Updated Land use bylaw replacing old

It’s out with the old and in with the new with Bylaw 698-21, the new Land Use Bylaw set to replace the outdated one which has officially undergone first reading.

As many sections have been added or entirely changed the decision to replace the old bylaw was made.

An open house will take place on April 20 to hear opinions from residents on this revised version.

Todd Pawsey, director of community services gave highlights of the adjustments made to the 130 page document including sections concerning cosmetic matters and legality while at County of Paintearth’s regular meeting on Tues. April 6.

Under Solar and Wind Energy Conversion Systems (SECS/WECS) minimum standards were already set in place but have been revisited under the new bylaw.

Of note, changes include minimum separation distances of turbines from any road – 330 ft. (100 metres) or the greater of blade length and 20 metres or from any leased or non-leased property boundary line.

From any dwelling on lands leased for wind energy developments – the greater of 500 m (1640 ft.) or as meets AUC Rule 12 permitted levels from any dwelling on lands not leased for wind energy developments – the greater of 1000 m (3280 ft.) or as meets AUC Rule 12 permitted levels.

Provincial and federal agency approvals are now to be expected of companies.

Before construction commencing at the provincial level, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) approval is needed prior to applying for development permits and will include all other provincial department circulations and referral approvals such as the Alberta Electrical Systems Operator (AESO), Alberta Environment and Parks, Alberta Transportation, Alberta Health Authority and any other provincial government department or agency.

Current reclamation plans are to meet at a minimum the AER requirements of removal of all improvements to a depth of 36” for subsurface installations.

New mapping has been created to help modernize the document as well.

Through engagement with landowners through their recent survey, it was found that many discretionary uses needed to be changed to give more power back to landowners in what they do on their property, which is now reflected in the new bylaw.

Discretionary use means a use for which a development permit may be issued at the discretion of the Municipal Planning Commission.

Licensed Marijuana Facilities (LMF) for production and/or retail usage has been introduced to the land use bylaw.

Any LMF under 200m2 is proposed to be defined and allowed as a discretionary use within all districts except for hamlets, residential areas and recreational districts whereas a large facility over 200m2 will require a development permit within and contain all measures created by the Municipal Government Act (MGA).

Companies could possibly build one of these facilities within Agricultural Districts, Airport Fringe Districts, Hamlet Industrial Districts, Natural Resources Extraction Districts, Rural Commercial Industrial Districts and Crowfoot Crossing.

Tags have been added to stop orders, penalties and fines as a way for administration to still enforce the bylaw to ‘give it some teeth’ while not going to extreme lengths that stop orders and other compliance measures covered for large operations.

“It gives enforcement but we don’t have to go the full length of a stop-work order,” said Pawsey.

When a municipal tag has been issued under this bylaw, the person getting the tag instead of being prosecuted for the offence, will pay to the county the penalty specified on the Municipal Tag which can vary in amounts depending on the offence.

A schedule of fines and their prices were added as well, ranging from $250 to $2,000.

County residents will soon be able to pursue beekeeping for domestic or commercial honey production provided the location and placement of hives is per the regulations and guidelines made for certain districts.

Administration added that the spaces they would most likely permit include wide open spaces away from residential areas and that this portion was added as more interest has come up for beekeeping in recent years.

Fleet subdivision

An area structure plan for the Fleet Rail Lands nine-plot subdivision passed first reading.

On the same day as the land use bylaw open house, this plan will undergo the same process before entering second and third reading.

It has already been circulated to every landowner within Fleet and surrounding area.

Mower purchase awarded

Two bids were received for a tender of a Degelman REV 1500 Mower.

There was a $500 difference between Filipenko Bros. at $12,500 or Wildor Farms Ltd. for $13,000.

Dep. Reeve Blumhagen was concerned about the possibility of information being shared beforehand, allowing the one bid to come out on top unfairly.

Administration shared that this bid came in at 2:30 p.m. before the tender closed at 3 p.m.

Council awarded the mower to Wildor Farms for this price with Blumhagen opposed.

Damaged window

A county gravel truck heading west on Highway 9 at approximately 2:30 pm. on March 24, passed a vehicle resulting in a rock damaging the front windshield.

The owner of the vehicle followed the truck to find out the identity of the owner.

Bryce Cooke, public works director was then notified right away about the damage.

He added that GPS and their driver confirmed the timelines of the event.

Council chose to reimburse the owner for the replacement of the broken windshield for $231.53.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.