In a split vote, Rocky View County council approved rezoning of 525 acres of farmland located east of Indus, Sept. 7.
The land was redesignated to facilitate the development of Fulton Industrial Park, a limited service industrial park.
“This is a good development in a good portion of the county to do this in,” said Reeve Lois Habberfield. “Why replace (industrial) lands lost to Calgary annexation? Why would we not approve this?”
Businesses expected to locate in the park are primarily storage and manufacturing related, with both outdoor and indoor activities.
As the park develops, a small commercial area and municipal reserve will be created to provide services for Indus residents and employees of the park.
Lots are expected to vary in size from 2.5 to 100 acres.
Sewage will be managed through a pump and haul system, while water will be supplied by truck and stored in cisterns.
Only 65 per cent of the land can be used for development until an outfall for storm water can be constructed.
Storm water will be managed through onsite retention in two ponds.
Height restrictions and a buffer zone will be put in place so the park, which falls just outside the Indus area structure plan, will fit into the area.
The public hearing regarding the project was well attended, with several residents sharing concerns about noise, traffic, wastewater, loss of farmland and decreasing land values.
Local acreage owner Neil Mason purchased his property, located adjacent to the proposed park, three years ago.
He said if he had known there was going to be an industrial park located next to his home, he wouldn’t have bought it.
“(The area) is like an old-time country lane, there are few places like it in the MD,” said Mason.
“I would have liked to believe there was some validity to the Area Structure Plan (ASP).”
Area resident Vern Kimble suggested the development be tabled until after a review of the Indus ASP.
“I would like to strongly suggest that this entire land mass is important to our ASP,” said Kimble.
“This land would likely be included (in a future ASP).”
Councillor Gordon Branson agreed that the development should be tabled.
“It can’t support third reading because it could undermine the Reeve’s Task Force,” said Branson.
Councillor Earl Solberg disagreed, saying that council historically bases its decisions on existing rules.
“In past years, we haven’t stood in the way of something while a plan was underway,” said Solberg.
“I think we have to go with the rules of the day.”
Habberfield agreed, saying the development is in an ideal location.
“This is what we should be encouraging,” said Habberfield.
“I know they don’t want this in Springbank or Bragg Creek. So where are we going to put this?”
Councillors Branson, Harvey Buckley and Hopeton Louden voted against the project.
Mitch Yurchak was absent from the meeting.