County of Wetaskiwin councilors approved a rezoning after a public hearing Jan. 10 that makes an effort to protect tree cover on the land in question.
“On November 14, 2016, Administration received a proposed rezoning from Don Martin to rezone approximately 50.9 acres (20.6 hectares) within NE 1-45-23-W4M from Agricultural to Rural Conservation,” stated the council agenda.
“This rezoning application comes following an approved Area Structure Plan. If rezoning is approved, the applicant intends to subdivide three parcels out of the quarter section. The property is located south east of Wetaskiwin, 2.5 miles east of Highway 822 and one half mile north of Township Road 450.”
The Rural Conservation district was defined in the council agenda item: “The purpose of this district is to preserve existing tree and vegetation cover in the County. The district may be implemented next to significant rivers, streams and lakes, but excluding those lakes classed as Type 3 in the General Municipal Plan. At Council’s discretion, the district may also be implemented in other parts of the County where Council is of the opinion that there is an environmental benefit in doing so and where the greater public interest is served.”
Councilors heard that the proposal complies with the County’s Land Use By-law 95/54.
It was noted a number of referral letters had been sent to agencies in December. 2016, but little response came back; it was noted that any agencies with concerns would comment during the development stage. “Currently, we do not have a response from Alberta Environment or Alberta Sustainable Resource Development,” stated the agenda item.
The item also stated, “On December 5, 2016 referral letters were sent to West Central Planning Agency, AER, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, Alberta Environment, Alberta Transportation and Administration. The following comment has been provided: “This land is well treed and not for crop production. It would be nice to prevent all of the trees being taken down but that is during the development stage.”
There was discussion at the public hearing about the intent to subdivide and the amount of tree cover on the land or the proposed parcels; however, subdivision is a separate process and each parcel would be handled individual if it was rezoned.
After the public hearing closed, councilors discussed the application during their regular meeting. They unanimously passed the rezoning with no changes.
Read the original story here http://www.pipestoneflyer.ca/news/407663376.html.