Retreat Centre and campground gains approval

Kneehill County Council has agreed to rezone a section of land that will soon be dedicated to a campground and addiction rehabilitation centre.

John and Susan Hamm submitted an application to redesignate approximately 70 acres of farmland to a recreational district on NE 32-31-25 W4 which is a mere 10 miles west of Three Hills.

The majority of these lands are fragmented pasture and coulee. The land is also bound by Highway 806 on the east and Highway 583 on the north. The access point would be the existing access off of Highway 806.

The couple plans on having a majority of this land operate as a drop-in campground with trails and some cabins.

The other part of this land will be devoted to developing a Country Recreational Lodge and Retreat Centre for rehabilitation and treatment of various addictive natures and reconciliation of marriages that are struggling.

It would be located in the northwest portion of this quarter and the owners have no intention of subdividing the area.

A public hearing for the proposed rezoning from agriculture district to recreational district opened at 9:00 a.m. on Tues. Sept. 11. during the last regular council meeting.

One person, Wayne Nelson, spoke in favour of the proposed development while seven spoke in opposition.

Since then, council has had time to discuss the change at the Sept. 25 meeting which they felt the proposed area was sufficient.

Council unanimously voted in favour of the development after third reading.

Ghost Pine/Orkney Water Line

John McKiernan, Manager of Environmental Services, presented a delegation regarding the Proposed Ghost Pine and Orkney Water Line.

In a previous council meeting, council directed administration to give a cohesive report of estimated prices, and possible hook up lines.

They had made plans to cover a large gap from Highway 575 up through the 835 Highway to the Kneehill County border on the east side.

The project had multiple guesses as to how much money it would cost in total but three current tie-in pipelines.

Aqua 7 has a tie in from Range Road 22-1 for $2.2 million, the existing Three Hills Truck Line is only 6 kilometres away and would cost $660,000, and the final tie-in known as Mt. Vernon Booster Station, would cost 1.1 million

An approximate 70 residents would be benefiting from this 5-kilometre pipeline and close the remaining gap in the current pipeline system Kneehill County oversees.

McKiernan advised council that the numbers may seem large as this price accounts for larger distribution lines than what they are currently used to using.

Finding a firm and speaking with engineers will be the next step if the plan were to go through.

This would add an additional $200,000 price tag. The county’s water reserves sit at roughly $3.5 million, some of which will be allocated to the current Churchill Water System Rehabilitation.

Deputy Reeve Kenneth King moved to accept the presentation as information as their reserves are dedicated to this other project for the time being.

Municipal Affairs makes appearance

Municipal Affairs representatives Kevin Miller and Jeff Nixon made a delegation announcing their presence to council.

The pair sat in on the council meeting to witness how they conduct business as well as review internal compliance.

It was made clear almost immediately that they were there on separate business that is not linked to the recent petition signed by over 1,100 residents within Kneehill County.

A customized report will be given once the review is complete.

The county will have one year from the time the report is received to make any changes highlighted within the report.

Marigold levy rates rise

Administration presented to Council on June 12, an amendment to the Marigold Library Agreement. The amendment outlines Marigold’s levy rates for municipalities and library boards for 2019 & 2020.

At this time, Council made a motion to bring back more information to the August 21, 2018, Council meeting.

The Marigold Agreement states that Schedule C shall be effective upon receipt of signed Schedule C amendments from 60 per cent of the parties to this Agreement representing 60 per cent of the people living within the boundaries of Marigold. Michelle Toombs, CEO, informed council at the September 11 meeting that Marigold has already received the 60 per cent.

The per capita levy rates will increase from this year’s rate of $10.26 to $10.50 in 2019 and then further increase to $10.74 in 2020.

The increase has been based on the increase in population as reported by Municipal Affairs in 2017.

Had council decided not to sign the agreement, the county would not use Marigold Library’s services anymore.

Instead, council approved the Marigold Library amendment to the Marigold Agreement that outlines Marigold’s levy rates for municipalities and library boards for 2019 and 2020.

Bylaw amendments made to integrate cannabis legislation

Due to the federal government’s upcoming legalization of cannabis, municipal governments have been given an opportunity to implement bylaws relating to cannabis retail locations, production facilities and the public consumption of cannabis.

Kneehill County updated their land use bylaw to prepare for legalization on October 17.

Public consultation was held on August 7 regarding the proposed changes relating to cannabis. It helped the county determine the direction residents wished them to go in when it comes to cannabis retail sales and more.

Bar Hazleton presented the changes of the land use bylaw before the public hearing began on Tues. Sept. 25.

Planning has also made some further amendments like sending out notifications in Hamlet’s to contiguous properties only (as per the MGA).

They also added a new section for creative architecture.

This was a use that was added in the last version of the bylaw but the accompanying section had not been included before.

Food Truck Vendors are now required permits and an undeveloped parcel that has been subdivided for residential purposes in the setback requirement for a wind tower.

Removed the sign size restrictions and have replaced with “Any sign over 64 ft is considered to be a discretionary use.”

They included all the uses from the Agriculture Business District into the Agriculture District.

Under Garden Suites, they have removed the maximum distance of 40’ and noted it must be located within the developed yard site.

All production facilities are required to have the land rezoned to Direct Control District as well as any facility aimed at selling cannabis products.

The county also advertised four individuals times in the local newspaper as well as having the bylaw on the county’s website for anyone to review.

The county has agreed to keep all cannabis retail sale shops 300 metres away from schools, rodeo grounds, hospitals, ball diamonds, curling rinks, etc.

Cannabis production facilities will have a slight bit more lenient as they can be less than 100 metres away from public areas. This was added in as requested by Alberta Health Services (AHS).

Administration added that they contacted several other municipalities to see how their neighbours felt about their land use bylaw.

Palliser Regional Municipal Services, Red Deer County, Rocky View County, Town of Three Hills, and Wheatland County believed all the changes were deemed good.

Reeve Jerry Wittstock explained the rules of the public hearing before launching into the proceedings.

There were no written submissions, written or speakers, in favour of the bylaw amendments or against. Council passed third reading of the amended land use bylaw.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

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ECA Review