County of Wetaskiwin council and a rezoning applicant showed how cooperation can give a little something for everyone.
At the Planning and Economic Development meeting Jan. 10, councilors held a public hearing for a rezoning application from applicant Cameron Quast.
“On November 13, 2018, Administration received a rezoning application from Cameron Quast to rezone 14.7 acres (5.95 hectares) within SW 13-45-28-W4M from Agricultural (AG) to Country Residential (CR),” stated council’s agenda memo.
“The property is located on the east side of Range Road 281 and north side of Township Road 452. The applicant is discontinuing farming, but wishes to retain the acreage site with the two dwellings.”
The public hearing offered comments from a number of agencies, including county staff. Staff recommended the application be denied for a number of reasons, including the soil rating of the property in question.
“The proposed parcel also contained two residences; one house and one residential loft within a shop. As per LUB 2017/48 only 1 dwelling was allowed on anything under 80 acres accept for a medical residence or a secondary suite of which neither is applicable in this instance.
“Additionally, Administration cannot support the Rezoning application as historically, options for subdivision for proposed parcels with two houses on a lot have been restricted to a split of the quarter section into two 80 acre parcels or a first parcel out of the quarter 3 section…” stated the memo.
Staff noted the land in question contains too many residences to comply with the necessary bylaws. They also noted council recently turned down similar applications for similar reasons. “Regarding past direction set forth by Council, Administration notes two prior decisions rendered by Council this past year regarding similar matters where further subdivision, rezoning, and Area Structure Plan approvals were not supported by the Municipal Development Plan, relevant County Policies, and the Land Use Bylaw,” stated the memo.
The applicant, Quast, then spoke. He said he knew the parcel is a bit large but it’s in an odd spot and can’t really be divided from the farmland. Also, his parents, who live on that land, are elderly and his dad doesn’t want to leave the farm. They’d like to have their home separated from the farmland so the farm can be sold. “I’m just doing my best to help my folks out,” said Quast.
During discussion, it was agreed that the application as presented likely would be defeated; a proposal that included separating one residence off and leaving the other residence with the farmland would be much more likely to be approved.
Quast said he was altering his request to have his residence subdivided, while leaving his parents’ residence as part of the farm. Staff said they had no problem with that and the public hearing was closed.
Councilors unanimously approved the amended application.