Ponoka County denies rezoning over road responsibility issue

Application to parcel off land shot down by council due mainly to lack of access

A recent rezoning application ran into a big road block and was denied by Ponoka County.

Council held a public hearing during its Jan. 8 meeting on the application from David and Debra Koopman to rezone a 20 acre parcel of their property along Range Road 252 just north of the county’s south border to country residential hobby farm.

The reason is that the Koopman’s are hoping to subdivide the land so it can be sold as they are planning to downsize and the parcel isn’t very suitable for agricultural use.

There were a few neighbours that lodged written and verbal opposition, including from two individuals that purchased properties from the Koopman’s several years ago that back onto the land in the application.

The objections were mostly focused on the affects the rezoning and possible future sale of the parcel would have on the enjoyment and privacy of their properties, the impact on the views plus the potential of issues with the water supply. One other concern expressed was that adding more traffic on Range Road 252 would speed up the deterioration of a road that many area residents already believe is atrocious and poorly maintained.

David did explain in the hearing that any construction on the land could obstruct the view from other properties, if built in certain locations, and that a water study would have to be done before anything was developed.

While council did take those objections into consideration, the issue that ultimately had them deny the application was that the only available access to the land was along the current private driveway. That would mean, if approval was given and the land sold to a new owner, the county would then have to take on responsibility for repair and maintenance.

“The only way to ensure and protect legal access to the balance of the properties would be to register that road,” noted CAO Charlie Cutforth.

In further discussion after the hearing, Coun. Mark Matejka wasn’t a fan of doing that for just one landowner.

“Let’s be honest, you are going to take county responsibility for a road for one person. We are taking on a lot of cost to service just one lot,” he stated.

Coun. Bryce Liddle added he also struggles with approval due to the restrictions that were placed on the previous subdivided properties and now that could all change.

In the end, council unanimously voted against first reading of the rezoning application, therefore denying it.



jordie.dwyer@ponokanews.com

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