County of Stettler councillors baulked at a request to lower a speed limit, stating it would set a precedent for more such requests.
The decision was made at the regular meeting of council May 13.
“A resident has requested to have the speed limit reduced from 80 km/h to 50 km/h in front of their residence on Township Road 38-2 West of Range Road 21-2,” stated Lee Hardman, director of Protective Services, in his report to council.
“On April 22, 2020, a complaint was filed with Protective Services in relation to a signage request.
The complainant resides along Township Road 38-2 West of Range Road 21-2.
“No signage displaying speed is currently present on the township road which automatically defaults to 80 km/h in accordance with the Traffic Safety Act. The complainant is concerned for the safety of his children that play in their yard.
“The complainant stated that the speeds are causing rocks to be flung into his yard, in one instance almost hitting his child.”
The complainant stated he was at the point of not letting his children play outside anymore on his property due to the safety concerns.
The complainant requested reduction of speed by his residence.
“On April 27, 2020 an inspection of the area was conducted by Protective Services.
Because the sightlines were clear, Protective Services is not concerned that a reduction to the speed limit would cause a public safety hazard.
“Cautionary signs are already in place advising the motoring public that children are at play on either side of the resident’s yard.
These types of signs exist throughout the county at the request of residents, but this would likely be the first speed limit reduction in front of a single acreage.”
Hardman stated when he spoke to the resident, it was made clear county departments couldn’t change the speed limit, only council could do that.
Coun. Cheri Neitz asked if the resident has dust control on the county road running past his home. Hardman stated he was not aware of any dust control in that area.
Coun. Wayne Nixon stated that council is obliged to treat all residents equally, and if they granted this request, it may cause many more of these requests to come forward.
“I don’t see how it can work,” said Nixon.
Coun. Ernie Gendre agreed, stating he could not support the speed limit change because it could apply to every residence. “this could be precedent-setting,” said Gendre.
A motion to grant the speed limit change was defeated by councillors.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter