Rezoning for firewood business defeated by County of Wetaskiwin council Oct. 11

Wizard Lake Watershed zoning prevails; second application possible

BA rezoning for a small parcel of land with a unique description was defeated at the County of Wetaskiwin’s Planning and Economic development meeting Oct. 11 after a public hearing.

Reeve Kathy Rooyakkers opened the public hearing for a rezoning filed by the owners of a firewood company.

Director of Planning David Blades presented a report to council which stated, “On August 27, 2018, Administration received an application from Ian Koop and Cheryl Vermeesch to rezone approximately twelve (12) acres (4.84 hectares) within SE 33-47-27-W4M that is currently zoned Wizard Lake Watershed district (WLW) in accordance with Bylaw 2006/38 and return the twelve (12) acres back to Agricultural (AG) to allow for animals and their firewood business to occur onsite and to bring the parcel back to its ‘natural’ state.

“The property is located 1.2 kilometers south of Wizard Lake, 1/2 mile east of Range Road 274 and north off of Township Road 475. Approximately 57.5 acres of the eighty (80) acre parcel is heavily treed with a creek running the length of the property.”

A firewood business can’t be operated on land zoned WLW, hence the application.

The WLW zoning became a bone of contention during the public hearing, as neighbours opposed removing it.

A representative of the Wizard Lake Watershed and Lake Stewardship Association, secretary/treasurer LaVerne Ellsworth, said the organization opposed the rezoning as nutrient loading on inlets was a concern, and there is an inlet into the lake near the parcel.

Ellsworth said the organization was also concerned about a large drainage ravine that runs into the lake and monitoring already shows a significant amount of nutrients and contamination running into the lake. He said nutrients contribute to problems like blue-green algae blooms.

“That’s what we’re concerned with,” said Ellsworth.

The applicant, Koop, spoke next. He said there is no intention to damage anything and no clearcutting is planned. He said the firewood business isn’t an every day thing and runs perhaps only one or two days a week.

He said the operation uses modern equipment which is quiet and chainsaws are only used sparingly. Koop stated over 12 months, there are only 10 or 11 big trucks bringing wood into the site and added there is already lots of truck traffic on that road.

He noted the only planned change is perhaps a residence, and the forested nature of the land is preferred. “We want to see trees,” said Koop.

Councilor Josh Bishop, looking at maps in the agenda package, suggested swapping the parcel in question for a piece of land in the north part of the parcel. Koop said the idea sounded reasonable.

Assistant CAO Jeff Chipley noted he received two letters from the public that were both opposed to the rezoning. The letters noted water quality in the lake, traffic and noise were concerns. Other neighbours voiced concern about noise and drainage.

Blades noted at this point that if the site was changed, the process would have to be begun again, as public advertisements noted only the location above.

Councilor Lyle Seely said he like Bishop’s suggestion. “I like the idea of a swap,” said Seely. “Swap is a great idea.”

The public hearing was closed, and the first reading was made based on the application. It was defeated.

Blades mentioned he would work with the applicants to possibly bring back another application based on a site in the north part of the parcel.

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
City and County of Wetaskiwin reporting active cases

Both the City of Wetaskiwin and County of Wetaskiwin have active cases.

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Maskwacis reporting 37 active cases

Numbers current as of Oct. 19

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Photo submitted/ Millet In Bloom
Town of Millet declared Best Blooming Community

The Town of Millet is being recognized for their efforts to meet the challenges of 2020.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier isolating after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating at home

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Alberta's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday, July 6, 2020. Advisers are reportedly recommending Alberta's kindergarten to Grade 4 arts and social studies curriculum remove all references to residential schools because it's "too sad" for young children. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Advisers suggest Alberta students not learn about residential schools before Grade 4

Documents suggest children younger than Grade 4 are too emotionally vulnerable to learn about residential schools

robbery
UPDATE: Shooting suspect arrested by Wetaskiwin/Camrose RCMP

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

File photo
RCMP’s response to online discussions about anti-racism demonstrations

Ponoka RCMP Staff Sgt.’s comments misattributed online

Shaelynn Decock and her dog Taco, who has been missing since Aug. 26. Photo Submitted
Sylvan Lake woman looking for closure for her stolen dog

Shaelynn Decock says it has been two months since she last saw her dog Taco

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

Most Read