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Flood hazard study prompts county review

Changes to bylaws would be shared through public engagement and a public hearing

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - County council has instructed administration to bring forward possible amendments to the municipal development plan (MDP) and the land use bylaw (LUB) in response to a flood hazard study being released by the province.

The move came by way of motion at the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.

The Upper Red Deer River Hazard Study covers 85 kilometres along the Red Deer River and within the county covers the area just west of the Coal Camp Road subdivision to the boundary of Red Deer County at Highway 587.

It also covers 17 kilometres of the Bearberry Creek east of Rge. Rd. 62 to where the creek merges with the Red Deer River at Sundre.

The current municipal development plan contains policies for redesignation, subdivision and development in hazard lands that include floodways and flood fringe defined by provincial studies as well as flood hazard areas that are prone to flooding but not part of provincial studies, administration said in a briefing note to council.

“The county needs to determine how the (new) study is to be used as part of emergency planning and as a tool in policies for land use and subdivision, as well as building development through regulations,” the note states.

“As the new study covers a large extent of the Red Deer River that has not been part of previous provincial studies, and Alberta Environment and Parks will hold a second engagement to share the 1:100 year flood maps, it is an opportunity for the county to proactively review the MDP polices and development regulations.”

Administration recommended that the MDP be reviewed and, if need be amended, so that policies “identify that redesignation and subdivision shall not be supported where any part of a proposed parcel to be subdivided includes any part of the floodway or flood fringe as defined by a provincial study or a study prepared by the applicant in support of an application.”

As well, administration may bring forward a land use bylaw amendment that new development in the floodway may be developed to the flood fringe standard county-wide.

Following the regular council meeting, councillors went in-camera and then instructed administration to include aggregate operations in the review.

“We are going to investigate drafting some amendments the MDP and LUB regarding aggregate extraction in floodways,” said CAO Jeff Holmes. “We will be exploring and discussing amendments to restrict new aggregate operations in a floodway.”

Proposed amendments to the MDP and LUB would be shared through public engagement and a public hearing, council heard.

A timeline for administration to return with the review has not been set.

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