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Carstairs, county councils approve development plan

New plan excludes lands in Carstairs and includes only those lands in MVC necessary to coordinate land use, infrastructure and future urban expansion
local-news

CARSTAIRS/MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - As expected, the Town of Carstairs council and Mountain View County council has approved a new intermunicipal development plan (ISP).

The moves came by way of motions at last week’s council meetings.

The new IDP is an update on the 2007 plan between the municipalities, setting out the policies and procedures used by the town and county to coordinate planning matters such as future land uses, changes in municipal boundaries, environment matters, transportation, and infrastructure.

It also includes provisions regarding dialogue, decision making and dispute resolution.

Key changes from the 2007 plan include:

• The area included in the IDP, and subject to its policies, has been updated. It excludes lands in Carstairs and includes only those lands in MVC necessary to coordinate land use, infrastructure and future urban expansion.

• The intermunicipal planning commission and the intermunicipal subdivision and development appeal board for the IDP area has been eliminated in favour of focused discussion on planning policy decisions and land use law amendment decisions.

• Specific long-term land use are not assigned in the IDP and are to be determined through MVC’s municipal development plan.

• More direction has been added to assist in evaluation of future annexations.

• Consideration of the appearance along entrance corridors in the IDP area by both municipalities has been added.

• Use of municipal water and/or wastewater services for development of lands in MVC is no longer mandatory and the option to extend these services remains.

Both Carstairs and MVC councils gave the plan first and second reading following a joint public hearing last month.

The newly approved plan includes two general areas, the fringe area and the referral area.

The fringe area is those lands in the county that shall be set aside to accommodate the future growth of the town over the next 40 years. These lands may be annexed into the town to accommodate the needs for residential, commercial, and industrial lands as the need emerges.

The referral area includes lands in the county that are not intended to accommodate the future town expansion through annexation over the courts of the 40 year plan horizon. 

The plan’s fringe IDP area includes areas directly east and west of the existing boundaries, while the referral areas are further out and include areas to the north, south, east and west.

Carstairs council approved the new plan Feb. 21 and MVC council followed suit on Feb. 24.