A residential subdivision application is one step closer to reality after County of Wetaskiwin council approved an area structure plan Aug. 14.
Reeve Kathy Rooyakkers opened the public hearing for a proposed Area Structure Plan for property located at NW 32-46-24-W4M P.0721920 B.1 L.1 (Steffensen). Director of Planning and Development David Blades presented the application to council.
It should be noted that before discussion began, councilor Josh Bishop asked to be excused and left the meeting.
“On June 7, 2018, Bob Riddett and landowner Matt Steffensen held an open house to answer any adjacent landowner questions or concerns regarding the development of Mr. Steffensens’s Area Structure Plan. Administration encourages public consultation prior to the submission of a formal Area Structure Plan. The results of the open house are contained in the Area Structure Plan.
“On June 18, 2018, administration received a proposed Area Structure Plan from Robert Riddett, on behalf of landowner Matt Steffensen, located within NW 32-46-24-W4M Plan 0721920, Block 1, Lot 1.
“The proposed ASP proposed to create five (5) residential parcels out of the existing 55.9 acre parcel located south of Township Road 470 (correction line road) and north of Bigstone Creek. The developer plans to live on Lot 1 and has an approved development permit for a ‘One (1) Storey Walk Out Dwelling and 40’ x 72’ Shop.’ The current parcel is zoned Agricultural and if the proposed ASP is approved, rezoning to Country Residential would be the next step before subdivision of the five (5) parcels could occur.”
Blades’ report noted groundwater appears to be sufficient for the proposal. “After examining the drilling logs of 53 wells in the vicinity, Envirowest Engineering concluded that the development of five (5) new residential parcels would not have significant impact on the local groundwater resources,” the report stated.
However, Blades stated that for sewage treatment, a lack of space seems to require septic fields or tanks.
Riddett appeared in person to represent the applicant. He stated the application is within the Millet acreage area, an area suitable for residential subdivisions.
The issue of environmental and municipal reserves seemed to be a major one for this ASP; in theory, such land is set aside for things like schools or recreation. Riddett stated the applicant was considering land along the creek which is undevelopable; if it has recreational value, this would account for about 12 acres of ER.
Riddett noted that would leave about four acres of municipal reserve required, which could be left on the titles of the private lots so the county wouldn’t have to handle it. He stated an easement would have to be placed on the titles to preserve the natural state of the property.
Reeve Kathy Rooyakkers asked why the lots were so large; she pointed out one of them was 13 acres. Riddett answered that the value in these lots is the large access they offer to the creek. He noted that the developer stated that increasing density could mean an internal road system.
Councilor Dale Woitt noted the area is in the middle of farmland. Riddett answered that the land in question is fairly good agricultural quality, but council has already dealt with that question through the Millet acreage zone.
Councilor Lyle Seely stated he was concerned with the size of the lots and was also concerned with the number of access points into the property in question, stating that, normally, the county doesn’t allow that many accesses onto municipal roads. “I have concerns with the way this is,” said Seely. He also asked how the easements would be enforced, and Riddett responded the county would enforce them.
Rooyakkers closed the public hearing and Blades stated staff recommended approving the ASP but added that staff were not in favour of easements.
Council approved the ASP but with an updated requirement for the MR: one panhandle of 20 meters on the very south part, lot 5, and one on the most easterly, lot 1.