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Wrestling events permit southeast of Sundre upheld on appeal

Mountain View County building, previously used in the processing of hay, can hold monthly wrestling events, decides subdivision and development appeal board

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The county's subdivision and development appeal board (SDAB) has upheld an appeal and overturned an earlier rejection of an application for a development permit to allow monthly wrestling events on a property near the Harmattan Gas Plant southeast of Sundre of Highway 22.

In May the county’s municipal planning commission rejected a business, agri-tourism - one event per month application by Tomco Enterprise Ltd. for the 13-acre property at SW 26-31-4-5 in Division 4 in May.

The original application was to use an existing building, previously used in the processing of hay, for the monthly event. Events could include wrestling shows, car shows, horses pulls and tractor pulls, according to the original development permit application.

At the May 5 municipal planning commission meeting, commission members discussed the application procedure and public safety obligations with regard to the nearby AltaGas facility, including a proposed condition that reads: “The applicant, landowner and/or operator shall work with the Harmattan Gas Plant to incorporate the development approved with this development permit in their emergency response plan and submit confirmation to the county.”

The commission said it was not satisfied with the recommended condition and required a more formalized emergency response plan response prior to the application.

Appellent Tom Mennear appealed the decision, with the appeal hearing held on June 9. He told the board that he has spoken to officials at the gas plant about the proposed building use and says they are in support.

In its ruling issued June 15, the board upheld the appeal on four reasons (quoted from the decision):

• The board determined that the appellant has taken appropriate measures, combined with additional conditions on the development permit approval, to mitigate the concerns raised by AltaGas and therefore has deemed that the proposed development is a suitable use for the lands and complimentary to existing operations and the agricultural character of the area.

• The board determined that the proposed development does not contemplate a significant intensification to the existing operations that would require an independent formalized Emergency Response Plan to be developed. Further, the board determined that AltaGas had provided written comment outlining that they did not oppose the proposed development, but instead was seeking established controls to mitigate their raised concerns.

• The board determined that it was appropriate to permit the proposed development to have a maximum of 15 employees on site to deal with large events and confirmed that the respondent did not raise concern about the increased employee allowance.

• The board determined that it would be appropriate to ensure that the appellant and AltaGas are in constant communication relative to upcoming events and therefore has added a requirement for proactive communication for events occurring on the lands.

The subdivision and development appeal board is made up of county councillors and appointed public members.