Problems with Leduc County’s ‘community standards’

I have a few concerns about the proposed bylaw 25-15 for Leduc county that I thought I would share a couple.

I have a few concerns about the proposed bylaw 25-15 for Leduc county that I thought I would share a couple. Please read this bylaw and offer feedback to the county as it will make nearly every acreage in the county be in violation of it and the owners subject to fines, jail-time or the county coming on your property and doing whatever they want.

Section 19i and 18 combined allow any employee of the county to do whatever they deem necessary on any resident’s property. If they decide an old homestead has to go, a tree needs to be cut down, classic cars or daily drivers need to be towed to the wrecker there is nothing a landowner can do to keep the bulldozers, tow trucks or tree removal companies off their place.

I don’t think anyone in the county is against a law that allows the cleanup of the truly unsightly places. However, when a law makes every homeowner in the county a criminal, something is wrong with the law, not the people. This bylaw allows county officials to do or require whatever they want whether reasonable or not: that should not be allowed in any democratic society.

Another concern I have is the lack of care for Alberta’s history and character displayed by one of the officials at the open house. In his opinion if an old homestead is no longer being put to use there is no reason at all not to bulldoze it. This bylaw gives him the power to require a landowner to do that at the landowner’s expense . There will always be some who see art, history or antiques as eyesores. In a large group of people such as in Leduc county there will always be someone who thinks something is ugly and another who thinks it’s beautiful. You can outlaw old homesteads or farms in Alberta but they are part of our history, our culture, our art and who we are as a people.

The bylaw needs to specify how many times someone can be fined or jailed for the same offense, how far apart in time the fines and jail-time can be. That needs to be in there for review by us before it passes.

Section 7.3 was called an exception for farmers and businesses by county officials but when you read it carefully you will see that it is not an exception to anything at all. And unless Leduc county has an ALSA I do not believe 7.3 of their proposed bylaw fulfills 639.1 of the MGA which states: “639.1 In preparing a land use bylaw, a municipality must consider the protection of agricultural operations unless an ALSA regional plan requires agricultural operations to be protected or requires agricultural land or land for agricultural purposes to be protected, conserved or enhanced, in which case the municipality must comply with the ALSA regional plan.”

 

Ryan Prins, Calmar

 

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