In full support of giving voice to municipalities

Written by ECA Review

Upon review of the Rocky View County letter to Paintearth county dated Dec. 15, 2022, it appears to be a great opportunity for the residents of Alberta.  Something we as residents have been asking for.

As a resident of the County of Paintearth I am in full support of giving a voice to municipalities while protecting residents.  Our County continues to bleed resident’s with our division losing over 20 since the last municipal elections.

Thank you Rocky View.

Dwayne Felzien
County of Paintearth

Excepts from the letter

Rocky View County has put forth a joint advocacy for improved Solar Farm Governance asking other municipality to join their campaign.

The letter stated that “Alberta’s municipalities have been given broad authority over land use decisions and consider ourselves stewards of the land.

” It is our responsibility to ensure orderly and beneficial development of lands, and to maintain the quality of the physical environment where our residents live, work and play.”

The letter went on to say, “However, siting decisions for renewable energy projects can be appealed to Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC), and the AUC is to required to consider municipal land use bylaws, municipal statutory plans or even consult with municipalities when making these decisions.

“We believe that insufficient consideration is given to municipalities in this process and wish to advocate to the province for a more inclusive decision-making process.”

Rocky View County hopes to build a coalition of willing municipalities to hire a third-party consultant to advocate to the Government of Alberta to develop an overarching policy framework for land use decisions on renewable energy projects that is more inclusive of municipal policies and interests.

They are also requesting that municipalities be sheltered from potential financial liabilities associated with future reclamation of renewable energy sites.

Rocky View County has allocated up to $10,000 towards hiring a consultant and are asking other counties, including the County of Paintearth to consider a similar allocation if interested in joining the advocacy coalition.

Rocky View County reiterated in the letter that the intent is not to oppose the development of renewable energy projects as they believe renewable energy will be an important element of reaching Alberta’s emissions reductions targets.

“However, we believe that municipalities should have ore influence over the proves for determining where these projects are located.”

Paintearth councillors excepted the letter as information with Coun. Maurice Wiart commenting, “Rocky View has the pockets to deal with it, while us smaller communities can’t even begin to address issues..”

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