County defeats Durk Development Inc. area structure plan

Proposed plan denied over easement concerns

A proposed area structure plan outlining the subdivision of the land on which the Prairie Breeze Inn RV and Campground sits was defeated at first reading by Wetaskiwin county councillors.

Council’s decision came during the Oct. 12 planning and economic development meeting.

Property owner Susan Durk presented to council her proposed plan to create two separate lots for the inn and the campground; the remaining farmland that currently sits as part of the property would be sold and consolidated with neighbouring farmland to the south.

David Blades, director of planning and economic development, says a key concern of administration is ensuring there is physical and legal access for both the inn and campground properties.

Many councillors voiced concerns over Durk’s road access proposal.

“We proposed for the time being an easement be placed on that road,” said Durk.

She added, in the future, she hopes to sell the inn and campground, possibly retaining ownership of the latter if possible. Durk says the easement agreement would have the owners of the campground maintaining the road April to October while the campground is open, and the inn owners maintaining the remaining months if it stays open during that time.

Blades says historically the county has had issues with road easement agreements between landowners, as relations change, properties are bought and sold and one landowner may try to block the road access of another.

The County of Wetaskiwin would like to see the road leading to the inn and campground widened to county standards.

Durk explained she feels upgrading to county standards is neither a sensible nor cost effective plan at this point, as the road is only open 4.5 months of the year. She says a dedication could be made for future road upgrading if needed — cost responsibility going to the two lot owners — allowing for time to put provisions in place.

Durk does not want the internal road made a public access because she says the road use and traffic intensity are not changing. “There will be no traffic increase.”

“There is no proposed development at all in this application,” she added.

Blades says administration does not agree with the proposed dedication, as it would put the future driveway closer to the county’s office building public works yard. He says it is not an appropriate place for a public road access.

Coun. Lyle Seely says he would not be opposed to having the public access closer to the public works yard.

“I would not support an area structure plan with an easement,” said Seely.

“I don’t think this would be proper planning,” said Coun. Terry Van de Kraats.

“I don’t agree with an easement whatsoever,” said Coun. Pearl Hay.

“I know we’ve never favoured easements,” said Coun. Garry Dearing.

The County of Wetaskiwin has future plans to create a public works access to a range road southeast of the county administration office, eliminating much of the need to use the direct access to Highway 13. However, the county does not own the property needed for this endeavor and it will not transpire for many years.

Coun. Larry McKeever says we would not be able to support the proposed area structure plan until that range road hookup is in place.

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