The ongoing issue of maintenance along the Buffalo Lake shoreline and whether residents are allowed to remove deadfall was once again debated at the Stettler County Sept. 14 regular meeting.
A number of Buffalo Lake property owners attended the public hearing portion to hear council’s decision on several bylaws and policies with regards to storage and shoreline maintenance along Buffalo Lake.
Since restrictions were put in place after the shoreline was designated environmental reserve (ER), questions have remained about what kind of maintenance residents can undertake.
The county is considering a permitting system, that would include security deposits or fines for infractions if residents remove more than a permit allows. Council opted to review the issue at the next meeting.
Storage issues settled
Bylaw 1569-16 to amend Land Use Bylaw 1443-10, allowing temporary storage of lifts or docks on designated areas of ER land was passed after second and third readings.
As part of the discussion, Bylaw 1570-16, to use specific, reserve lands for said storage was also passed after second and third readings. Land in the ER designated as Public Service District does allow for discretionary use, such as properly permitted storage.
Drainage at issue in Erskine
How to manage storm water drainage on his two and a half acre property in Erskine brought Jordan Lee to council to see what help the county could offer.
Since 2007, Lee has been looking at ways to develop his property between Alberta Avenue and Prospect Avenue but has run into difficulty in dealing with water drainage. Lee was hoping to subdivide three lots on the north side of his lot off Prospect Avenue.
According to Lee, four county culverts spill water onto his property. The property was referred to as a wetland and an integral part of Erskine’s drainage system, according to a May 20, 2016 memo from Rick Green, Director of Engineering, presented at the June 8 council meeting.
Lee has been in contact with Alberta Environment regarding developing the property as it could impact or alter the wetland/drainage patterns. Because of the drainage, development could be very costly.
Council agreed unanimously to have CAO Tim Fox work with Lee to bring back development options to council’s next meeting.
The county will see a loss of $15,546 in tax revenue after council unanimously agreed to forgive the municipal portion of the 2016 taxes on Buffalo View Estates.
Pat Bolin appeared before council to make the request. According to Bolin, two lots have sold in the development this year. In 2015, council forgave $16,837 in taxes on the development.
Wally’s Backhoe Service was awarded a contract to install water service lines to the new public works location for $150,000 as well as one rural property for $20,000. Action Plumbing was awarded a third contract to install water service to another rural property for $74,900.
Habitat sets sights on ambitious project
Brian Brake, Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity Red Deer Region, gave a presentation to council about Habitat’s completed and upcoming projects in the Central Alberta region.
To date, Habitat has built 29 homes in Red Deer, Three Hills, Delburne and Lacombe and is looking for more municipal partners to build more affordable housing.
According to Brake, to build a Habitat home in a community, Habitat needs a suitable lot and a commitment of $50,000 per unit (which would be $100,000 for a duplex and $150,000 for a triplex) from the municipality or other donor.
Habitat will celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017 by constructing 150 homes across Canada. Currently, over 100 of those homes are scheduled to be built in Alberta.
Housing comes in all shapes and sizes
Erskine could be sporting a yurt soon now that council gave third reading to Bylaw 1567-16, which amends Land Use Bylaw 1443-10, to allow for the construction of a special dwelling unit.
Yurts, which are round, typically portable structures, have become more popular as an affordable housing option and have been used in central Asia by nomadic people for thousands of years.