A necessary clarification

Dear Editor,

I am writing to clarify a key point in the article in The Stettler Independent dated Sept. 30 under the headline “Scenic Sands raises issues with county”.

The key point in the letter that was written to the County of Stettler concerns access granted by the County from Buffalo Drive to the new subdivision of Scenic Estates -. in violation of the existing county bylaw 1165-01. The article in the Independent was not clear on this point.

The background is as follows:

Scenic Sands was created as a subdivision in 1982. In 2000 the owner of 2.56 hectares adjacent to the north boundary of Scenic Sands applied to the county for subdivision approval for eight lots. To access this new subdivision, the county was requested to sell a portion of the land in municipal reserve lot 69 for creation of a road to link the proposed subdivision to Buffalo Drive. Prior to this request, MR lot 69 was within the boundaries of Scenic Sands. At that time, the residents of Scenic Sands had several meetings with the county to voice their objections to the creation of a road through MR 69 when a viable option was to create a road to the east to the county range road 21-1.

Approval was given by the county for the new subdivision (known as Abbey Road) including the creation of a road through MR 69. That approval was enacted through bylaw 1165-01. Within the bylaw, under the section Transportation, on page 6, the bylaw states: ”In meeting the desires of the community residents in Scenic Sands, the county desires to put into place policy that states that any further development adjacent to Scenic Estates must utilize an alternate access to service the land. That access must be from Range Road 21-1.” The intentions of the county council in February 2001 are very clear and reflect the results of negotiations between Scenic Sands and the county. It is not apparent why the present council is disregarding the intention of a previous council and, in fact, is giving preference to a developer versus existing rate payers.

Subsequently, in September 2006, the county received a subdivision application for what is now known as Scenic Estates (land adjacent to the east side of Scenic Sands). The Municipal Planning Commission of the County considered this application on Feb. 28, 2007. At that meeting the minutes show that eight letters of concern and objection had been received from Scenic Sands property owners immediately adjacent to the proposed subdivision. It can be noted that the Scenic Sands Community Association was not provided notice of this meeting of the planning commission.

At that planning commission meeting, conditional approval was given for the proposed subdivision including a principal access to the subdivision from Buffalo Drive– in direct violation to bylaw 1165-01.

The points I have presented in this letter have been discussed previously with the county and, as such, were not included in the letter that was sent to council.

Thanks for your attention.

Yours very truly,

Ivan Purdy

President – Scenic Sands Community