County of Wetaskiwin council denied a spot rezoning of a farmyard from agriculture to country residential after a public hearing during their regular Planning and Economic Development meeting Dec. 6.
The public hearing was opened by reeve Terry Van de Kraats.
Presented to council by Director of Planning and Economic Development David Blades, the request to re-zone involved a parcel located at SE 30-46-22-W4M, owned by the Prinse family.
“On October 22, 2018, Administration received a rezoning application from Antonius and Annie Prinse to rezone seven (7) acres (2.83 hectares) within SE 30-46-22-W4M from Agricultural (AG) to Country Residential (CR),” stated Blades in his report to council.
“The property is located along Range Road 235 and just north off of Highway 13. The applicant is discontinuing farming, but wishes to retain the acreage site with the two (2) dwellings to support he and his wife and his daughter and her family.” Blades told councilors it looked like the owners wanted the yard site separated from the rest of the title.
He also stated the soil in question appears to be relatively good.
But there was a problem preventing county staff from supporting the application. “Administration cannot support the proposed rezoning application in accordance with the provisions contained within the Land Use Bylaw,” stated Blades’ memo.
“Under the Second Yard Subdivisions Policy #6607 of the County of Wetaskiwin, in order to qualify for a second yard site, both the dwelling on the existing subdivided parcel, otherwise known as a first parcel out, and the dwelling on the proposed or second yard site parcel must be at least ten (10) years of age. In this case, both dwellings would indeed qualify as they have assessed effective years of 1955 and 2006 . However, there remains the issue of two (2) dwellings situated within the proposed parcel that is the subject of the proposed rezoning. “Administration recognizes that one (1) of the two (2) dwellings is currently being occupied by the landowners’ daughter and her family. Unfortunately, planning decisions on districting, otherwise known as zoning, or subdivision of a parcel are based on relevant planning documents, policies, and procedures, not economic status decisions.”
Blades also noted, “Another key issue in considering this rezoning proposal is the two (2) dwellings on a seven (7) acre lot and the potential of the parcel being subdivided again. The future subdivision would then create four (4) parcels out of a quarter section and would be subject to an application for Area Structure Plan.”
The applicant spoke and stated the second residence, a mobile home, could be moved out once his daughter leaves.
Blades said administration sees this issue as cut and dried and recommended denial.
Councilor Josh Bishop asked about three parcels, and Blades answered some policies allow multiple parcels but the two dwellings was the bigger problem.
Councilor Bill Krahn said the yard has been there a long time and the resident of the second home will probably move out eventually so the county should show more leeway here. Krahn said if this was an application for new property, it would be different.
Van de Kraats asked, if allowed, can the county require that if the property is sold, the second home must be removed? Blades said, yes, a charge on title has been done before. However, he noted someone has to keep track of any sale and whether the charge was followed.
Councilor Ken Adair noted he was more concerned about another parcel out than the two dwellings.
Van de Kraats closed the public hearing, and the Prinse’s request was defeated by a 3-4 vote.