Rezoning applications can be somewhat complicated, though that seems to be a running theme for Ponoka County lately.
County council dealt with a pair of applications during their meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 23 that both gave councillors cause for concern – with one approved, but with a stipulation, and one denied.
The 50-acre proposed rezoning to country residential by Darryl and Roberta Renaud, located just east of Meridian Beach, was in front of council again after the issue was tabled from the July 12 meeting in order to gather options about a second access to the property. The application was approved by council, which will now allow Renauds to submit a subdivision application to the municipal planning commission (MPC) for their proposed nine-lot development. However, the approval added a provision that the MPC impose a condition that there must be a second road access to the property should development proceed.
At the July 12 meeting, several written and verbal submissions were made opposing the rezoning, though some were only concerned with emergency access.
County chief administrative officer Charlie Cutforth presented council with three options, but council chose to leave decision until after any subdivision application is approved.
The first option would see the private road access to the nearby sewage treatment plant continued east into the Renaud property, something Cutforth said is feasible and could be completed rather quickly.
The other two options would take longer to construct with one better than the other, according to Cutforth.
One would see the county build on the current Fifth Meridian road allowance for one-half mile to the north for access to Township Road 422, while the better option would see a road allowance placed through the east side of Renaud’s property and through the municipal reserve to connect up with Range Road 284 just north of the current subdivision of Lone Tree Estates.
“That option would be ideal, especially if the land to the north of Lone Tree were to be developed, though the owner has no plans to develop this quarter,” Cutforth stated.
Second times no charm
A new application from Battle River Carpentry to rezone the 80-acre parcel just east of Highway 815 along Range Road 252 to country residential hobby farm was denied.
This was the second rezoning application from the company, who had applied to have the land zoned country residential back on July 12. Normally, another application wouldn’t have been allowed for one year, but Cutforth explained the new application was significantly different so it was allowed to come forward.
However, just like the previous application, there was no support among council and it failed at first reading.
While concerns with the new plan for eight 10.5-acre lots – dust, more traffic, not fit with nearby agricultural operations – were once again at the forefront of those opposed, some on council were more troubled by something else.
“It’s obvious (this application) is being done on speculation, so should we really be looking at how long a property has been owned (before looking at a rezoning application),” Councillor Bryce Liddle said, adding though that those complaining also seem to think they can subdivide, but not anyone else.
The final word, before the application was ultimately defeated, came from Cutforth who stated, “To summarize, the application is a legitimate use of the land, but does it have an adverse effect on the immediate area, do these 10-acre parcels do that? And if you allow the rezoning (and subsequent development) plus the upgrading of the road, then you must also be prepared to address that.