Until the amendments to the Millet Railside Industrial Park area structure plan meet County of Wetaskiwin specifications council is not approving three readings of the plan, which has not changed since 2007.
Councillors addressed the proposed amendments at a public hearing on June 7. Only the first reading of area structure plan was approved.
TarynCroft Equities Ltd., which is developing the majority of the park, was on hand to explain what the company is planning for the future of the park. There’s a total of 20 110 acre open storage lots and two fully serviced five acre lots; most zoned for industrial land use and two areas zoned direct control.
Since acquiring the property TarynCroft Equities representative David Murphy says the company has fixed the fencing, leased land out to livestock owners for weed control, put up signage and implemented initiatives to keep garbage at bay.
“We will be a dark skies initiative,” said Murphy. Further plans to minimize light and noise pollution include vegetation screens and berms.
The industrial park is going to be developed in phases and Murphy says the area could present a prime location for multi-location companies who have been hit by the recession to consolidate resources in Millet, also boosting the job market in the community.
“Our market positioning is really a key selling point,” said Murphy. Located in Millet, the park is near Highway 2, Leduc and Nisku but will not offer the same traffic challenges.
“The other development standard is we’re going to oversize our entrance,” said Murphy.
According to Alberta Transportation, if future upgrades are needed to roads or intersections to the park the County of Wetaskiwin and the Town of Millet will be responsible. Prior to the June 7 meeting the Town of Millet was unaware it would be partially on the hook for the funds.
“This development certainly will be affecting traffic,” said Coun. Keith Johnson.
Coun. Larry McKeever suggested council only pass first reading to give administration a chance to meet with Town of Millet staff and discuss possible solutions for intersection needs.
A parcel of land within the industrial park remains under the ownership of Railside Industrial Park and holds the status of inactive landfill. A representative of Railside Industrial Park attended the public hearing to ensure the needs of the parcel of also considered.
“There’s prejudicial language in the area structure plan I’d like to point out. It prejudices our land,” said Bruce Duckworth.
Duckworth says in the future Railside Industrial Park would like to move the land to an industrial land use and he feels the language could hamper the company’s efforts.
“I’m making progress with the remedial certificate,” said Duckworth.
Garry Falkenberg questioned why two parcels are proposed to change to direct control.
“What we found in our last few industrial parks is developers want a mix of industrial/commercial and we don’t have a zoning for that,” said assistant CAO Rod Hawken.
Nearby landowner Mimi Costa feels the developer and county practices are not giving residents affected by the development enough of an opportunity to voice their concerns. “I haven’t seen anything from anybody addressing the possible future short-term and long-term impacts to adjacent landowners.”
Costa also asked council to consider getting a neighbourhood impact statement completed. “There is impacts … There is noise but how much noise … There’s nothing that’s been documented. I’m asking for that.”
“I don’t think any of us really know anything,” she added.
Costa told council she does not feel they should approve the amended area structure plan as it stands.
Robert Weston of the TarynCroft Equities design team says the amended area structure plan is just that, an amendment. Most of the land will retain the same industrial use it has had since 2007. He explained it is the intention of the company to comply with all bylaws and if there is something in the company’s plan that does not comply TarynCroft Equities will rework that aspect.
If the council does not eventually give the amended area structure plan its needed three readings the area will retain the 2007 structure plan.