The County of Wetaskiwin has scheduled six public open houses across the county to gather resident feedback about the draft Municipal Development Plan (MDP).
At these open houses, county residents will be able to read the proposed policies in the MDP and share their perspectives on the plan which will guide land use and development in the county for the next 10 to 20 years.
The MDP review open houses will be held from 7p.m. to 9 p.m. on:
• Monday Oct. 17, 2022- Buck Lake Community Hall;
• Tuesday Oct. 18, 2022- Winfield Agriplex Hall;
• Wednesday Oct. 26, 2022- Falun Community Hall;
• Thursday Oct. 27, 2022- Mulhurst Bay Community Hall;
• Wednesday Nov. 2, 2022- Millet Agriplex Banquet Hall
• Thursday Nov. 3, 2022- Wetaskiwin Ag Society Barn.
The MDP is the county’s long-range land use planning document which outlines direction and strategy to inform how the county will look and grow in the future.
County council and administration have discussed the draft MDP which has been prepared by the county’s project team.
Particular areas of interest for county residents in the draft MDP include policies on protecting agricultural land and the county’s rural character, providing opportunity for residential development, supporting economic development, supporting the right kind of growth in hamlets, protecting important environmental features and stewarding the county’s lakes responsibly.
Protecting agricultural land
This policy would include identifying areas in the county where agriculture is the preferred land use, establishing different subdivision and development policies for the western and eastern parts of the county based on soil conditions and topography and discouraging the county’s best soils from being converted to uses other than agriculture.
The draft MDP policy will also clarify where the county will and will not support confined feeding operations, an issue which faced contention this year when a proposed feedlot was set to be located near Pigeon Lake within the lake’s watershed and many county residents fought to have the feedlot denied by the Natural Resources Conservation Board.
Providing opportunities for residential development
This policy will direct where new residential development will be encouraged to make the best use of existing infrastructure as well as establishing site and servicing requirements for multi-lot country residential development.
Supporting economic development
This policy will encourage innovative and value-added agricultural development in the county and encourage commercial and industrial developments in appropriate locations.
Supporting the growth in hamlets
Growth in hamlets that have existing infrastructure capacity will be supported and commercial developments to support the surrounding community will be encouraged.
Protecting important environmental features
This policy will establish setbacks from watercourses and waterbodies and encourage the retention of natural vegetation including tree cover in sensitive locations.
Stewarding the county’s lakes responsibly
Establish policies to protect the long-term health and wellbeing of the county’s lakes, identify lakes where new development is supported in a responsible manner and location and identify lakes where higher-density development is discouraged.
READ MORE: County of Wetaskiwin summer update
The County of Wetaskiwin states that they will take the resident feedback from the open houses to improve the draft MDP before council considers adopting the plan.