Landowner rights and the progression of Leduc County’s annexation were two hot topics at the recent public meetings held around the county. The purpose of the meetings was to gain feedback on the updated Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and the annexation.
The meetings were held April 18, 19 and 20 in New Sarepta, Nisku and Sunnybrook, respectively.
“We took a two-pronged approach,” said Mayor John Whaley.
The first half of the meetings focused on the concepts and policies surrounding the draft MDP. The second half of the meetings was about the annexation.
Updating the MDP has been a two-year process and is centered around economic development, agriculture and the environment.
The county released a number of surveys into the community to see what the public had to say about the policies and concepts; more then 500 were returned. “Which is quite tremendous in many ways,” said Whaley.
“At the end of the day it’s all about land use,” he added.
Whaley says it is the landowners who own the land so they have a right to be heard on the matter, “What they can and cannot do with their land going forward, that’s the number one priority. Some people have a little bit of angst about that.”
During the annexation part of the meetings a history of the process and where the county is now was provided to those who attended.
Whaley says the floor was open to questions and those most concerned are the people living around the Nisku area, as they are the ones most directly affected.
“Generally I think it was a worthwhile exercise,” said Whaley.
County staff and consultants will take the next several months to develop a draft and then more public consultations will take place.
Whaley says, for the next step, public input will be more important than ever. “This is a plan for the county and them as residents have to be involved.”
“The devil is the details,” he added.