Development Plan enters final draft stage

The County of Paintearth held an open house on a new agreement required by Alberta Municipal Affairs on Tues. Aug. 14 in the hopes of receiving feedback about this new partnership between the County of Paintearth and the M.D. of Provost.

As of April 1, the Municipal Government Act (MGA) has mandated the development and implementation of an Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) between councils of municipalities and or villages or towns with common boundaries.

These IDP’s are meant to create a standard for communication and decision making between the two entities.

Regulations are also put in place in case of disputes or disagreements.

“The benefits will always be increased communication and information sharing between two neighbours. I can’t really see too many drawbacks from them unless it’s from a contentious project and that is going to be on a project by project basis anyway.”

Todd Pawsey, County of Paintearth Development Officer, gave an overview of how the plan will work once in place.

Both Counties consider the relationship in good standing but will allow for increased communication especially along the fringe area they share.

“The government a couple years ago in updating the MGA basically decided that any municipality that borders another one has to have these agreements in place,” said Pawsey. “I think in their mind and their thinking it was mostly designed from the rural planning around urban municipalities and they may or may not have considered the impact of rural to rural because we have so many rural to rural borders.

“There is never that much contention in rural to rural that there used to be historically between urban to rural.”

The fringe area refers to the area within a mile of the shared border which means a two-mile strip in the northeast stretches approximately 20 miles in length.

Notification letters were sent to residents and businesses in this fringe area but only one phone call was received.

“I can’t see it affecting anybody because we are not changing as our land uses are the same,” explained Pawsey.

The M.D of Provost will be holding their open house next week to discuss the same draft.

Once that is complete and opinions are accepted, if any, the document will be formalized as a bylaw which will follow normal proceedings.

First reading may come as early as the end of September.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

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