County of Wetaskiwin council seemed exasperated at their general meeting Nov. 6 as a provincial government department appeared to reverse their decision without warning on a subdivision application.
West Central Planning’s Jason Tran presented an application from Douglas and Debbie Hanson to subdivide one parcel at NE 13-47-24-W4M, Plan 9722447, Lot 1
Tran stated in his memo to council, “On August 15, 2018, Administration received an application from Douglas and Debbie Hanson to rezone approximately 4.06 acres (1.64 hectares) within NE 13-47-24-W4M, Plan 9722447, Lot 1 from Recreational (R) t Country Residential (CR).
“The Applicants intended to subdivide a four (4) acre parcel out of the existing fourteen (14) acres. The property is located north of the Grandview Heights subdivision and just off of Highway 814.
“As a part of the Administrative referral process, referral letters were sent to West Central Planning Agency (WCPA), the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (ASRD), Alberta Environment, Alberta Transportation, and Administration on August 23, 2018.” Tran noted only one response was received about the rezoning, and it mentioned agriculture operations. He also noted the re-zoning passed three readings Sept. 13.
However, after the re-zoning, an issue cropped up during the subdivision process. “On September 18, 2018, an application for subdivision was filed by Doug and Debbie Hanson to create one (1) new Country Residential (CR) lot,” stated Tran.
“A site inspection was completed on September 21, 2018 and the proposed vacant lot is partly covered with matured trees. The proposed lot has an existing highway approach onto Highway 814. The remainder has an existing house, a barn, corrals, animal sheds, and an existing highway approach onto Highway 814.
Furthermore, Alberta Transportation has provided the following comments ina letter dated September 26, 2018, which reads as follows:
“The proposal does not meet the department’s access management requirements. Removal of one of the direct highway access(es) would be required and the remaining approach to provide joint access to both parcels. The applicant will need to complete the attached access removal form to be submitted with the amended application.
“The department recommends the parcel boundary be amended to accommodate the existing approach to the south to act as a joint approach.
“The requirement for dedication of a 30-metre wide service road right across the proposed parcel and remainder of Lot 1. The department is willing to accept the service road dedication by caveat. We would offer no objections to a private driveway being built within the existing service road to provide access to the existing parcel.”
Councilor Dale Woitt asked Tran why Alberta Transportation refused to approve the subdivision. Tran said the application is close to a major highway and the applicant isn’t interested in Alberta Transportation’s request, “…but Alberta Transportation was pretty adamant on this one.” The application has been halted.
Assistant CAO Jeff Chipley summarized by stating Alberta Transportation had no objections during the area structure plan and re-zoning phases, but now during the subdivision phase, the department has a problem.
Tran suggested defeating the application, which allows the applicant to appeal at no cost to the provincial government’s Municipal Government Board, which can overrule Alberta Transportation.
The councilors then defeated the application by vote, but also chose to include a letter to the MGB supporting the applicant.