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Proposed updated Sundre, county development plan discussed

Several questions were asked during the open house about possible annexation resulting from the new IDP
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MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - More than 60 residents took part in a recent virtual open house regarding the proposed update of the 10-year-old intermunicipal development plan (IDP) between Mountain View County and the Town of Sundre.

The IDP is a planning tool adopted by municipalities to provide a framework to address land use, growth and development adjacent to the boundary areas.

Both councils have already given first reading to the proposed updated IDP.

Several questions were asked during the Feb. 25 open house about possible annexation resulting from the new IDP.

“I think those questions were asked and answered,” said Reeve Bruce Beattie. “There is no annexation discussion in this IDP. I think that was one area that people were most interested in.”

The original plan was put in place by motion in 2010 and is being updated as required under the updated provincial Municipal Government Act.

The goals of the updated IDP include the following:

• Identify land in the county for future growth of the town through the identification of the fringe and referral areas.

• Identify land in the town for the development of industrial parks through the identification of the urban referral area and in the county through existing areas structure plans.

• Respect compatible development within these areas.

• Promote the development of intermunicipal programs for economic development that will benefit the greater region and both municipalities.

• Coordinate the development of transportation systems and protection of required land for future road and trail network development.

• Protect physical features and environmentally sensitive areas.

• Provide effective referral and communication mechanisms for planning applications and disputes.

Key amendments in the updated plan will include having updated maps to reflect 2010 annexation areas of the town.

All references to decision-making through joint councils and planning commissions have been removed and planning decisions on applications for development rests with the applicable municipal jurisdiction’s decision-making authorities.

No changes have been made to the geographic areas of the three policy areas: fringe areas, referral area and urban referral area.

Language clarifications provided for the fringe area include the following:

• The first parcel out of previously unsubdivided quarter sections are allowed for agricultural uses, farmsteads and country residential areas.

• For areas inside an existing area structure plan (ASP), redesignation, subdivision and development applications must comply with the ASP policies.

Language clarification provided for referral area include the following:

• For areas outside an existing ASP, redesignation and subdivision application can be considered for agricultural, residential, commercial, industrial, recreational or direct control district purposes for up to four titles per quarter section.

• For areas inside an existing ASP, redesignation, subdivision and development applications must comply with the ASP policies.

Beattie says he was pleased with the number of people who took part in the open house.

“It’s interesting that with the virtual process we certainly are getting more people listening in and asking questions. I’m really glad to see all the participation,” said Beattie.

Written comments on the draft plan are being accepted by the county until March 25, at mountainviewcounty.com.

“Hopefully people who still have comments will do so,” he said.

The proposed updated plan has now been forwarded to the intermunicipal collaboration committee for further consideration.

A joint public hearing and council meeting will be held at a later date for the proposed IDP, and councils will then vote separately on possible second and third reading.

Once the IDP is adopted by the municipalities, other planning documents will be reviewed to ensure they align with the new plan.