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Commission approves new use for historic school in Mountain View County

School first opened in 1905 in Mountain View County is slated to be used as a dwelling

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The county’s municipal planning commission (MPC) has approved a development permit changing the use of an historic former school to dwelling, single detached and temporary RV accommodation in the Dogpound area near the county’s south boundary.

The move came by way of motion at the commission’s recent regularly scheduled council meeting, held in person and on Zoom.

The property involved is located on the west side of Highway 760, about two miles north of Twp. Rd. 292 and involves the historic West Hope school house on a 1.5 acre parcel.

The school house was first opened in 1905. A commemorative monument outlining the school’s history was placed outside the building by the West Hope Historical Society in the 1980s.

The application is the result of a complaint received by the county for unauthorized development and RV accommodation, members heard.

“The subject property currently features the historic West Hope school house and associated commemorative monument, sign and outhouse,” administration said in a briefing note to the commission. “It is the first parcel out of the parent parcel and is surrounded entirely by agricultural land uses.

“The applicants have provided photographs in support of their application and have indicated their intentions to renovate the exterior to improve the building’s appearance and condition.”

The applicants have advised the county that they will be replacing some of the windows, sealing the windows that are not replaced, and finishing the exterior with a new coat of paint, members heard.

“The file review confirmed that the building has been kept in good condition and repair over the years, as per a resolution carried at a meeting of the West Hope Historical Society in 1972.”

Given the building’s age, an engineering review will be required with the submission of the building permit application due to the change of use being proposed, and to ensure that the building is structurally able to accommodate the intended use.

No residential occupancy will be permitted until a building permit is issued, members heard.

Temporary RV accommodation will be permitted only during the active construction of the proposed dwelling, single detached, with living accommodations in the RV to cease within 24 months of the issuance of the development permit. Temporary RV accommodation is a discretionary use in the agriculture district.

No further occupancy or camping is permitted.

The development permit approval comes with a number of conditions, including that the “applicant or landowner shall maintain the monument located on site or make it available for preservation offsite.”

Tower permit approved

In other news from the recent MPC meeting, members approved a development permit for a proposed communication tower and accessory building - equipment shelter in the McDougal Flats neighbourhood west of Sundre.

The 65 metre tower will be located on a parcel southeast of the intersection between Twp. Rd. 331A and Rge. Rd. 60, at SW 7-33-5-5.

“The communication tower is proposed to improve the coverage west of Sundre within Mountain View County,” administration said.

The applicant is Telus Communications Inc. and the landowner is Boot Hill Farms Ltd.

The permit approval comes with a number of conditions, including that the tower will be “engineered to accommodate future co-location with additional carriers and to minimize any potential negative effects on the adjacent residence.”

Dan Singleton

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