City begins consultation on 12 Thousand Acre Plan

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City of Airdrie planning department staff held an open house Oct. 4 to present information about the 12 Thousand Acres Plan and collect feedback from residents.

“We wanted to provide information and a sharing opportunity to launch the plan with the public,” said Stephen Utz, community growth manager. “We had sent out letters to all the landowners within the land annexed by Airdrie in 2012 – that constituted about 270 landowner letters.”

The City annexed approximately 12,640 acres of land from Rocky View County in March 2012. The land will give the City a 50-year land supply.

According to Utz, between 150 and 200 people came to the open house.

“It was a good opportunity to share information and launch the plan,” he said, adding turnout exceeded expectations.

Utz said the open house was just the first step in the process of collecting public feedback.

“We’ve invited interested residents to come out to design charrettes on Oct. 17 and Oct. 18. At those charrettes they’ll be helping us to determine high-level land use concepts for the 12,000 acres – looking at which areas in their minds should be best served as residential, industrial, etcetera,” he said.

A charrette is an intensive planning session where residents, planners and others collaborate on a vision for development and have equal authorship of the resulting plan. The design charrettes take place at City Hall from 6 to 9 p.m. both evenings.

Utz was quick to dispel rumours the plan was already a “done deal.”

“Obviously, the City Plan gave us some direction but we’ll be once again evaluating the direction that was within the City Plan, looking at all the background documents – things like the City Master Plan, the Transportation Plan, etcetera,” he said.

Utz said planners will be evaluating input received from the public to see how that can be used to fulfill the four major objectives for the plan: to create a high-level land use concept, to set future area structure use boundaries, to determine development sequencing and to think of any areas that might be able to have short-term land uses that don’t rely on water and sanitation needs.

Two areas within the annexed lands have received approval from City council to apply for an area structure plan, but Utz stressed all that has been received is approval to apply and no actual development plans have been presented to council for approval.

He added the owners of those lands will still need to go to public consultation and to public council before proceeding.

Anyone who was unable to attend the open house Oct. 4 can provide feedback by contacting planner William Czaban william.czaban@airdrie.ca or by phone at 403-948-8800, extension 8705.

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