Proposed rural subdivision receives mixed reviews

The area structure plan for a County of Wetaskiwin rural subdivision of 11 lots had all three readings approved by county council...

The area structure plan for a County of Wetaskiwin rural subdivision of 11 lots had all three readings approved by county council at a planning and economic development meeting April 14.

Approximately 60 acres, broken up into the lots, will be be serviced by internal roads. An already developed yard site north of the proposed subdivision will remain as a single parcel.

There is sufficient water for 14 lots and the area in question was added to the Wetaskiwin/Millet Acreage Study five years ago.

Planning consultant Bob Riddett said, on behalf of applicant Terry Wright( Evergreen Park Estates), “There was an issue of fire protection.”

Several options presented to council included drawing water from the Pipestone Creek, using the Ruby Hills storm water pond or an on-site storm water pond surround by a fence to stop vehicles from getting into it.

Speaking to concerns previously mentioned by nearby landowners, Riddett says there would be no tree cover removed.

“Acreage owners don’t cut down trees, they plant trees,” said Riddett, referring to his general experience. He added there are more deer within the Wetaskiwin/Millet Acreage Study now than there was 50 years ago.

Roads were another concern for council and its approval is hinged on the roads, which service the lots, identified in the area structure plan, being widened from 20 to 24 meters. An access with poor visibility will be shifted north and will meet the larger road at a 90 degree angle.

As landowners in the area took to the podium to voice their opinions to council a few had the same concern about water flow and if the natural flow would be changed or blocked. “The short answer… culverts and ditches,” said Riddett.

Phyllis Woods was concerned about grass and burn fires. “For some reason people that are not used to living out in the county, they just don’t understand the limitations.”

Acreage owners using their quads on other peoples’ land was another issue for her. “I don’t see how this makes for a good relationship for those living in the area.”

“And we have to contend with this? They just don’t understand the limitations,” she added.

Hilary Beck was concerned with the amount of water available to the new lots and questioned why the county is approving an area structure plan for new acreages while there are others in the county sitting empty.

She is also worried about the wildlife in the area. Beck says she agrees with Riddett’s statement acreage owners tend to plant trees rather than cut them. “But they could if they wanted to.”

Beck also mentioned the increased traffic and more lights the subdivision would bring, especially since it is paved. She recognized the increased traffic was the reason the road was paved in the first place and says every issue has its prose and cons. “That’s probably a pretty selfish thing to say We like our view.”

Allan Cunningham stood to say he was in favour of the subdivision, as he feels the county needs to grow and increase its tax base.