MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - Submission of public comments about proposed amendments to Mountain View County's land use bylaw closed Feb. 5.
In the past month, have been updated on the ongoing land use bylaw review, which includes a proposal to have minimum fines for offences under the legislation.
The bylaw was last updated in July 2021.
To date the review has included several open houses and council workshops as well as presentations by Jessica Ross, assistant director of planning and development, to the county’s agriculture service board (ASB) and the municipal planning commission (MPC).
Regarding offences and fines in all districts, it is proposed that minimum specified penalties be in place: for residential development it would be $750; for commercial/industrial development $3,000; and signage $350.
Having a minimum specified penalty ensures that if cases go to court, the judge would be required to impose at least a minimum penalty upon conviction.
“We go to court a lot more that we ever used to and it’s sort of that changing environment in how enforcement is dealt with and that’s really why these minimum specified penalties have come up,” said Ross.
“It’s not something Mountain View County likes to deal with but I think it is necessary at this point.”
There are dozens of proposed amendments and additions to the bylaw, including regarding shipping containers, recreational vehicles, prefabricated dwellings, setbacks for movable structures and buildings, agriculture and livestock definitions, selective logging, condo board approval, and event centres.
One change proposes to incorporate insect farms under the existing use of industrial, manufacturing/processing general within the business park district and heavy industrial district.
“This one has received a lot of comment,” she said. “This is something where Mountain View County is trying to stay a little bit ahead of the curve on.
“This use has taken a bit of an upswing in Alberta, and so we do some research and we recognized that insect farms are quite impactful to a community.”
Insect farming is an agricultural processing activity with associate impacts such as noise, appearance, and most significantly odour, and as such, the county recognizes the need to address insect farming as a discretionary use in industrial districts requiring sufficient buffering from conflicting land uses.
An amendment is proposed to allow the placement of one shipping container in R-CR districts with the issuance of a development permit.
The county is proposing an amendment in support of farming operations to allow an exemption for the use of recreational vehicles for temporary accommodations.
A proposed amendment to the setbacks for movable structures and buildings would read: “Farm building, portable means a building or structure that is not on a permanent foundation and is able to be easily moved. It may include farm buildings or accessory buildings.”
An amendment is proposed for prefabricated dwelling units older than 20 years to be considered discretionary use unless the residence is the primary dwelling on an unsubdivided, agricultural-zoned quarter section.
Regarding setbacks for movable structures and buildings, an addition is proposed for front yard of minimum five metres and side/rear yard minimum also of five metres.
There is a proposed amendment that would provide a provision for the approving authority to consider unserviced, self-contained accommodation with a development permit application for business agri-tourism and riding arena, public by amending the definitions.
Each application would be evaluated on its own merits and camping/overnight accommodation use would not be guaranteed.
“They would have to apply for that,” she said. “You don’t have the ability to add servicing here. This is specifically for unserviced, self-contained accommodation.”
Public comments about the proposed amendments were accepted until Feb. 5.
The complete proposed updated land use bylaw can be found on the county’s website.