the airport and adjacent area, we acknowledge this area is outside the IDP area and therefore we have no further comments.

In a written submission, TC Energy suggested a number of additions to the plan, including that the county should “ensure that all area structure plan, subdivision and development applications that are located within 380 metres of a pipeline are referred to the pipeline operator for review and input.”

During the hearing resident Ken Taylor said, in part, that there needs to be “current updates that are relevant to what is on the land presently so that CFO owners as well as adjacent landowners know what can and cannot be done on that land.”

The proposed MDP changes will be discussed further at this week’s council meeting on Nov. 25 and brought back for further consideration on Dec. 2, said Beattie.

“We will do at least second reading and I’m not sure about third. That will be up to council,” said Beattie.

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