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County considers rural addressing bylaw changes

Date for the proposed bylaw to come back to council was not set

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY — Council has given first reading to proposed changes to the rural addressing bylaw following recommendations from the governance review committee.

The move came during the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.

Under the section addressing parcels, the proposed updated bylaw reads: “All parcels in the county that have a development or a structure or as requested by the landowner, will be assigned a rural address by the county.”

The proposed exemption section now reads: “Oil and gas sites are required to follow the addressing guidelines regulated by Alberta Energy and are not required to erect rural address signage. However, if requested a rural address will be assigned and rural address signage must be installed in accordance with the regulations of this bylaw.”

Regarding rural address signs, the proposed update states that, “multiple residences off one approach should include signage to identify their individually assigned address prefix for emergency services.”

The existing bylaw’s enforcement section 6 allows a peace officer to “access any land, reserve or structure, at any time for inspection or enforcement activities.”  

Coun. Peggy Johnson asked administration whether that section is legal.

“I thought you needed a warrant to access someone’s home,” said Johnson. “Is this actually accurate? Should it say any structure except someone’s home? Do we need a legal opinion on this? Do we want to clarify that?”

CAO Jeff Holmes said the provincial Municipal Government Act prohibits municipal peace officers from entering a dwelling without a warrant or authorization from a court.

Chris Atchison, director of legislative services, said administration could provide clarification when the matter returns for consideration of second reading.

Division 2 Coun. Greg Harris says there is no reason a municipal peace officer would need to enter any dwelling to enforce the bylaw.

As well as passing first reading, councillors passed a motion instructing administration to come back with clarification on the definition of structure, the timing and access of enforcement, and applicable fines.

“There’s no reason we can’t add clarity to our bylaw,” said Holmes.

An exact date for the proposed bylaw to come back to council was not set.

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