Land rezone denial sparks company surprise

Ponoka County councillors voted against the rezoning of a Highway 2 frontage property selected by Precision Precast to build

Dear Editor:

Ponoka County councillors voted against the rezoning of a Highway 2 frontage property selected by Precision Precast to build a state of the art precast concrete manufacturing facility.

We were surprised to see this outcome at third reading, after having favorable first and second readings for rezoning a few weeks ago.

The property was determined favorable by Ponoka County officials and third party advisors, plus Alberta Transportation during the first meeting. During third reading, new discussions were introduced by a councillor about road use and potentially the cost of upgrading the existing gravel road with new pavement.

Unfortunately during Ponoka County’s third reading rules, Precision Precast was not allowed to address council and reply to what are development permit issues that take place after rezoning in the next step of the development process. If road improvements are required, the county would make this a condition of the development permit.

The 52-acre property has Highway 2 frontage on its east side, a sand pit operator on its south side, a dairy farmer on the west side and a pipe yard on the north side. All of the neighbors have been using gravel, farming and transport trucks for years on this range road. It is well maintained and can handle the extra six to 12 trucks a day.

Another suggestion by a councillor was to locate at the 604 interchange. These properties are typically used by hotels and truck stops requiring hundreds of vehicles access per hour to Highway 2. Precision has only one or two trucks an hour. The interchange is a poor location choice for this type of business.

Precision Precast will re-apply for a different rezoning on the same property and is willing to upgrade the range road if recommended by Ponoka County infrastructure officials at the development permit stage.

Our customers are waiting for our products throughout the province; we hope that Ponoka County councillors will see the benefit of long term jobs, positive development, and increased taxes for the entire community.

Harold Jahn,

Precast Projects Ltd.

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