‘Industrial’ development would destroy appeal of country living

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Was the IDP (Intermunicipal Development Plan) worth the time and money spent?

I think so. After months and months of public input, countless discussions between the town and county, and much money, the IDP was developed and implemented in December 2009. But does it really mean anything? Once again, I guess we will find out …

A little more than a year ago, a development application was submitted to the county to open an auto recycling facility on 10 acres just a half mile north of Stettler on Highway 56 — highway frontage — outside of the areas that the town and county have already designated for mixed business, industrial, etc.

Thankfully, the town stood by the IDP, and that application was denied.

Now, once again, we are confronted with the same thing. On the exact same 10-acre spot, another application has been submitted to the county to open a flare stack manufacturing plant — highway frontage and, worst of all, directly across from my property. It’s not just bare land — an actual residence is right there, and the proposed facility would be a couple of hundred feet from the front door of the house. Again, it’s outside of the areas already outlined for this type of development.

The application submitted this time is to rezone the land not to a DCD (direct control district) like the proposed auto recycling place was to be, but rather just to “industrial,” where even less control would be placed on the site, as far as hours of operation, what it looks like, noise, etc.

It’s a ridiculous expectation to think that any person would be happy to have something such as this move in directly across from the front door of their house. The appeal of country living is to have peace and quiet, and having an “industrial” anything here would 100 per cent destroy that idea.

So, needless to say, I am hoping that the town will stick by its guns, and put this to rest, too. There are already lots of areas designated and agreed to in both the town and county for developments such as this, so why do we need to start fragmenting, taking away more agricultural land, and just trying to irritate residents that have a residence right there.

To me, anyone who “votes” to approve development on this spot simply doesn’t believe in the IDP, at all, or else they need to get a copy of it and read it over.

It should not be decided by who you are, or how many people you know, or how much money you have, or even by the fact that you have personally talked to the councillors who seem to have all the say — rules are rules.

If this is allowed, you may as well throw the IDP away, as it means absolutely nothing, and the floodgates will be opened for more of the same outside of the designated areas.

The public hearing is scheduled for today at 1 p.m. at the county office.

Cindy Wakefield

Stettler

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