An application by a rural family to have an area structure plan waived by the County of Wetaskiwin was turned down by vote for the second time this summer.
A memo given to councilors July 17 at their Planning and Development meeting stated, “On March 16, 2018, Administration received a request for a Waiver for the completion of a Area Structure Plan within SW 6-48-27-W4M, Plan 0922031, Block 1, Lot 1 from Cindy Walter and Walter van Hemert.”
Director of Planning and Development David Blades noted the same application had been filed in June and was defeated in a tie vote, 3-3 then tabled to the July 17 meeting. Blades stated the parcel in question has two existing residences on it and the applicants wanted to subdivide one off the main parcel and sell it because they no longer need it.
“The objective of this request is to gain approval to subdivide off the original home, now labeled as House 1 with a portion of the property which makes sense to the County of Wetaskiwin and the current owners,” stated the agenda memo.
Blades noted that staff did not recommend waiving the area structure plan for a variety of reasons, including the size of the parcel, farmland and others. “In summation, Administration is of the opinion that the request to waive the requirement for an Area Structure Plan should be denied. Additionally, Administration wishes to advise the applicant that an application for Area Structure Plan may not be supported by the relevant sections of the Municipal Development Plan, relevant County Policies, and the Land Use Bylaw based on protecting good agricultural land,” stated Blades.
Blades noted the area in question is in the Wizard Lake Road area and the agricultural soil rating is above 30 per cent.
Councilors discussed opposing factors: on the one hand, an ASP for a completely existing residence, on the other the county policies that require an ASP.
Reeve Kathy Rooyakkers said waiving the ASP would not make this a done deal. “This isn’t applying for a subdivision yet,” said Rooyakkers.
However, councilor Terry Van de Kraats suggested if councilors waive a policy, then maybe the policy shouldn’t exist. “If we don’t like policy, then we have to discuss those policies,” said Van de Kraats.
Rooyakkers responded that policies don’t always address every situation. “There are some unique situations,” she said.
Councilors voted 3 to 2 on a motion to deny, thus it was defeated again.