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RVC to explore Municipal Planning Commission

Rocky View County will explore the creation of a Municipal Planning Commission tasked with decisions on subdivisions and development applications in the County. File Photo/Rocky View Publishing

Rocky View County (RVC) may change to its subdivision and development approval process after council unanimously directed administration to explore the creation of a Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) at a regular meeting July 23.

“The County may establish a MPC to exercise subdivision and development powers, ultimately acting as the subdivision and development authority in all matters assigned to it,” said Municipal Clerk Charlotte Satink. “As a committee of council, the MPC would play an important role in managing growth and development within the County.”

Administration will draft an MPC bylaw and create an implementation plan for council’s consideration on Sept. 24.

Procedure Bylaw

Council unanimously approved a new procedure bylaw, effective Sept. 1, to govern how council meetings are conducted. Notably, the bylaw changes the public hearing process for RVC, with public hearings to be scheduled after a bylaw has received first reading.

According to Grant Kaiser, executive director of Community and Business Connections, the County will communicate changes to the bylaw later this month through press releases and newspaper ads.

Cochrane Lakes Gas Co-op

The Cochrane Lake Gas Co-op will relocate to RVC following council’s unanimous approval of a redesignation application and Master Site Development Plan (MSDP).

“At this point, what we have is four large [Natural Resource Industrial District] parcels in the east, and we have industrial-commercial on the west side of this parcel,” said Area Coun. Crystal Kissel. “In my mind, this fits – it’s a natural progression to move forward. If our goal is to be open for business and welcome new businesses, this is a natural progression.”

The application creates three business parcels on 10 acres of land east of Highway 22 and on the north side of Highway 567, planner Xin Deng said, situated between a Shell gas station and RV park directly to the west and a gravel operation to the east.

Deng said the proposed development plan was premature, as an Area Structure Plan (ASP) did not currently exist for the subject lands to guide business development. Administration recommended tabling the application until a developer-funded ASP could be completed, she said.

However, Ken Venner, on behalf of applicant B&A Planning Group, argued the development was a logical extension of an established highway business area.

He added the co-op has outgrown its current facility in Cochrane, the relocation would allow it to improve customer service by operating from within its franchise area. The Cochrane Lake Gas Co-op provides natural gas to approximately 2,700 customers in RVC, Mountain View County and the M.D. of Bighorn.

Balzac Servicing

Following a recommendation July 2 by the Governance and Priorities Committee (GPC), council approved $50,000 to for administration to commission an engineering review on the extension of County water and wastewater servicing to West Balzac.

According to administration, the preliminary report would evaluate pipeline routing, confirm land requirements, obtain feedback from Alberta Transportation and provide staging options to extend the utilities from East Balzac to West Balzac.

Council voted 6-3 to approve the funding, with Couns. Kevin Hanson, Samanntha Wright and Kissel opposed.

“There’s a number of assumptions that are being stretched quite a bit to even make this thing look like it’s worth spending $50,000 on,” Hanson said. “We seem to think there’s wastewater available in Weed Lake, and by my count, we’ve already over subscribed that.”

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