Stettler County’s MPC wants ‘unsightly’ fence addressed

Stettler County’s Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) wants something done about an unsightly fence located in Rochon Sands Estates. ECA Review/Submitted
Written by Stu Salkeld

Stettler County’s Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) wants something done about an unsightly fence located in Rochon Sands Estates. ECA Review/Submitted

Stettler County’s Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) wants something done about an unsightly fence located in Rochon Sands Estates. The decision to send instructions to the property owner was made at the regular MPC meeting July 28.

Director of Planning Jacinta Donovan presented board members, who are also the county council, with a report into unsightly premises complaints about 6 Buffalo Way, Rochon Sands Estates. 

It was noted at the meeting at least one unsightly premises complaint was filed in the past about this property.

Donovan’s report noted a permit was issued earlier this year to demolish an old residence on the parcel in question to make way for a new one. 

A recent site inspection indicated the new home is under construction on the property,” stated Donovan’s memo to board members.

“Planning Services has received several recent complaints from land owners within the Rochon Sands Estates subdivision regarding an eight foot fence along the south and west boundary of the property” stated the memo, which noted the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) ruled in fall of 2018 that the property’s fence could be increased to eight feet in height, but the gate had to match the fence’s appearance, that both sides of the gate open and close properly, that the fence be extended to reach the tree line and that all of these improvements be finished by June 15, 2019.

County staff visited the property recently and took some photos that were presented at the MPC meeting. 

“As shown on the attached photos the gate improvements were completed and the fence has been extended at the east and west ends of the fence and partially north to the tree line,” stated the memo. “However, the finish of the fence does not the match the material and colour of the pre-existing white vinyl finish.”

Staff also noted complaints came to the county office regarding multiple vehicles and at least one RV which appeared to be stored on the property. 

Donovan’s memo stated storing more than two such vehicles in a front yard visible to the public violates the county bylaw.

County Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Yvette Cassidy stated she felt council needed to point out to the property owners they must comply by the previous conditions or the county will go in, do the work and send the property owners the bill. 

Cassidy added it seemed neighbours wanted the entire fence to be one colour rather than two.

Director of Municipal Services Andrew Brysiuk suggested the county issue a stop work order until the fence conditions are met, and include in the order removal of the vehicles. 

Donovan stated that previous decisions approved an eight foot fence in one colour.

MPC Chair Cheri Neitz noted the previous order simply said the old and new fences must match, so it would be up to the property owner to decide which colour to keep.

Coun. James Nibourg stated he felt this issue spanning several years was too much. 

“We’ve been dealing with this for quite a time and we are ready to move on this,” said Nibourg.

The MPC board unanimously agreed to send a letter to the property owners in question requiring previous fence conditions be met and the stored vehicles be moved.

 

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.