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Board denies appeal of Bergen-area subdivision refusal

Appellant can appeal the SDAB’s decision to the Alberta Court of Appeal

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The county's subdivision and development appeal board (SDAB) has denied an appeal of an earlier refusal of a subdivision application of a Bergen-area parcel from agriculture to agriculture 2A.

The original subdivision application was refused by the municipal planning commission on Nov. 18 and the appeal was held Dec. 9, with the SDAB decision released Dec. 17.

The purpose of the original application was to subdivide out one 18.4-acre agricultural parcel from the 158-acre property located at SW 2-32-6-5.

In refusing the original application, the municipal planning commission cited four reasons: that the application doesn’t comply with the Municipal Government Act; doesn’t meet the requirements of the municipal development plan; doesn’t meet the requirements of the Bergen area structure plan; and that the proposal does not meet the requirement of the agricultural district (A) parcels according to the land use bylaw.

In the appeal to the SDAB, the applicant made a written submission, stating, in part: “We feel we were not properly represented by the contractor we hired to represent us during the subdivision process. He informed council of a tree farm and potential greenhouse but did not mention our business or actual use of land.”

In denying the appeal, the SDAB cited five reasons for rejecting the appeal, including the following (quoted from decision):

• Although the board believes that the proposal put forth by the applicant to develop their business on an agricultural 2A-designated parcel is appropriate and compatible with the adjacent land uses, and sympathizes with the appellant that their proposal was misrepresented by their contractor during their redesignation application, the board determined that it is outside its purview to review redesignation decisions or the reasons for those decisions, which are solely up to council’s discretion.

• The board determined that the proposed 18.48-acre parcel created is not compliant with the minimum lot requirement of 80 acres as required by Bylaw No. 16/18, nor the first parcel out minimum parcel size of 40 acres as contemplated by Bylaw No. 03/15.

• The board determined that the proposed subdivision would create a parcel that although could be useful for agricultural operations, requires too large of a size variance from the required 80 acres to the proposed 18.48 acres which is not consistent with the purpose of the agricultural district as outlined in Bylaw No. 16/18.

The appellant can appeal the SDAB’s decision to the Alberta Court of Appeal.