The future of Ponoka is on the hands of its residents.
A public meeting has been set for Sept. 10 to give people a chance to voice their opinions on the Town of Ponoka’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP. The date was set after council gave first reading to the plan Aug. 13.
Planning consultant Bob Riddett helped finalize the draft and suggested after hearing comments from the public, council could then pass second and third reading – making the bylaw binding – the same day. Amendments after the hearing can be made before passing the plan, he added.
Some changes to the draft from the recent open house explain the need for manufactured housing rentals and subdivisions.
“That’s something that I don’t think was in the 1997 document. So if you want to keep affordable housing that’s one way of doing it,” explained Riddett.
Secondary suites are also becoming more common in municipalities. “It’s a good idea to allow them because they’re going to happen anyway.”
If those suites are legal then the town can properly assess the suites for taxation and issue the proper permits.
Riddet said Drayton Valley had an issue with unregistered secondary suites where owners would not declare them on the census and as a result lost out on per capita government grants for seniors.
The full MDP can be found at the town’s website at www.ponoka.ca or at Town Hall.
If the changes are not large then council should not have to have a second public hearing but if another is needed there will still be time to advertise before the Oct. 21 election.