County of Stettler: MPC approves Hutterite colony building

The County of Stettler Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) approved a Hutterite colony’s application to build new living accommodations. Pictured is the laneway and proposed location for structure. ECA Review/Submitted

The County of Stettler Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) approved a Hutterite colony’s application to build new living accommodations. The decision was made at the June 26 regular MPC meeting.

The MPC is comprised of members of county council and chaired by Coun. James Nibourg.

Board members read an application from the Byemoor Hutterite Colony for a development permit to construct new housing at a site located on SE 3-36-16W4; the application noted the parcel in question is just over 157 acres in size and is currently zoned agriculture.

The application was presented by Development Officer Greggory Jackson who noted the applicant plans to build a clustered farm dwelling. “The Byemoor colony has been registered on the property since 1983 and the operation yard and gardens cover portions of the NW, NE, and SE quarters of 3-36-16 W4,” stated his report to the board. “The access to Byemoor colony is from Twp.Rd. 36-0.

“The land surrounding the base section of the colony is zoned agriculture and there are no residences located within a one mile radius of the operation.

“The Byemoor Colony has previously worked with the County of Stettler as well as the NRCB to ensure that all development on the property has been reviewed and permitted correctly. Copies of the development permits issued by the County of Stettler are located in the land file.

“A clustered farm dwelling is listed as a discretionary use in this district and the Land Use Bylaw (LUB) definition describes the proposed use by the Byemoor colony for the structure as…one or more detached dwellings, duplexes or multiple family dwellings and such other structures and uses which are associated with the day-to-day operation of a religious colony.

“The proposed dwelling designed at 2,160 sq.ft. (30 feet x 72 feet) and will be constructed onsite and house one family. The location of the proposed dwelling is located to the west of the current housing of the colony, south of the approved new school / gymnasium structure and separate from the industrial and farming operations located on the colony property.”

Jackson noted the standard procedure of requesting opinions from other agencies about this application was followed and there were no concerns. Staff recommendation was to approve the development permit with standard conditions.

During discussion Coun. Nibourg asked what the colony planned to do with the existing housing on the site; staff answered they believed existing housing will continue to be occupied.

The board unanimously approved the development permit application.

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism  Initiative reporter
ECA Review

About the author

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.