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Mountain View County gives permit to proposed horse handling, health education centre

Located in the Wessex rural neighbourhood outside Carstairs, the $1.7 million centre will not have structures

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The county’s municipal planning commission has approved a development permit for an education centre in the Wessex area outside Carstairs that will provide lessons on horse handling and health.

The approval came during the commission’s Feb. 2 regularly scheduled council meeting, held in person and on Zoom.

The $1.7-million centre will be located on the northside of Highway 581 on the west side of Rge. Rd. 12, at SE 15-30-1-5. The property is zoned agricultural district A.

The approval is for accessory use to agriculture, extensive - education centre for health, horse and hay.

Although there are no structures proposed, there will be up to 14 portable corrals with shelter that will be moved as needed and up to 14 cargo trailers use for hay storage, members heard.

“The proposal is to provide an education program for patrons to learn about health, horses and hay,” administration said in a briefing note to the commission. “Participants purchase packages to access the subject parcel over the growing season, where they attend the property to be taught about hay and horse.

“There will be teaching staff who are trained health guides and horse handlers to assist patrons. The patrons are provided information regarding health programs to gain knowledge of the hay and horse. 

“There will be yearling horses provided for the programs for which corrals and shelters will be required to hold horses and will be moved throughout the parcel as needed.”

During the Feb. 2 commission meeting, the applicant said he has been teaching horse handling for about 40 years in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico.

The yearling horses will be sold following each season (June to October), he said, noting he plans to have about 20 horses on site at a time.

The parcel involved is fenced, which should ensure the horses remain on the property, members heard.

The permit approval comes with a number of conditions, including that the use of the on-site cargo trailers shall be for storage purposes only with no public occupancy permitted, and no camping/overnight accommodation will be permitted on the site at any time.

A prior to issuance condition was also included that the applicant obtain a roadside development permit from Alberta Transportation.

Dan Singleton

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