Kneehill County: Council gives initial nod for wedding hall rezoning

Kneehill County council approved first reading of a rezoning bylaw that would accommodate a new events centre in the area outlined. ECA Review/Screenshot

Kneehill County council approved the first step in a rezoning application to accommodate a new wedding and event centre. The resolution to pass first reading of a rezoning bylaw was passed at the May 14 regular meeting of council.

Councillors heard an application to rezone just over two acres of land located within the SW 13-29-25-W4M from agriculture district to local rural commercial to accommodate a proposed event centre.

The application was presented by Development Officer Brandy Hay-Morgan.

“The subject parcel is bound by RgeRd #251 on the west and is located approximately two miles south of Sec.Hwy #575,” stated Hay-Morgan’s presentation to council.

“The applicants have indicated that they want to utilize existing buildings (quonset and grain bins) for an event venue for the focus to be weddings and may entertain other events if suitable.

“The event venue will have an approximate capacity of 150 people, and have camping available and in the future the addition of timber framed cabins for overnight accommodations for guests only.

“The proposed use has warranted redesignation. No subdivision is proposed and so this would be considered spot zoning.”

The council package also included a letter from the applicant, Raven’s View Acres (RVA), describing their intent for the rezoning.

“RVA is intended to be an event venue with a focus on rustic weddings,” stated the letter signed by Brenden Ramsay and Laura Ramsay.

“…we intend to have timber framed cabins on skids for overnight accommodations. However, the land in question would be available for tent camping usage in the interim. This would only be for wedding guests. Not open as a public camping option.

“Existing grain bins in the redesignated area will also be converted to a bridal suite and honeymoon site at a later date.

“The finished venue space will include a commercial kitchen to be added to at a later date to the backside of the existing quonset.”

The letter noted, if the rezoning was approved and the project moved forward, renovations would be done on existing buildings, including a concrete floor, new roof and new doors.

During discussion, Coun. Debbie Penner asked for an explanation of “spot rezoning.”

The development officer responded “spot rezoning” means two land uses would exist on the same property, in this case agriculture and local rural commercial.

Hay-Morgan further explained that an event venue isn’t permitted on agriculture-zoned land, so for the proposal to be accommodated a rezoning was necessary.

Penner asked why the property owners didn’t rezone the entire parcel to which Hay-Morgan responded there is a residence involved plus livestock such as horses on the balance of the land.

During discussion a former event centre that caused problems within Kneehill County in the past was mentioned; Hay-Morgan stated that venue was un-permitted in the first place and these applicants are completely unrelated to that.

It was also noted issues such as traffic and on-site development are topics for a later stage in the process.

As the rezoning is within a bylaw, Hay-Morgan noted after first reading a public hearing would be held where the public can offer their comments on this proposal.

Councillors unanimously passed first reading of the rezoning bylaw, then unanimously approved a public hearing.

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.