Alix land use bylaw going to the public

The Village of Alix’ new Land Use Bylaw (LUB) passed council review and will now go to the public for comment.

The LUB was read at the June 17 regular meeting of council.

Council’s guest was Craig Teal of Parkland Community Planning Services, who noted that council had already reviewed the first part of the draft bylaw, with parts 2, 3 and 4 left to read.

Part 1 included policies pertinent to the upcoming development season.

The next three parts included administrative, general regulations and land use districts.

Administrative

Teal stated he would briefly review some sections of the draft bylaw. One new section was related to provincial requirements, guaranteed decision times.

While reading the draft bylaw, Coun. Vicki Soltermann asked if a development officer is different from a development authority, to which Teal answered, “Yes.”

Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White stated the Municipal Government Act outlines development application timelines and sometimes a mutual agreement will allow an extension.

Teal noted while LUB’s contain rules and regulations, there are sometimes unique situations that require a variation or relaxation of up to 10 per cent from the rule.

Teal stated they’re not precedent-setting because “They’re all individual merits of the case.”

White used the example of a pie-shaped lot in a subdivision corner that can’t meet certain separations.

The LUB also includes the note that Municipal Planning Commission decisions are open to scrutiny and can be appealed to the Subdivision Development Appeal Board.

He stated the bylaw notes that the maximum amount of development time from the issuing of the permit to completion is three years.

The bylaw also gives non-staff the ability to join village staff when they go onto private property.

General regulations

Rules now allow for larger secondary suites in homes, up to 800 square feet.

Rules also now clarify parking requirements for certain developments, to ensure staff, for example, aren’t taking up all of the on-street parking in a residential neighbourhood.

Bed and breakfast is a new allowance in the bylaw in response to small-scale tourism. Bed and breakfasts are allowed a small sign outside.

Under child care facility rules, kids living in a residential area isn’t necessarily a problem, but parking could be stated Teal.

Some parking rules for these operations are included.

Some rules spell out requirements for outdoor boilers.

Teal stated a problem with less efficient ones means a creosote build-up could occur and hence is not allowed in the residential district.

He noted the CR4 with a development permit allows a semi truck on a residential parcel to accommodate people who drive such a truck for a living.

The general regulations also included a number of suggestions for residents from the crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) school of philosophy.

Land use districts

Cannabis retail stores are included but had already been included in a previous bylaw.

Animal services (pet grooming) has now been included as a discretionary use in the central commercial district.

The public recreation district now contains the campground class.

A new zone included in the bylaw is “place of worship.”

Temporary commercial sales district applies to pop-up businesses such as windshield repair and food trucks.

Some of the rules are intended to prevent blocking parking lots or access.

A big change, according to Teal, is with manufactured homes.

He stated the provincial government has ruled manufactured homes of any kind can’t be discriminated against; however, the homes have to meet architectural requirements or they’re not allowed.

The private recreation facility is another new district for things like privately-owned campgrounds, golf courses etc.

Going to the public

After Teal’s presentation, he discussed how the public consultation process will work.

Teal stated consultation will take place in July and August with the official public hearing in mid-Sept., taking into account all pandemic measures.

Council will then look at the consultation feedback and the draft bylaw and make their decision.

White said the process for amending the LUB is long but important.

“It’s one of the most important bylaws we have to work with,” she added.

 

Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.

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