Subdivision rezoning request stalled by Verheire

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  • Sep. 21, 2011 2:00 p.m.

By Treena Mielke

At least one councillor wants to be sure there is no gravel in the ground before giving the nod to a rezoning proposal on a large parcel of land in the county.

Coun. George Verheire temporarily put the brakes on a proposal to rezone 302 acres on the west side of Highway 2 on Gee Road. He voted against giving all three readings to the rezoning bylaw at the Sept. 13 sitting of Ponoka County council.

“I think prior to rezoning we need to know there is no gravel on the land he wants to rezone,” he said. “We don’t want to see houses built on top of gravel and we don’t want to see people building near gravel pits.”

Two adjacent landowners, who attended a public hearing regarding the proposal along with applicant Don Cameron, spoke out against the proposal to rezone the parcel from agricultural district to country residential to allow for future subdivision.

Josh Lubach, who has a poultry operation nearby, does not believe the area is suitable for acreage development due to the surrounding intensive animal operations. He spreads manure on adjacent land, which could be offensive to acreage owners. He added that his business is the largest poultry operation in Alberta.

Paul DeGier, who was also in attendance at the hearing, suggested the property could be used for farming and to rezone it to country residential could negatively affect the eco-system of the Battle River Valley.

However, Cameron said the property is not suitable for farming as it has minimal black dirt and large rocks. “No one would want to put a plough in that ground.”

Cameron has no immediate plans for the land, but was being proactive by requesting the rezoning.

“I don’t want to have the use of it dictated by my neighbours when it’s my property,” he said.

Wayne Gee, who owns property adjacent to the area, agreed.

“I don’t see any problem with the acreages,” he said.

The rezoning, which will be re-visited at Ponoka County’s Sept. 29 meeting, could be approved as third reading does not need to be unanimous.