A handful of residents attended an open house Tuesday at the Bowden Friendship Centre to give their feedback on the first draft of a revised Land Use Bylaw and Municipal Development Plan for the town.
The town wants to update the land use concept map in the Municipal Development Plan and has added a few definitions and regulations to the LUB, said Kristina Schmidt, a planner with Parkland Community Planning Services, who helped draft the changes.
“We're just wanting to make sure that people are aware of these changes and if they have any comments to provide them to us,” she said, noting that the initial feedback from the public on the bylaws was positive.
The main changes to the LUB were to add definitions and regulations surrounding sea cans, manufactured homes and soft-sided buildings.
The MDP was also updated to reflect work the town has recently done in cooperation with Red Deer County on an Inter-Municipal Development Plan. The work has been going on for about a year.
Rob Stuart, Bowden's mayor, said most of the people who turned up at the open house were interested in what might be taking place with regard to the industrial lands on the east side of the Queen Elizabeth II highway. But he said the Area Structure Plan for that area has already been developed and has already been accounted for in the MDP and LUB.
Stuart said more people are using sea cans in Bowden for storage and other uses, and the town wants to regulate how they are used. He said the town also wants to regulate the use of soft-sided buildings, controlling how they look.
“More and more (sea cans) are popping up and you have to limit that. The soft-sided buildings, they look good for the first three months that they're up and then they get torn and ripped and then there's no way of controlling them after that,” he said.
Stuart speculated that many people are using sea cans as storage sheds. Stuart said one particular sea can in town was being accessed during wet periods, which damaged an adjacent alley.
“We really need to control where (sea cans are) going and the weight of them. So that's what this addresses is how long they can be there and the size of them (among other things),” he said.
A committee of town officials and PCPS will now digest all the feedback that was given at the open house and discuss any changes that might be made to the first draft prior to coming to town council for first reading and public hearings of the updated bylaws. Schmidt said it might take about one to two months before the bylaws come before council for consideration of first reading.